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What Are the Negative Effects of High Blood Pressure?

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Sometimes referred to as “the silent killer” due to its lack of symptoms in many cases, hypertension — or high blood pressure — is a common and potentially dangerous condition that should be closely monitored by a medical professional. Because many patients with hypertension are asymptomatic, it is critical that patients have regular wellness exams and check-ups with their doctors, at which time their blood pressure will be evaluated. Here, the knowledgeable team of providers at Lawrence Family Practice Center in Lawrence, KS shares important information on what to know about high blood pressure, including what negative consequences may occur when hypertension goes undiagnosed or untreated.

What causes high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is often a multifactorial condition, meaning there are several things that may contribute to the development and/or worsening of the condition. A common misconception about hypertension is that it only affects “unhealthy” or overweight people. While certain health problems, including obesity, are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, even patients who are otherwise very healthy, young, and fit can develop hypertension due to an underlying condition, genetics, or another factor. Some of the risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Stress
  • Poor diet, including excessive salt intake
  • Diabetes
  • Certain underlying conditions

What is considered high blood pressure?

Normal blood pressure numbers can vary somewhat based on the patient’s age and other individual factors. Generally speaking, however, a blood pressure level of 140/90 or consistently reading 130/80 may warrant a dedicated evaluation for hypertension.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

Hypertension is characterized by the blood flowing with too much pressure, which can place undue stress on the heart, arteries, and other structures. Over time, this can lead to a host of serious and potentially life-threatening consequences. Some of the negative side effects and increased risks associated with having high blood pressure include:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular complications
  • Visual impairment
  • Kidney disease
  • Aneurysm
  • Dementia
  • Erectile dysfunction

Will losing weight lower my blood pressure?

In some cases, patients who are overweight, have an unhealthy diet, or lead a sedentary lifestyle that contributes to their hypertension may see an improvement in their blood pressure with increased physical activity, improved nutrition, and other healthy behaviors. However, it is important to continue routine monitoring of your blood pressure and to stay on any prescribed medications until directed otherwise, as weight loss may not resolve your hypertension altogether. Many patients still require blood pressure medication to keep their blood pressure in a normal, safe range and to avoid serious complications even after adopting a new, healthy lifestyle. Throughout your course of care, our providers will closely monitor your condition and make any adjustments as needed to help safeguard your health in the long term.

Don’t let hypertension sneak up on you. Schedule your blood pressure check in Lawrence, KS for the peace of mind you deserve

Without any symptoms to alert you to a possible problem, the adverse side effects of hypertension — including heart attack and stroke — can happen any time. Take charge of your health today by calling Lawrence Family Practice Center to schedule your Lawrence, KS well visit and blood pressure evaluation with our caring team of practitioners dedicated to the health and wellness of you and your loved ones.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.