For people with high blood pressure, doctors may provide drug therapy which, in most cases, merely delays "end stage" damage — permanent physical damage that profoundly affects quality of life. Fortunately, high blood pressure is a potentially reversible health condition.
Contact us today and let us help you start the reversal process. In the meantime, consider the following facts about high blood pressure:
High blood pressure is a potentially reversible health condition that Fettler Health can help you reverse. If it is not reversed, the following complications associated with high blood pressure — some of which are also potentially reversible — have been known to occur:
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the silent killer because it may progress for years without symptoms, and slowly chip away at the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. That said, any one or a combination of the following subtle signs and symptoms signaling hypertension may arise: excessive flushing of the face, shortness of breath, vision problems, dizziness, fatigue, abnormal sweating, and insomnia. Although these signs and symptoms may stem from other conditions, seek immediate medical care if you are experiencing any of them.
High blood pressure may precede and definitely exacerbates arteriosclerosis (a stiffening, thickening, and narrowing of the arteries). One type of arteriosclerosis is atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque in the arteries). Atherosclerosis leads to such macrovascular diseases as coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis of the arteries leading to the heart), cerebrovascular disease (atherosclerosis of the arteries leading to the brain), and peripheral artery disease (atherosclerosis of the arteries leading to the lower extremities).
High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for heart attack, or myocardial infarction. And while the effect of high blood pressure on heart disease is indirect, it is no less dangerous. High blood pressure causes heart attack and death by damaging blood vessel walls which, in turn, causes or worsens coronary atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries) better known as coronary artery disease (CAD). In turn, CAD increases the risk for angina (chest pain), heart attack, and death.
High blood pressure has been known to damage the heart’s electrical system and may, in the process, cause arrhythmias. An arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. The most common, life-threatening arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation (VF) which is an erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers). VF is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) which is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. SCA results in death within minutes if emergency treatment such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation are not administered. Triggers of VF include blocked blood flow to the heart (ischemic heart attacks) and scarring of the heart by one or more previous heart attacks. Treatments for arrhythmia include medications, a pacemaker, and cardiac defibrillation.
Like any muscle, the heart bulks up with overuse. The muscular walls thicken and swell and the volume of the chambers shrinks, holds less blood, and must work harder to maintain circulation. This describes the disease called congestive heart failure. High blood pressure increases the heart’s workload and may, over time, cause the heart muscle to thicken. As the heart pumps against elevated pressure in the blood vessels, the heart becomes enlarged and the amount of blood pumped by the heart goes down, forcing the heart to work that much harder.
When the force of blood flow is high, as it is for individuals with high blood pressure, blood vessels stretch in order to allow blood to flow more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels throughout the body, including the blood vessels of the kidneys. If the kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle.
Anti-hypertensive medications are expensive, have numerous side effects, and don’t always work. However, these drugs do have their place. For example, a short course of anti-hypertensive drugs, used temporarily to bring down severely elevated blood pressure, is sometimes necessary. Also, for some patients, longer-term use of blood pressure-lowering drugs is appropriate. Therefore, under no circumstances should you discontinue any anti-hypertensive drug without the consent and supervision of your physician.
High blood pressure is typically identified as the primary cause of strokes of which there are two types: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked. High blood pressure can lead to an ischemic stroke by damaging the inner lining of the arteries leading to the brain, causing blood clots to form and block those arteries. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. High blood pressure can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke by damaging and weakening the brain’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow, rupture, or leak. Potential consequences of a stroke include seizures, paralysis, and rehabilitation.
High blood pressure is the leading cause of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or "mini strokes." A TIA happens when blood flow to a part of the brain is either reduced or blocked temporarily. High blood pressure can lead to a TIA by causing a temporary blood clot in, or a narrowing of, the blood vessels in or around the brain. Unlike a stroke, a TIA does not kill brain cells or cause permanent disability. However, TIAs may predict major stroke or lead to multi-infarct dementia. The most common symptoms of a TIA are vision changes, trouble speaking, confusion, balance issues, face drooping or numbness, and weakness on one side of the body. Since the symptoms of a TIA and a stroke are nearly identical, if you experience any such symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Fettler Health provides the tools and services to help you reverse potentially reversible health conditions including those listed below.
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