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High Blood Pressure?

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Why is high blood pressure (BP) harmful if we can’t feel anything?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, causes the heart to work harder than normal. Both the heart and arteries are then more prone to injury. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, eye damage, congestive heart failure and atherosclerosis.

If hypertension goes uncontrolled, the heart may have to work harder to pump enough blood and oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. A heart forced to work harder than normal for a long time tends to enlarge and weaken. A slightly enlarged heart may work well, but one that’s enlarged a lot has a hard time doing its job.

Hypertension also hurts arteries and arterioles. Over time they become scarred, hardened and less elastic. This may occur as people age, but high BP accelerates this process, probably because it speeds atherosclerosis.

Arterial damage is bad because hardened or narrowed arteries may not be able to supply enough blood to the body’s organs. And if the organs don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, they can’t work properly. Another risk is that a blood clot may lodge in an artery narrowed by fatty build-ups, thus blocking of normal blood supply to part of the body.

High BP is often referred to as the "Silent Killer". "Silent" in the sense that it is mostly asymptomatic (without symptoms) and "Killer" as it is a contributing cause to many cardiovascular deaths.

The above are just some of the dangers of uncontrolled or untreated high blood pressure. Don’t take unnecessary risks.

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