Six (Scary) Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Hypertension

Imagine if you were warned every time you were about to fall, or cut yourself, with enough time to change the outcome. You’d likely change whatever it is that you’re doing to prevent the injury.


There are few things in life that give you as big a warning signal as hypertension does, yet all too often, these signals go unheeded. At Family Life Medical, we want to help our patients in Conroe, Texas, better understand the clear and present danger that hypertension represents, and how inaction may lead to some very serious consequences.


In the following, we’ve pulled together six reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your hypertension.


1. Heart attack or stroke

Hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure of the blood against your artery walls is too high. If your arteries are narrowing, your heart needs to pump harder in order to circulate your blood properly, and this extra effort creates added force on your arterial walls.


Think of your circulatory system as a mechanized drainage system. If the hoses leading away from the pump are all clear, the machine hums along, pushing water out and through. If, however, the hose starts to clog up, the pump needs to work harder to push the water through. After a time, the hose may burst or the pump may burn out entirely because it wasn’t designed to work that hard.


That pump is your heart. As your arterial walls continue to thicken, a condition known as atherosclerosis, your heart is working harder and harder to deliver blood, and this effort can lead to a heart attack or stroke.


2. Aneurysm


Hypertension can weaken the walls of your blood vessels, causing them to bulge, which is how an aneurysm is formed. Since the arterial wall tissue was already weak, the aneurysm may rupture, which can be fatal.


3. Vision loss

The blood vessels in your eyes are fragile, and high blood pressure may damage these vessels, leading to vision loss.



4. Kidney disease

Every day your kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of blood to produce urine. High blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries around your kidneys, greatly compromising their ability to filter your blood.


5. Heart failure

Because your heart is working hard to deliver blood, it begins to build extra muscle. While this may be a good thing in the gym, not so with your heart. The thickening heart walls can become stiff, weakening your heart’s ability to perform its primary function — delivering blood to every region of your body.


6. Sexual dysfunction

If the previous five still haven’t convinced you of the dangers of leaving hypertension untreated, perhaps this one will. The link between high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction is well established. If there isn’t enough blood flow to the penis, an erection can become difficult. Women, too, may suffer from less blood flow to the genitals.


While our intent isn’t to scare you unnecessarily, it is to motivate you to do something about your hypertension. And we’re here to help. At Family LIfe Medical, we treat each patient individually, so we’ll come up with a plan that best suits your health, your lifestyle, and your goals. This usually entails medications, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle recommendations.


Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call our office in Conroe, Texas, to get started on lowering your blood pressure numbers. Or, use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment

Author
Dr. Kyle Scarborough Dr. Kyle Scarborough is a family medicine physician at Family Life Medical in Conroe, Texas. Dr. Scarborough offers care for the entire family, including wellness exams, diabetes care, hypertension treatment, geriatric care, well woman exam, school physicals, and pre-ops and hospital follow ups.

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