Left untreated, hypertension can lead to a reduced life expectancy due to the health complications it can cause. Hypertension is serious because it increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases. It can also damage arteries which could lead to aneurysms, kidney failure, vision loss, and peripheral artery disease. People left untreated are at a greater risk for developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome. In addition, it can cause organ damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver.
What Increases Your Risk for Developing Hypertension?
Lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on your blood pressure. For example, eating healthier foods, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption will all help lower your risk of developing hypertension. Additionally, quitting smoking is an important step in protecting heart health. Factors responsible for contributing to hypertension can include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Consuming too much salt
- Getting too little dietary potassium
- Lack of physical activity
- Chronic stress
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking too much alcohol
- The Silent Danger of Hypertension
How Can Hypertension Be Treated?
Hypertension can be treated with lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
Lifestyle changes that can help lower blood pressure include:
- Reducing sodium intake
- Increasing physical activity and exercise
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Consuming a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat
Medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and beta-blockers can be used to control hypertension. Combining lifestyle changes with medication is often the most effective way of treating high blood pressure. It is important to remember that each individual’s treatment plan should be tailored according to their specific needs and goals. Additionally, regular check-ups and high blood pressure monitoring are important so that any changes can be detected and necessary action taken.