High blood pressure can cause serious and lasting damage to your body’s basic systems. Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are all potential complications associated with the condition.
Coronary artery disease is the narrowing of the arteries that feed the heart itself. The condition narrows the arteries and may result in chest pain or even heart attack. The left side of the heart may also become enlarged under high blood pressure conditions. The left ventricle may stiffen, limiting its ability to pump blood throughout the body. The condition increases risks of sudden cardiovascular failure. Heart failure can result from the constant strain on the heart that makes it work harder to push blood around the body. The heart becomes less efficient, is overwhelmed, and begins to fail.
Normal blood pressure allows your blood to flow freely around the body. The veins and arteries that carry the blood cells through the body with their precious cargo of nutrients and oxygen are flexible, strong, and elastic. Healthy blood vessels have a smooth inner lining, allowing the cells to slide along the biological superhighway on their journey through the body. Increased pressure puts additional strain on your blood vessels, causing long-lasting and sometimes irreparable, damage.
Diet, a lack of proper exercise, sometimes due to injury or arthritis, can contribute to the development of high blood pressure symptoms. A family history of heart problems may be a factor as well. Whatever the causes for high blood pressures, it’s important that you work with your doctor to mitigate the symptoms.
Recently, the FDA has been running tests on PDE5 inhibitors as a potential treatment for hypertension. The drugs help dilate the blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure and less strain on the heart. While it’s too early to know if the medications will be effective in all patients, they’ve shown great promise.
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