Table of Contents
- 1 High Blood Pressure Effects
- 2 Effects of low Blood Pressure
- 3 Side Effects of High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure Effects
Generally, people with high blood pressure don’t realize that it is high. It’s the long-term high blood pressure effects that cause the problems. High blood pressure (HBP) causes problems over many years. Left untreated and HBP will cause long term medical conditions. It affects the whole body. HBP side effects can lead to serious medical conditions, disability and even death.
HBP affects the small blood vessels in the body’s organs. The organs and tracts of the body that long-term HBP, also known as chronic high blood pressure, affects most include:
- Blood vessels and arteries
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Arteries
Healthy arteries should be very flexible with a lot of elasticity. Also, the inner lining of a blood vessel should be smooth for blood to flow unobstructed on its way to supply tissue and organs with oxygen and other nutrients.
If there is HBP in the arteries, it can cause many problems. Chronic HBP makes the arteries throughout the body become hard especially those in the heart, brain, and kidneys. This, in turn, causes these organs to work harder.
Other high BP effects on the arteries include:
- Thicker and stiffer arteries
- Weaker arteries
- Narrowing of the arteries
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Heart
The heart pumps blood that contains oxygen and other nutrients throughout the whole body. Chronic HBP can damage the heart in a number of ways. One is by causing the inside of the blood vessels to get smaller and harder therefore causing the pressure inside to increase.
This makes the heart work harder to get blood through the blood vessels. The heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle in the body making it work harder makes the heart grow bigger. A bigger heart is not as good as it sounds. The heart gets stretched out from growing larger.
With the heart working harder to pump, small amounts of blood can remain within the heart. This causes the heart to weaken because it cannot continue to pump any harder against the pressure in the blood vessels. When the heart can no longer pump all the blood out, heart failure occurs. This is known as congestive heart failure.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Brain
Chronic HBP can damage the brain through a stroke. A stroke is characterized by a blockage preventing blood from flowing and providing oxygen to the brain or by an artery leaking blood into the brain.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Kidneys
The kidneys are essential organs that can be seriously hurt by the long term effects of HBP. If the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys are narrowed, the kidneys will not get the blood it needs to function and the kidneys will steadily lose its capability to function.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Eyes
HBP can also cause changes within the eyes. Chronic HBP threatens the blood vessels in the eyes at by:
- Making them narrow
- Causing them to rupture
The by-product of these is impaired vision which can lead to blindness. With HBP blood vessels in the eyes may burst or bleed. As a result eyesight may become cloudy or impaired.
Chronic HBP affects the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. This is why someone with chronic HBP is at serious risk for heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.
Effects of low Blood Pressure
Even though there is a specific limit below which, people are said to have low blood pressure (hypotension), there are many different blood pressure levels which may be considered as ‘low’ for various people. So, we will focus generally on the symptomatic effects of low blood pressure.
The effects of low blood pressure start to manifest when the blood pressure is so low, that it cannot pump enough blood to the body’s vital organs. Because of this, serious and dangerous side effects can potentiate in a person.
Let us look at these symptoms:
1. The head starts to get dizzy; the person feels light headed and may faint. These can be side effects that can emerge because of low blood pressure, which is actually not allowing an adequate amount of perfusion and oxygenation that is needed for the brain to perform adequately.
2. Because of low blood pressure, the heart may also not receive enough blood flow to fulfil its energy requirements. This may precipitate a heart attack in some people. Therefore, take good care of your blood pressure and keep it within the normal range.
3. As mentioned above, because of low blood pressure, important areas of the brain do not receive adequate oxygenation. This is the reason why low blood pressure can often leave a person prone to developing a stroke, in which brain and nerve tissue may be damaged.
4. In a person with low blood pressure, there is low blood volume. This is a condition which is medically known as Hypovolemia (decreased blood volume). This decreased amount of blood volume can further take a person into shock. This condition is then known as a Hypovolemic shock which is a medical emergency, and needs to be promptly treated in order to save the person.
5. Because of Hypovolemia, inadequate amount of blood may reach the kidneys because of which, the kidneys may not receive proper amount of oxygenation. This leads a person prone to developing ‘Acute Renal Failure’.
If low BP is not producing symptoms in a person, and is showing as his normal blood pressure, it is then taken to be a good positive sign. This is because a person with chronically high blood pressure is prone to developing Angina or Myocardial Infarction which is serious medical problems for the person, and is a threat and burden, worldwide.
If you feel that you are developing the effects of low blood pressure in the form of symptoms, you should drink water as much as your body wants at that particular moment, and keep having adequate nutrition. Your doctor will be of great help in alleviating your symptoms that are seen in the form of low blood pressure effects.
Side Effects of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (or hypertension) is the prolonged elevation of the blood pressure. Blood pressure is the combined measurements of the diastolic and systolic pressures in the blood vessels. The diastolic measurement is the pressure between heartbeats, and the systolic measurement is the pressure during a heartbeat.
Normal blood pressure in many people is 120mmHg/80mmHg, where the numerator represents the systolic pressure, and the denominator represents the diastolic pressure. Even though it is most common measurement used, normal blood pressure has a range of 90-119 for systolic pressure and 60-79 for diastolic pressure. Higher pressures than those in the normal range indicate high blood pressure or the potential for it. Symptoms often go unnoticed, but the side effects of high blood pressure are plenty and often very dangerous.
High blood pressure is a dangerous disease. There are usually no obvious symptoms in the mild to moderate stages of this disease. When the disease starts to progress, symptoms like vision disorders, headaches and drowsiness appear but still do not fully indicate how detrimental the disease is. This is because high blood pressure acts silently. It acts on organs including the: heart, kidneys, eyes and brain from the moment the condition is present in the body.
The effects on the body are only obvious when the condition is severe but can be stopped if the disease is detected early. If not detected early there can be serious side effects of high blood pressure including: blindness, edema, heart failure, kidney damage, stroke or even death.
High blood pressure side effects are vast, because this disease affects blood vessels. Blood vessels link organs in a very sophisticated way, hence, if they are damaged due to increased pressure, those effects can trickle down to the organs and affect them in many ways. The organs will respond to short term damage by accommodating to the body’s new environment.
Prolonged damage due to high blood pressure, on the other hand, can seriously damage organs. Some of these ways are described below: In the kidneys, damaged arteries can effect filtration and thus affect proper excretion thus leading to damaged kidneys.
In the heart damaged vessels can lead to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis causing other types of cardiovascular problems.
In the eyes, high pressures may lead to ocular nerve damage, thus affecting vision.
High blood pressure may even disrupt blood flow to the brain hence causing stroke and definite brain damage.
There are no concrete answers for why high blood pressure acts silently but there are ways to prevent getting the disease. Good health and lifestyle practices are very important in this disease’s prevention. Diets low in salt and fats are usually recommended as well as visiting your doctor regularly for a pressure check.
It is very important to protect oneself against the possible side effects of high blood pressure because it gives no warning and yet does so much damage. The side effects are damaging and sometimes permanently so because health is neglected.
Banani Mandal is involved in healthcare market research since 2009. She writes on various health topics and very much passionate about herbal and organic healthcare.