Almost half of adults in the United States have hypertension, which places them at great risk for developing some very serious cardiovascular issues. In fact, hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer, which gives you some idea about just how serious these complications can be.
To illustrate the dangers of untreated hypertension, Dr. Sean P. Nikravan and our team decided to devote this month’s blog post to the subject. Below, we review the dangers of high blood pressure and explain how we can help you avoid them.
Hypertension is a condition in which the pressure of your blood in your arteries is too high — over time, it can weaken the blood vessels. This weakening places you at far greater risk for serious and life-threatening complications, such as:
Hypertension can also be one component of a group of disorders we classify as metabolic syndrome. In addition to high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome includes a combination of high triglyceride levels, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) levels, high insulin numbers, and a large waist circumference.
Unfortunately, hypertension can be asymptomatic, especially in the early stages, which is why it’s commonly referred to as a silent killer. This also means that only one-quarter of adults who have high blood pressure in the US are being treated properly for the condition.
There are several ways in which you can lower your blood pressure — and diet and exercise top the list. While it may seem counterintuitive to make your heart pump harder through exercise, any activity that increases your heart rate improves the flow of blood through your body and helps to strengthen your heart muscles.
When it comes to diet, one of the most important things you can do when you have hypertension is to cut out sodium (salt) so your kidneys can filter your blood more easily.
You also should cut way back on fatty foods that affect the levels of lipids in your blood. Under normal circumstances, your body should have a certain amount of lipids for energy, but if these levels are too high, the lipids can stick to the walls of your arteries and hamper blood flow.
To ensure the balance, you should have good levels of HDLs, which cart off excess lipids to your kidneys for filtering. If your levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are too high and overwhelm your HDLs, artery blockage can occur.
Another problem occurs when your HDL levels are too low, which also allows lipids to build up in your blood vessels.
What this means is that managing your lipid levels is important for safeguarding your heart health and lowering your blood pressure numbers. Through our lipid management, weight management, and cardiovascular risk assessment services — which includes medications, as well as dietary and lifestyle counseling — we help you accomplish just that.
If you’d like to take charge of your health by lowering your blood pressure numbers, please contact our office in Newport Beach, California, to set up an appointment, or request a consultation online.