Are you suffering from hypertension? This medical condition occurs when your blood pressure level increases rapidly. Hypertension may occur because of several reasons and it can interfere with the overall functioning of the body affecting different parts. It may lead to severe health hazards, such as stroke, heart failure and heart diseases.
Other body parts like kidneys, eyes and limbs may also be affected by hypertension. Here are the various effects of hypertension on different parts of the body:
- Circulatory system: High blood pressure may cause arteries to stretch too much, which leads to damage. A scar tissue may develop within the arteries over a period of time. This is a condition known as atherosclerosis, which traps cholesterol and plaque, leading to coronary artery disease. When the heart’s left ventricle gets thickened, the ability to pump blood gets disrupted. Trapped blood may result in blood clots, which block and narrow the arteries, causing a stroke or heart attack. Chest pain and arrhythmias are also likely to occur from high blood pressure.
- Central nervous system: An unsteady supply of oxygen in the blood leads to the dysfunction of the brain. Narrowed arteries and blood clot block the flow of blood to the brain and this is referred to as a transient ischemic attack or a mini stroke. People with this condition are more likely to experience a full stroke, if the blood supply to the brain shuts off completely. Hypertension is the biggest risk factor for strokes. Mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia are other effects on the central nervous system due to hypertension. Retinopathy occurs when there is some damage in the blood vessels, which carry blood to the eyes. It causes bleeding and builds fluid in the retina.
- Excretory system: The kidneys too are affected when there is a lack of oxygenated blood supply and they cannot function normally. Due to restricted blood supply, the kidneys may become inefficient at removing toxins for which you may need a kidney transplant or dialysis.
- Sexual dysfunction: Hypertension may lead to certain sexual dysfunctions in men and women. In men, the insufficient supply of blood to the penis will prevent him from achieving a proper erection during sex. Chronic high blood pressure may affect arteries and blood vessels, which lead to the penis and result in erectile dysfunction. In women, the blood flow to the vagina is affected due to hypertension. This leads to vaginal dryness, decreased libido, painful intercourse and pain during intercourse.
Hypertension affects all the vital organs of the body. Hence, it is important for everyone to keep their blood pressure under check and in case of hypertension, proper management is required to reduce the various risks associated. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.