If you’ve been diagnosed with Hypertension – or high blood pressure – then chances are your doctor has had a discussion with you about the effects this disease can have on your body. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to disability, even a fatal heart attack, but what goes on in your body before it reaches that irreparable stage?
Your Arteries –
Become damaged and narrow. High blood pressure damages the cells of the inner lining within your arteries, making the artery walls thick and stiff. In people with normal blood pressure, arteries are flexible, strong, and elastic.
Your Heart –
Weakens and loses efficiency. It begins to have to work harder to pump blood to all parts of the body, causing the left ventricle to become stiff. This, along with hard, narrowing arteries, limits its ability to pump blood, increasing risk of heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Your Kidneys –
Slowly stop functioning. The tiny blood vessels leading to your kidneys become damaged, making it so your kidneys can’t effectively filter fluid and waste from the blood. This is called Glomerulosclerosis, and can lead to kidney failure.
Your Brain –
Not receiving enough blood, can lose its cognitive abilities, slowly leading to memory loss and dementia. Your brain is also losing out on oxygen and nutrients, which causes brain cells to die and can lead to stroke.
These are all devastating things that can happen, but incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet and reducing (eventually eliminating) processed foods can help prevent these issues from occurring and get you back on the right track with your health!