Several factors may work together to create an environment that is conducive to hypertension. Hypertension is the result of any conditions that make the heart work harder to push the blood throughout the body. The two main causes of hypertension involve the amount of fats and lipids in the blood that makes it thicker than normal and causes plaque to build up in the arteries. As the arteries begin to narrow, the heart must pump harder to force a certain volume of blood through the narrowed arteries. Another cause of hypertension is the hardening of the walls of the blood vessels. Blood vessels are normally soft and work with the muscles to help push the blood along its path. When plaque builds up or a person no longer exercises, the walls of the blood vessels begin to harden, putting more pressure on the heart.
Simple lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on a person's high blood pressure or hypertension. Eliminating smoking and avoidance of confined areas where there is an excessive amount of air pollution will improve circulation making it easier for blood to flow through the body. Eliminating fatty foods from the diet will reduce the number of lipids that flow through the veins and thicken the blood. Including heart-healthy foods in the diet will also help to reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol that make their way into the blood. Exercise helps to massage the arteries and veins, making them more pliable and able to help with the process of circulation.
Hypertension does not occur overnight. The effects of hypertension slowly build over time. The buildup of plaque in the arteries can take several years, as does the hardening of the arteries that is associated with the lack of exercise. If hypertension is not treated while these symptoms are in their earliest stages, a person may experience a heart attack or stroke. In some cases, the inability to properly pump the blood through the body may result in damage to the heart muscle. As time passes and the heart continues to weaken, the risk of a potentially life-threatening heart attack increases. This is often referred to as congestive heart failure.
Total Body HealthCare works with a variety of insurances. If you have any questions, please call our office and one of our knowledgable staff members would be happy to help.