Everyone knows that high blood pressure is considered serious by doctors. But for most of us, we do not know why.

High blood pressure, left unchecked, can have serious consequences. The dangers can range from vision problems to ulcers to an outright heart attack or stroke and death.

The higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of heart disease and stroke.

How does this impact your heart?

When the heart is forced to overwork for an extended period of time, it tends to enlarge. A slightly enlarged heart can function well, but a significantly enlarged heart cannot.

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body s needs.

The result of the heart s inability to pump enough blood can lead to kidney damage or even a stroke.

If left unchecked, high blood pressure can narrow and then thicken the blood vessels feeding the kidneys, whose primary function is to serve as a filter for the body and to dispose of its waste.

When denied enough blood to function properly, the kidneys begin to filter less fluid and the excess waste begins to build up in the bloodstream.

Eventually, if nothing is done, the kidneys can fail altogether, requiring dialysis to do the job for them.

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for strokes.

When a blood clot blocks one of the narrowed arteries, stroke can easily be the end result. And if your blood pressure becomes so high that it causes a break in one of the weakened blood vessels, which then bleeds into the brain, stroke is nearly unavoidable.

Dangerous effects of high blood pressure:

1. Damage to cerebral tissues, resulting in convulsions, ataxia or impaired speech. Even brain death may occur in those patients with severe high blood pressure.

2. Ulcers may develop in the gastrointestinal system. These occur most often in prolonged cases of hypertension.

3. Depression, though not directly related to high blood pressure, is often one of the consequences when hypertension begins to affect the body’s organs and the health issues become more complicated.

High blood pressure is dangerous because it requires your heart to work laboriously.

That, in turn, can harden the walls of the arteries, which raises the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first-and-third leading causes of death for Americans.

While high blood pressure can appear harmless at first glance, a closer look quickly uncovers the potential for a variety of problems, including heart failure, kidney disease and blindness.

Every time you visit your doctor, no matter what the visit is for, make sure you have your blood pressure checked.

And if you have any suspicions that your blood might be on the high side, visit your doctor immediately. Your health is worth the extra caution.

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