Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Why You Shouldn't Leave Your High Blood Pressure Untreated

Why You Shouldn't Leave Your High Blood Pressure Untreated

During your lifetime, chances are you’ll have your blood pressure taken thousands of times. While blood pressure screenings have been a long-standing part of a medical checkup, today even health care professionals like dentists and physical therapists do blood pressure checks. You can even monitor your blood pressure at home or using kiosks at your local drug store or supermarket.

You might wonder what the big deal is about high blood pressure. After all, about half of the general population has high blood pressure. How serious can it be? Don’t let the fact that high blood pressure is so common fool you, says the expert team of medical professionals at Generations Family Practice in Cary, North Carolina. If left untreated, high blood pressure can have serious, sometimes life-threatening implications.

Why healthy blood pressure matters

A great place to start this topic is to break down what healthy blood pressure is and why it matters to your overall health. Under normal circumstances, when everything is in tip-top shape, the human body operates as a carefully choreographed system of organs, each with their distinct roles.

For everything to function properly, every tissue, cell, and organ in your body relies on getting a steady supply of nutrient-rich blood. This healthy blood flow hinges on sufficient, but not excessive, force or pressure to transport blood from the heart to the lungs to get oxygen and then to get that oxygenated blood through arteries and deliver it to the rest of the body.

A blood pressure reading is two numbers that measure the amount of force needed to circulate blood within your veins and arteries. When someone is diagnosed with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, the pressure on the walls of your veins or arteries is deemed excessive. High blood pressure is a reading of 130 or higher for systolic pressure, the top number, or an 80 or higher for diastolic pressure, or the bottom number.

Untreated hypertension and systemic health issues

With high blood pressure, your veins and arteries and your heart need to shift into overdrive just to pump your blood through your body. If left untreated, this scenario may cause damage or blockages of blood vessels and even lead to heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.

When high blood pressure damages your blood vessels, your body’s natural healing processes kick in and special cells stick to the damaged areas. After a while, fats and cholesterol also gather and form plaque. This whole process serves to narrow the inside of arteries, which may lead to blockages, which can ultimately trigger a stroke or heart attack.

 High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease and the top preventable cause of stroke. Remarkably, stroke and heart disease cause more deaths than all types of cancer and respiratory diseases like emphysema, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  (COPD) combined.

But that’s not all. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to vision loss, kidney disease or failure, sexual dysfunction, and can put you at a higher risk for developing diabetes or make diabetes harder to control if you already have it.

Know your numbers

Staying on top of important health indicators like high blood pressure makes sense, but with high blood pressure it can literally save your life. High blood pressure is one of those medical conditions that for many people do not have any outward symptoms. Remarkably, a third of the people who have high blood pressure don’t know they have it. No wonder high blood pressure has the dubious nickname “the silent killer.”

Here at Generations Family Practice, we recommend annual exams and checkups to help keep you healthy. We use these appointments not only to get a handle on health metrics like blood pressure, but also to get to know our patients better so we can mitigate small issues before they become big problems.

Things like high cholesterol, not getting enough exercise, or eating a poor diet with lots of salt and processed foods can set up a perfect storm for high blood pressure. During a regular exam or checkup, we can measure or discuss these factors. Our caring and nonjudgmental team is passionate about helping our patients, not only to know where they are health-wise but also how they can live their best lives.

If you have concerns about your blood pressure, book a consultation today. We can assess your risks for high blood pressure and work with you to maintain your optimal health. Call or book an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Hair Restoration Really Work?

Does Hair Restoration Really Work?

Hair loss can take a toll on your confidence. After all, a healthy head of hair makes you look young and vibrant. When you notice your hair thinning, what can you do? Read on to learn about hair restoration.

Is Apnea Wrecking Your Sleep?

The phrase “sleeping like a baby” is a foreign language to most Americans. For some people, winding down after a long day is difficult. But for many others snoring and sleep apnea are the culprits. Read on.
Why Can't I Quit Smoking?

Why Can't I Quit Smoking?

Millions of Americans try to quit smoking each year, but only a small number of people actually succeed. So why is it so hard to kick cigarettes to the curb? Read on.

I Think I Have an STD: What Now?

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are very common and can be embarrassing to talk about, even with your doctor. Read on to learn more about STDs and what to do if you think you’ve been exposed.