As you may already be aware of some of the common types of heart diseases, there is one type of heart disease that is more prevalent than others. As you may have already guessed, it is the Hypertensive Heart Disease.
Hypertensive Heart diseases is a heart disorder that is caused by high blood pressure. It is the number 1 cause for death that is related to high blood pressure.
So, in this article, let’s get to know about hypertensive heart disease and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
What is hypertensive heart disease?
As mentioned above, it is caused due to high blood pressure. A heart disorder is developed when the heart functions at high pressure.
When this happens, the coronary arteries leading to the heart gets narrowed due to the build up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that are collectively known as plaque.
The high blood pressure also eventually leads to the thickening of heart muscles, coronary artery disease, and also other fatal issues like heart failure.
Type of hypertensive heart diseases
There are primarily two heart disorders developed due to hypertensive heart disease.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Coronary Heart Disease causes the blood flow to the heart and body to slow down or stop as the arteries become narrow due to the high blood pressure.
When the blood flow cuts off to your heart or to a body part due to a blood clot, it may cause a heart attack.
Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH)
As high blood pressure makes it hard for your heart to function or pump blood properly, its muscles tend to thicken or enlarge over time. This changes the functioning of your heart, primarily in its main pumping chamber, the left ventricle.
When your heart gets enlarged, it compresses your coronary arteries and narrows it, eventually leading to a Coronary Heart Disease.
In some cases, a Coronary Heart Disease can also cause Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.
Both the CHD and LVH can lead to heart conditions like arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
How serious is the heart failure?
Heart failure in this condition does not mean that it has completely stopped working, but its functioning capacity will be gradually or drastically decreased. The pumping capacity of the heart will decrease, which gradually results in the inefficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to the whole body.
Due to the reduced pumping power, the heart responds by expanding its walls to hold more blood. However, eventually the walls will get weaker. To this development the kidneys will respond by retaining fluid and sodium resulting in fluid buildup in the arms, legs, lungs, and other organs. This condition is called Congestive Heart Failure.
Signs of heart failure
- Swelling in the feat, arms, or abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular pulse
- Excessive urination, especially during the night
- Disturbed sleep
Who are at a risk of developing Hypertensive Heart Disease?
This type of heart disease is common in both men and women and evidently the risk of developing it is more in people with high blood pressure. However, the risk increases as you age regardless of your sex.
The risk of developing it further increases if you have other health conditions like obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and poor diet containing high fat and cholesterol foods.
Symptoms of hypertensive heart diseases
Symptoms may vary from person to person and the severity and progress of the condition. That being said, a few people may not experience any symptoms.
Here are some of the common symptoms of it.
- Poor appetite
- Leg or ankle swelling
- Pain in chest
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in neck, arms, shoulders, and back
- Cough and discomfort or pressure in chest
If you notice any of the above symptoms you need to immediately consult a doctor or contact emergency care if your heart beats erratically.
When to see the doctor and treatment
Firstly, it is important that you get regular health check ups to identify high blood pressure issues. Based on your health check-up and medical history your doctor may recommend few other tests to understand your kidney functioning, sodium and potassium levels, and blood oxygen levels and count. Other tests may include electrocardiogram and angiography among others.
The treatment to it depends on the severity of the issue. If it is still in the initial stages, your doctor may prescribe you medicines to clear blood clots or improve the oxygen flow in the blood and to reduce your cholestrol levels.
However, in severe conditions, it may require a surgery to ease the blood flow to your heart.
While the condition can be detected and mostly healed, the most important part you can do to ensure you do not develop this condition is by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, eating right, and sleeping properly.
If you have more queries or would like to consult a top cardiologist near you, you can always contact us on +91 88-00-644-744.