Dr. Arie Blitz MD MBA is a top Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Entrepreneur, and Medicolegal Expert. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to his specialty, Dr. Arie Blitz is an expert in changing the lives of his patients for the better, as well as the lives of the public at large through education. Through... more
Hypertension is known infamously as the “silent killer,” and for good reason: For most patients, you do not “feel” high blood pressure. Its effects most commonly don’t occur for years after its onset. However, the effects are cumulative and devastating. Because its presence doesn’t declare itself in obvious fashion and because many patients with hypertension view the disease as something that can be addressed sometime later, its insidious presence leads to complications that have serious consequences.
What does hypertension do?
Hypertension can cause damage to almost every organ in the body. The damage is caused by the unrelenting stress of higher pressures impacting one’s blood vessels and organs. High pressure causes blood vessels to thicken and develop atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The hardened arteries are prone to becoming narrowed over time and obstructing blood flow to an organ. If the organ is the heart, it may cause coronary disease and heart attacks. Also, over time, high pressure in the blood vessels makes the heart work harder, and the heart’s response to that work overload is to thicken its muscle. To most people, bigger muscles imply something positive, as in an athlete who develops larger muscles in response to exercise. For the heart, thickening is very detrimental. The thickening causes the heart to function poorly and can further impair its blood supply. Heart failure often results.
Other effects on blood vessels include aneurysm formation. The repeated damage from high pressure impacting blood vessels causes the weakest areas to expand, resulting in ballooning of the vessel otherwise known as aneurysm formation. Catastrophically, these aneurysms can rupture or tear, and most patients die almost immediately.
Other organs prominently damaged by hypertension are the brain and the kidney. When it damages the brain, hypertension can cause strokes and dementia. When it damages the kidney, renal failure often ensues ultimately leading to dialysis.
The vast majority of patients I see in my cardiac surgery practice have hypertension. They come to see me because they now have heart disease that needs to be addressed by heart surgery. Interestingly and paradoxically, often patients change their lifestyle and adhere to their medications much more closely after heart surgery. This arises because patients do not want to have to undergo such a procedure ever again. If these same individuals came to such a realization years before heart surgery, many perhaps could have avoided having to undergo surgery.
The “silent killer” needs to be addressed in its earliest stages, before calamitous and irreversible damage occurs. For most, lifestyle changes and medical therapy can drastically reduce once risk of developing these consequences simply by lowering blood pressure to within normal limits. Affordable home blood pressure monitoring kits facilitate the management of this condition by giving your doctor an appreciation for how well your blood pressure is controlled over time. Ignoring hypertension comes at a steep price: your health.
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Dr. Arie Blitz MD MBA is a top Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Entrepreneur, and Medicolegal Expert. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to his specialty, Dr. Arie Blitz is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through his designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Arie Blitz MD is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. Arie Blitz MD is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. He embodies the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. Dr. Arie Blitz is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.