Hypertensive heart disease describes heart conditions triggered by high blood pressure. The heart working under increased pressure triggers some various heart conditions. Hypertensive heart disease includes heart failure, thickening of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, and other conditions. Hypertensive heart disease can trigger severe health issue. It’s the leading cause of death from high blood pressure.
Types of Hypertensive Heart Disease
In general, the heart issues associated with high blood pressure relate to the heart’s arteries and muscles. The kinds of hypertensive heart disease include:
Narrowing of the Arteries
Coronary arteries transportation blood to your heart muscle. When high blood pressure triggers the blood vessels to end up being narrow, blood flow to the heart can slow or stop. This condition is called coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease.
CHD makes it hard for your heart to work and supply the rest of your organs with blood. It can put you at risk for heart attack from a blood clot that gets stuck in among the narrowed arteries and cuts off blood flow to your heart.
Thickening and Enlargement of the Heart
High blood pressure makes it hard for your heart to pump blood. Like other muscles in your body, regular hard work causes your heart muscles to thicken and grow. This alters the way the heart functions. These modifications usually take place in the main pumping chamber of the heart, the left ventricle. The condition is referred to as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
CHD can trigger LVH and vice versa. When you have CHD, your heart needs to work harder. If LVH expands your heart, it can compress the coronary arteries.
Both CHD and LVH can lead to:
- heart failure: your heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to the rest of your body
- arrhythmia: your heart beats abnormally
- ischemic heart disease: your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen
- heart attack: blood flow to the heart is disrupted and the heart muscle dies from lack of oxygen
- unexpected heart attack: your heart all of a sudden stops working, you stop breathing, and you lose consciousness
- stroke and sudden death
Who Is at Risk for Hypertensive Heart Disease?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Over 610,000 Americans die from heart disease every year.
The primary risk element for hypertensive heart disease is high blood pressure. Your danger increases if:
- you’re overweight
- you don’t exercise enough
- you smoke
- you eat food high in fat and cholesterol
You’re more prone to heart disease if it runs in your household. Men are more likely to get heart disease than women who have not gone through menopause. Men and postmenopausal women are similarly at risk. Your risk for heart disease will increase as you age, despite your sex.
Identifying the Symptoms of Hypertensive Heart Disease
Signs vary depending upon the seriousness of the condition and progression of the illness. You might experience no signs, or your symptoms may include:
- chest pain (angina).
- tightness or pressure in the chest.
- shortness of breath.
- pain in the neck, back, arms, or shoulders.
- persistent cough.
- loss of appetite.
- leg or ankle swelling.
You require emergency situation care if your heart is all of a sudden beating rapidly or irregularly. Look for emergency situation care instantly or call 911 if you pass out or have severe pain in your chest.
Regular physical exams will suggest whether you experience high blood pressure. If you do have high blood pressure, take additional care to keep an eye out for signs of heart disease.
Testing and Medical diagnosis: When to See the Doctor
Your doctor will evaluate your medical history, carry out a physical exam, and run lab tests to examine your kidneys, sodium, potassium, and blood count.
One or more of the following tests may be utilized to assist identify the reason for your signs:
- Electrocardiogram screens and records your heart’s electrical activity. Your doctor will attach patches to your chest, legs, and arms. The outcomes will be visible on a screen, and your doctor will interpret them.
- Echocardiogram takes a comprehensive picture of your heart using ultrasound.
- Coronary angiography examines the flow of blood through your coronary arteries. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted through your groin or an artery in your arm and up into the heart.
- Exercise stress test looks at how exercise affects your heart. You may be asked to pedal an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill.
- Nuclear stress test examines the flow of blood into the heart. The test is generally performed while you’re resting and exercising.
Treating Hypertensive Heart Disease
Treatment for hypertensive heart disease depends upon the severity of your illness, your age, and your case history.
Medications help your heart in a variety of methods. The main goals are to avoid your blood from clotting, improve the flow of your blood, and lower your cholesterol.
Examples of common heart disease medications include:
- water pills to assist lower blood pressure.
- nitrates to treat chest pain.
- statins to treat high cholesterol.
- calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors to help lower blood pressure.
- aspirin to prevent blood clots.
It is essential to always take all medications precisely as recommended.
Surgeries and Devices
In more extreme cases, you might need surgery to increase blood flow to your heart. If you require aid regulating your heart’s rate or rhythm, your doctor may surgically implant a battery-operated gadget called a pacemaker in your chest. A pacemaker produces electrical stimulation that triggers cardiac muscle to contract. Implantation of a pacemaker is important and useful when cardiac muscle electrical activity is too slow or absent.
Cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are implantable gadgets that can be used to treat serious, dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) treats obstructed coronary arteries. This is only carried out in extreme CHD. A heart transplant or other heart-assisting gadgets may be necessary if your condition is specifically serious.
Recovering from hypertensive heart disease depends upon the exact condition and its intensity. Lifestyle changes can assist keep the condition from worsening sometimes. In extreme cases, medications and surgery may not be effective in controlling the disease.
Preventing Hypertensive Heart Disease
Tracking and avoiding your blood pressure from getting too high is among the most important methods to prevent hypertensive heart disease. Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol by eating a healthy diet and tracking stress levels are perhaps the best ways to avoid heart problems.
Maintaining a healthy weight, getting sufficient sleep, and exercising regularly prevail lifestyle suggestions. Talk to your doctor about methods to enhance your overall health.