High Blood Pressure – What Does It Mean?
High blood pressure occurs when the pressure in the arteries begins to rise – often a result of the narrowing of arteries and veins throughout the body. High blood pressure can be particularly dangerous to those predisposed to heart disease – resulting from genetic or environmental factors. This is because high blood pressure forces the heart to pump harder. Since the heart is a muscle, just like any other in our bodies, increased pumping leads to enlargement. As the heart swells, it becomes less effective at pushing blood and oxygen throughout the circulatory system. The result, over time, is actually a weakening of the heart muscle, which in turn can lead to a significant cardiovascular event such as congestive heart failure. The arteries in the body are also under added strain due to the increased pressure. This weakening can cause heart attacks, strokes or aneurysms – all sudden and deadly problems.
As such, the dangers of high blood pressure are a very real medical concern. Further, most patients do not have any outward symptoms of the condition, meaning that damage can continue unnoticed for years.
Beyond a genetic predisposition, environmental and lifestyle issues can contribute to high blood pressure as well. For example, many patients who suffer from excess weight and obesity have high blood pressure. Further, the eating habits of those who suffer from obesity often lend themselves to poor dietary choices that promote plaque buildup in the arteries and veins, thereby restricting blood flow and increasing pressure.
As for treatment, medications are not the only option for controlling high blood pressure. To be sure changes in diet and exercise – lifestyle in general – can go a long way toward reducing the chance of a cardiovascular event due to high blood pressure. Another option is bariatric surgery, which is one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments for high blood pressure since it fights one of the root causes – obesity. Indeed, taking medication for obesity related blood pressure only masks the problem and does not solve it at the core.
Patients who have a BMI or Body Mass Index of over 30 with one or more comorbid conditions such as high blood pressure may be candidates for surgical intervention for their obesity. Learn more by visiting our “Do I Qualify” page where you can understand the criteria used to evaluate a patient’s candidacy for bariatric surgery.
High blood pressure is not a condition to ignore. Rather, it should be managed and preferably treated at the source. Please speak to your primary physician, cardiologist and bariatric surgeon to learn more about the possibility and effectiveness of bariatric surgery for your particular medical condition.Back To All Posts