High Blood Pressure is Dangerous to the Heart Do You Know Your Numbers?

By Haris Turalic, MD, F.A.C.C. –

Chances are that you know someone with high blood pressure; maybe you have the condition as well. If you haven’t checked your blood pressure recently, you should make it priority to do so at your next doctor visit. Long term, uncontrolled or untreated high blood pressure can cause wide range of changes in the anatomy of the heart and kidneys. Cardiovascular diseases triggered by the direct or indirect effects of high blood pressure, is known as hypertensive heart disease. These heart diseases include angina and coronary artery disease; heart failure; and hypertrophy of the heart muscle (heart muscle thickening).

Causes of Hypertensive Heart Disease
High blood pressure is the major triggering factor of hypertensive heart disease and is the subsequent cause of death. In general, high blood pressure is a serious condition associated with high pressure within the arterial blood vessels. As a result, the workload of the heart is increased and it pumps harder in order to keep pace with this pressure. Due, to the excessive pressure within the blood vessels, the major vessels of the heart (coronary arteries) tend to rupture and damage over time. This promotes the development of arterial plaque due to the deposition of collagen and subsequent clot formation inside the blood vessels. Subsequently, the heart muscle thickens and the patient tends to develop serious life threatening complications.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertensive Heart Disease

The symptoms of hypertensive heart disease vary from patient to patient. A combination of symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain with following mild physical activity or at rest, sweating, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, rapid or irregular pulse, cough with bloody mucus, feet and ankle swelling, and palpitations may be present. Not everyone with hypertensive heart disease experiences symptoms, after all high blood pressure is often called “the silent killer.”

Treating Hypertensive Heart Disease
The treatment of the hypertensive heart disease depends on diagnosis and root cause of the condition. Treatment is generally aimed at controlling the high blood pressure. Effectively lowering the high blood pressure can significantly minimize the symptoms of heart disease. Medications, lifestyle alterations, and surgery are the most common ways to control and prevent hypertensive heart disease.

Recommended Foods to Control and
Prevent Hypertensive Heart Disease
Appropriate intake of right foods is critical to control hypertensive heart disease. The main goal of food intake is to deliver high fiber, lean protein, natural foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables to the body. Increasing intake of calcium, healthy fats (olive oil, flax seed oil, mustard oil), omega 3 fatty acids (obtained from sea foods, kelp, salmon, sun flower seeds, flax seeds, nuts, olives, tuna), whole grains (barley, wheat, oats, and rye) and soy can aid in lowering and managing blood pressure.

In contrast, if you have high blood pressure, you should avoid oily foods, foods containing trans fats, fried foods and salty foods. Intake of sodium (salt) should be limited as it increases the salt and water retention in the body and predisposes you to kidney disease. High cholesterol containing foods such as red meat, egg yolk, oily foods, sweets and fatty animal products should be avoided as well.

Hypertensive heart disease symptoms are present in 7 out of 100 people and are the leading cause of death throughout the world. Don’t become another statistic simply because you don’t know what your blood pressure is. It is recommended that adults have their blood pressure checked regularly at least every two year.

Seeing a heart doctor can help determine if you need to change your lifestyle to prevent heart problems down the road. Knowing your family’s medical history can help you better understand your own risk for having issues with your heart as well.

Lehigh Medical Group | Haris Turalic, MD, F.A.C.C. Leading Cardiologist  | 239.368.6017

Specialty Interests:
Non-Invasive Cardiology
Undergraduate Education:
B.S. Brooklyn College,
The City University of New York. 1999
Medical Education:
M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine
New York. NY 2004
Advanced Training:
New York University Medical Center
(Cardiology Internship and Residency)
North –Shore-LIJ Health System
New York University Fellowship Program
(Cardiology Fellowship)
Professional Experience:
Augusta Health Cardiology,
Fishersville, VA 2010- 2013
Lehigh Medical Group 2013 – present
Certification:
American Board of Internal Medicine
2007 – 2017
American Board of Internal Medicine,
Cardiovascular Disease
2010-2020
Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology,
2010-2020
National Board of Echocardiography
2011-2021
Licensure:
Florida, New York, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky.

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