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Hypertensive heart disease is one of the most common reason for deaths due to high blood pressure. It is actually a complication that develops due to high blood pressure or hypertension. Almost 7 out of 1000 people develop the symptoms of this disease. Let us learn about its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Causes

Hypertensive heart disease is a result of overexertion on the heart, due to high blood pressure. It has become one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure is nothing but increased pressure in the blood vessels. The increased pressure in the blood vessels, causes the heart to work harder for pumping the blood through the arteries. High blood pressure can also result into thickening of the heart muscles. When the heart overexerts itself to pump against the increased blood pressure, it leads to enlargement of the left ventricle and thereby reduces the amount of blood pumped by the heart. Thus, high blood pressure when left untreated leads to a number of heart problems. Thickening of the heart muscles worsens the symptoms of atherosclerosis, which is the elevated deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. If timely treatment is not provided, high blood pressure may cause congestive heart failure and ischemic heart disease. Excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking are some of the risk factors for developing the heart disease.

Symptoms

The symptoms actually depend on the heart problem or the complication that has developed. Congestive heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease are three possible heart problems, that can be caused due to hypertensive heart disease. If ischemic heart disease is the complication, then the symptoms include chest pain along with nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness and chest pain on doing certain activity. The symptoms of congestive heart failure are, fatigue, weakness, irregular or rapid pulse, feet and ankle swelling, cough with bloody mucus, palpitations, breath shortness, etc. Chest pain, fainting due to physical activity, light-headedness, etc. are some of the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Treatment

Since, there are various complications that can develop due to high blood pressure, the treatment required for each complication is different from the other. The diagnosis of the complication can help in providing proper treatment to the patient. The physician will perform physical tests and check the blood pressure of the patient. Increased blood pressure, heart enlargement, abnormal heart beats are some of the indications of hypertensive heart disease. Certain laboratory tests that include, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, coronary angiogram, etc. may be performed for further confirmation of the diagnosis of the heart disease. The treatment aims at lowering the elevated blood pressure in the patient's body and thereby, reducing the symptoms of the heart disease. Medications are usually prescribed for such patients, which help to control the blood pressure at normal levels. These medications include, beta blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, etc.

It is necessary that the patient diagnosed with hypertensive heart disease checks his/her blood pressure regularly. Moreover, some lifestyle changes are also required to be done. One should administer the medications regularly as per the guidance of the physician. Dietary changes are a must to control the increased blood pressure. One should avoid consumption of salt, fatty foods, foods high in cholesterol, etc. If the person is overweight, then he/she should reduce the weight to avoid further complications. Regular exercise can help reduce the symptoms of this disease.

Hypertensive heart disease is a serious heart problem and should not be neglected. It can lead to further complications like angina, heart failure, arrhythmias and death. With proper medications, lifestyle changes and precautionary measures, one can lead a healthy and long life.