What damage can a high blood pressure cause?

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Dr James Thompson is a UK-based GP. He will answer all of your questions about medical and health issues. You are welcome to use all or part of this transcript if referring to Dr James Thompson and askdocjames.com

High blood pressure can give you symptoms, which include headaches and palpitations. However often high blood pressure can be symptomless and this is one of the problems with the condition. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can significantly increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. It does this by slowly depositing a fatty tissue called atheroma into your arteries. This leads to them thickening, reducing the flow of blood as a result.
Uncontrolled blood pressure means that your blood pressure measurements are higher than one hundred and forty over ninety. To understand these figures more watch my video “What is blood pressure?” These numbers may need to be even lower if you have diabetes. You may then be given medication to lower your blood pressure. Your medication is unlikely to make you feel any different but it is important that you keep taking it as lowering your blood pressure will lower your risk of problems.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your Doctor is going to want to keep an eye on you so expect to be invited for at least annual reviews to check your blood pressure. They are also going to want to check you over for other risk factors such as heart attacks and strokes, diabetes and high cholesterol. I would strongly urge you to quit smoking if you are a smoker especially if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

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