Hypertensive cardiovascular disease (HCD) is an umbrella term for a disease which includes enlargement of the heart, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.
This results from suffering often for a long period of time from high blood pressure (HBP) (hypertension).
When you suffer from untreated (HBP), the heart has to work extra hard to pump your blood around your body. In a normal healthy body it can maintain this extra work for months or even a few years, but eventually it becomes tired and the muscles in the heart become enlarged. The arteries which supply the blood also suffer, they begin to harden and often become coated with cholesterol plaque which makes them become narrow. Because of this, the heart has to work even harder and becomes even more diseased.
The problem with this type of condition is it tends to creep up on people unexpectedly. Many of those who reach the stage of hypertensive cardio vascular disease probably had no idea they even had a raised pressure as they had no symptoms, very often the first sign they are ill is when they are rushed into hospital with cardiac problems or even stroke. This is why this is known as the “silent killer”
Symptoms to look out for if you have a history of high blood pressure and suspect you may have hypertensive cardiovascular dis-ease is
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Weakness and fatigue
* Oedema or swelling in ankles and feet
* Frequency of micturition (Urinating)
* Sweating and dizziness
* Nausea and stomach pain
If you have HBP and you present with any of these symptoms you should seek medical assistance urgently.
Because HBP is so common, many people make the mistake of thinking it’s not a serious concern. If it’s caught and treated early enough it doesn’t have to be serious, but if left untreated then it can ultimately cause damage to not only your heart but also other organs in your body such as your kidneys and eyes. You are also at a greater risk of developing type two diabetes and stroke if you let this diseased condition go unchecked.
If you do have hypertensive cardiovascular disease (hcd) then its imperative it’s treated medically by a competent health care provider otherwise you may be at risk of developing further health complications such as angina, stroke, heart failure, heart arrhythmias and unfortunately death.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, with a little bit of common sense and a change in your outlook on life you should be able to manage effectively so there will be no eventual cardiovascular repercussions.
Regular monitoring is essential especially if you’ve taken the decision not to take any medication. Many health care providers like to try a change in lifestyle first before they commit their patients to medication so it’s important that it is monitored carefully to ensure it doesn’t get any worse.
Treatment for HCD
The primary goal is a reduction to a safe level if it’s high. Lowering the level immediately takes much of the strain off the heart and helps it to rest.
Obviously treatment will be varied and dependent on the exact nature of the heart disease but will possibly include diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and calcium channel blockers.
A lifestyle change may also have to be considered as cardiovascular disease is a very serious illness and can be fairly limiting depending on the severity. For many people mild to moderate changes in their lifestyle may be all that’s needed whilst for others they could be more far reaching. It’s a discussion that needs to be made with both your physician and your family.