Hypertensive heart disease is a late complication of hypertension that affects your heart. Hypertensive heart disease is the number one cause of death related with hypertension and is actually a group of ailment that includes heart failure, ischematic heart disease, and hypertensive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Heart failure is when your heart’s pumping capability is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slow pace and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, high blood pressure increases the workload of the heart, and eventually, this can cause thickening of your heart muscle and the symptoms of hypertensive heart disease. As your heart continues to pump against elevated pressure in the blood vessels, the left ventricle becomes enlarge, and the amount of blood pumped by the heart each minute goes down. If this condition is not treated symptoms of congestive heart failure like swelling of arms, legs, ankles, feet, and many others, may develop.
Hypertension gives rise to heart failure by causing coronary artery disease of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The symptoms of heart failure may include shortness of breath, swelling in the feet/ankles/abdomen, difficulty sleeping flat in bed, bloating, irregular pulse, nausea, fatigue, and constant urination at night.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition wherein a part of your heart muscle is enlarged preventing the heart valves from doing their job, or may keep the blood from flowing out of the heart. The symptoms of this condition may include chest pain, irregular pulse, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath fatigue and weakness.
Hypertension can also cause ischematic heart disease. This occurs when heart muscle is not getting enough blood. Ischematic heart disease is generally the result of atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, which can obstruct the flow of blood and may lead to a heart attack. The symptoms of ischematic heart disease are:
o Chest pain which may travel to your arms, neck, back, or jaw
o Chest pain with nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, and dizziness. The associated symptoms may occur without chest pain
o Irregular pulse
o Fatigue and weakness
Your doctor will look for certain signs, like high blood pressure, enlarged heart, fluid in the lungs or lower extremities, and unusual heart sounds, in order to diagnose hypertensive heart disease. Tests also will be performed by your doctor to determine if you have hypertensive heart disease, like an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, cardiac stress test, chest X-ray, and coronary Angiogram.
In order to treat hypertensive heart disease, your doctor has to treat the hypertension that is causing it. You doctor may treat it with different medications, which include diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and vasodilators. In addition, your doctor will advise you to change your lifestyle. Proper diet, monitoring your weight, avoiding the use of tobacco products and alcohol, and regular health screenings are the things you have to consider so as not to worsen your present condition.
The aggravation of hypertensive heart disease can be treated if your hypertension that is causing it is first treated. You may need certain medications, or in rare cases you may undergo surgery to correct your condition. Still, it is important to keep your lifestyle as heart-healthy as possible to avoid more complications.