High blood pressure (BP) hits the very small vessels and capillaries first:
- It can damage the small vessels in the eye (retina) leading to blurred vision. If retinal blood vessels leak and bleed it can cause vision loss.
- It can damage the small vessels in the kidney leading to kidney disease.
- It can damage the small vessels in the brain, causing them to bleed, leading to a bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke.
- It can damage the arteries themselves leading to streaks of buildup in the vessels from scar tissue. That buildup can either clog the artery locally, causing a stroke or heart attack, or a bit may break off (an embolus) and clog an artery further away.
How To Lower Your Blood Pressure
Things that work:
- Lose weight
- Manage stress
- Don't smoke
- Cut back on alcohol
- Move your body more
- Increase dietary potassium (fruits and vegetables)
- Reduce dietary sodium (processed foods)
- Decrease caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks)
- Review meds (steroids, NSAIDS like Advil, decongestants, ginseng, yerba mate and other stimulants like ephedra all increase BP)
- Manage diabetes (insulin resistance and high insulin can cause kidneys to retain sodium, likewise high dietary sodium may exacerbate insulin resistance)
- Manage kidney disease