BP Basics

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A By-Product Of Hypertension

A person with high blood pressure or hypertension is by no means safe from the danger of its concomitant complications. High blood pressure can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, bones, brain and even make you lose your sexual drive. Therefore, it is extremely essential to keep blood pressure under control.

Another disease that hypertension can cause is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH). This is a condition wherein the wall of the major pumping chamber of the heart becomes thickened and too shortened. This happens because of the extra work that your heart is forced to do. All this extra work limits the ability of the heart to pump blood and ultimately damages the normal functioning of the heart.

This condition increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, sudden death, and even heart failure. In addition to all these complications, it can also lead to swelling in body tissues and the development of congestive heart failure.

Symptoms of LVH:
LVH generally produces almost no symptoms. But when it reaches the advanced stage, it may show the following symptoms:

1) Kidney malfunction or failure
2) Mental confusion
3) Angina
4) Swelling (edema) of the legs
5) Swollen neck veins
6) Shortness of breath
7) Abdominal discomfort like pain, nausea and swelling
8) Galloping heartbeat

Diagnosis of LVH:
It is generally diagnosed on the basis of your medical history, physical examination, an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a chest x-ray. Once the condition is diagnosed, it can be treated by controlling blood pressure naturally or medically with the help of medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers.

But, all said and done, you cannot deny the fact that 'Prevention is better than cure'.