High blood pressure, is often called a silent killer because typically there are no symptoms to alert you to its presence. It is a very common disease with over 29% of adults in the US having the disease. Hypertension can be caused by many things such as genetics, obesity, too much salt in your diet, or damaged kidneys. A lot of times people don’t treat their hypertension because there aren’t any symptoms however this leads to a lot of potential damage to the body. Persistent high blood pressure increases your risks for a heart attack and a stroke because it stretches your arteries too much over time leading to arteries that become hard, rigid, unable to respond to the demands of the body. Imagine an elastic band, if you stretch it too many times, eventually it just stops working. High blood pressure also causes your heart to become enlarged and floppy, unable to work well because of all the pressure that the heart has had to push against during its life. This leads to congestive heart failure. High blood pressure doesn’t stop there, It also damages your kidneys which filter your blood of toxins. Chronic severe kidney disease and damage may make you need dialysis (where you are hooked up to a machine three hours a day and three days a week to clean your blood). The good news is that hypertension is very common, frequently treated, and often easily controlled by lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, and medications. Talk to your doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner today and ask them about your blood pressure. Your body will thank you.