Of the many health risks that come with obesity, hypertension is definitely a very common one. Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is the consistent, high amount of force being placed on your blood vessel walls by your blood. This means that your heart is working harder to pump the blood throughout your body thus causing this pressure.
Obesity increases the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, which is the “fight-or-flight” component of your nervous system. This induces sodium retention and thus water retention as well in the body. Studies show that a decrease in weight decreases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system as well as a decrease in sodium salt retention by the body.
When a patient gains weight, the fat surrounds organs and causes difficulty in their functioning. This process happening in the kidneys contributes largely to hypertension. When there is fat added to an already highly compact organ, the forces that naturally occur are disrupted.
First, urine production and outflow in the kidneys decreases because of the added pressure due to the fat. When urine is being filtered, the kidneys reabsorb some salt. When the urine outflow is decreased due to the obstruction, it is filtered for a longer period of time thus increasing the sodium salt reabsorption which is followed by increased water reabsorption by a series of complex mechanisms. More water in your system means you have more blood in your system which means there is a higher blood pressure.
When this happens over a long period of time, it can place stress on our vital organs, weakening them; therefore, we must take the necessary precautions in order to keep ourselves healthy. Decreasing your salt intake, properly managing your weight, reducing stress and possible use of medications can help control this problem.
Aneja, A., El-Atat, F., McFarlane, S. I., & Sowers, J. R. (2004). Hypertension and Obesity. The Endocrine Society, 59, 169–205. doi: 10.1210/rp.59.1.169
da Silva, A. A., do Carmo, J., Dubinion, J., & Hall, J. E. (2009). The role of the sympathetic nervous system in obesity-related hypertension. Current hypertension reports, 11(3), 206–211. doi:10.1007/s11906-009-0036-3