“Unless you have hypertension or chronic kidney disease, you probably don’t know how your blood pressure affects your kidneys. There is a connection.”
The answer is in your blood vessels. Blood vessels around the kidneys can be affected by hypertension. The damage to the kidneys can be caused by the blood vessels not delivering enough blood.
In this article, we look at the link between high blood pressure and the disease of the kidneys.
Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood pushing through your blood vessels is consistently too high.
The build up of fat on the walls of the arteries causes narrow blood vessels that cause more resistance for blood and raise blood pressure.
Over time, hypertension occurs. It can cause damage to the organs.
“Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms. In rare cases high blood pressure can cause headaches and dizziness. Regular blood pressure checks are important because you may not notice any symptoms.”
Blood vessels can be affected by hypertension. This can cause injury to organs and weaken vessels throughout the body.
“The kidneys can’t function if the blood vessels are damaged. Extra waste and fluids may not be removed from your body. Blood pressure can go up even more if there is extra fluid in the blood. This can lead to failure of the kidneys.”
Early kidneys disease may not have symptoms. You may notice as it progresses.
- edema or swelling
- muscle ache
- A lack of appetite.
- An inability to concentrate.
lifestyle changes and medications are possible treatment options for hypertension.
Your doctor may suggest some lifestyle changes.
- A heart-healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Increasing physical activity.
- A moderate weight.
- If you stop smoking, you will be free from smoking.
- Reducing alcohol consumption is something that can be done.
- A low-salt diet is being started.
There are medication options for hypertension.
- Beta-blockers: These make the heart beat more slowly and reduce the amount of blood flowing through the body with each beat. Beta-blockers can also block certain hormones that raise blood pressure.
- Diuretics: These help reduce extra sodium and fluid in the body, lowering blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent the body from producing as much angiotensin, which causes the blood vessels to narrow and tighten.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These medications help to block angiotensin from binding with receptors, so blood vessels won’t tighten.
- Calcium channel blockers: These block some of the calcium from entering the heart. This causes less forceful heartbeats. They also help blood vessels to relax.
- Alpha-2 agonists: These medications impact the nerve impulses that cause blood vessels to tighten, helping them to relax.
Some steps you can take to lower your blood pressure.
- Reduce stress: You may need to make changes in the hours you work, your activities, or even your relationships.
- Try slow, deep, rhythmic breathing: You may try meditation, yoga, or other practices that encourage slowing down and taking time to focus on your breathing.
- Prepare healthy snacks in advance: You’ll be less likely to reach for processed foods if you already have fruits and veggies cut up.
- Sign-up for an exercise class or running group: Working out with friends can make it more fun and add accountability.
Two types of drugs can help lower blood pressure and slow the progression of a disease.
- ACE inhibitors help to prevent the body from producing as much angiotensin. This helps the blood vessels to relax.
- ARBs keep angiotensin from binding with receptors. This can also help the blood vessels to relax. This is key to slowing the progression of kidney disease.
A diuretic is a medication that can be prescribed by your healthcare professional to help the kidneys remove excess fluid andsodium from the body.
High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels.
“It is important to get treatment quickly so that waste and extra fluid don’t build up and lead to higher blood pressure and kidney failure.”
If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor may prescribe medication and suggest lifestyle changes to manage the condition. Take your medication as prescribed and keep up with your follow-up visits to track your blood pressure.