High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a frequent symptom in both acute and chronic kidney disease, particularly in cases of glomerular or vascular disorders. The health of your kidneys can affect your blood pressure and vice versa. In other words, if you have high blood pressure, you are more likely to have a kidney disease. Likewise, if you have kidney disease, this can sometimes cause high blood pressure. The pathogenesis and preferred treatment of hypertension vary according to the type of renal disease and its duration.

What is considered high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps it out, and high blood pressure is an increase in the amount of force that blood places on blood vessels as it moves through the body.

Blood pressure test is composed of 2 parameters: (1) the systolic pressure – which is measured when the heart contracts. It represents the pressure of the heart beating and pushing blood through the blood vessels; (2) the diastolic pressure – which represents the pressure of blood vessels relaxing between heartbeats.

Table 1: Stages of high blood pressure in adults.

Stages Systolic
(top number)
Diastolic
(bottom number)
Prehypertension 120–139 OR 80–89
High blood pressure Stage 1 140–159 OR 90–99
High blood pressure Stage 2 160 or higher OR 100 or higher

 

The ranges in the table are blood pressure guides for adults who do not have any serious short-term illnesses. People with diabetes or chronic kidney disease should keep their blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg.

How does it affect your kidneys?

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes.

Over time, high blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout your body which, in turn, can reduce the blood supply to important organs like the kidneys. High blood pressure also damages the tiny filtering units in your kidneys. As a result, the kidneys may stop removing the waste and extra fluid from your blood. The extra fluid in your blood vessels may, subsequently, build up and raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle.

The only way to tell if your blood pressure is too high is to have it measured, as high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. That is why it has been called a “silent killer.” A single high reading may not mean you have high blood pressure.

In most cases, kidney disease, in its first stages, also has no symptoms. It is only when the kidneys functioning decreases that you may start to feel the effect on your body systems.

What can you do to reduce the effect of high blood pressure on your kidneys and general health?

You can do a lot!

The best way to slow or prevent kidney disease from high blood pressure is to take steps to lower your blood pressure. These steps usually include a combination of medication and lifestyle changes such as:

  • Always keep your doctor’s appointments.
  • Keep track of your blood pressure levels.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Follow your exercise plan.
  • Remember to take your prescribed medication.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Involve your family and friends – this may help you stick with your lifestyle changes.

 

To get more information about kidney disease and technological advances in the treatment of end- stage renal disease patients, visit our website blog – Laminate Medical Technologies.

 

References:
  1. https://www.kidney.org
  2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/