Cardiovascular Diseases

Hypertension and Kidney Disease

It is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure when Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels.

The kidneys and their function:

  • Healthy kidneys filter about half a cup of blood every minute, removing waste and extra water to form urine.
  • Urine flows from each kidney to the bladder through a pair of thin tubes called ureters, one on each side of the bladder.
  • The bladder stores urine until it is expelled from the body.
  • The kidneys, ureters, and bladder are all part of the urinary tract system.

Effect of Hypertension on the kidneys:
The kidneys and the circulatory system depend on each other. The kidneys help filter waste and extra fluid from the blood, using too many blood vessels. High blood pressure can cause blood vessels to narrow, weaken and harden and reduce blood flow within them, eventually weakening and damaging them in the future. All parts of the body including blood vessels in the kidneys. If the blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, they may not function properly, so the kidneys cannot remove all waste and excess fluid from the body. Excess fluid in the blood vessels increases blood pressure further, which leads to a risk circle, causing further damage leading to kidney failure (failure in kidney function).

Risk factors of Hypertension:

  • Growing old.
  • Having a family history of Hypertension.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits (e.g., eating too much sodium or not being physically active)
  • Males are more likely to develop high blood pressure before the age of 55 years, and women are more likely to develop it after the age of 55 years.

Risk factors for kidney disease:

  • Hypertension.
  • Diabetes.
  • Having a family history of kidney disease.

High blood pressure can be both a cause and a consequence of kidney disease.

Symptoms of Hypertension and kidney disease:
Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. In rare cases, high blood pressure can cause headaches. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease may not appear early, but as kidney disease worsens, some people may experience swelling, which occurs when the kidneys can't get rid of excess fluid and salt, and swelling occurs in the legs, feet, ankles, or less often the hands or face. Symptoms of advanced kidney disease also include:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
  • Drowsiness, feeling tired or sleeping problems.
  • Headache or difficulty concentrating.
  • Increased or decreased urination.
  • Itching or numbness, dry skin, or skin discoloration.
  • Weight loss.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.

Prevention of kidney disease caused by high blood pressure:
Prevention is done by taking steps to lower blood pressure, which includes a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Maintain physical activity.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit Smoking.
  • Stress and tension control.
  • Follow a healthy diet (e.g. eating less sodium "salt").
  • When you have kidney disease, you should talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and how often you should check your blood pressure.

Regardless of the cause of kidney disease, high blood pressure can worsen kidney conditions.

Some drugs that lower blood pressure can also significantly slow the progress of kidney disease (e.g., Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)).

Physical activity:
Regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure and reduce the chances of developing other health problems. It is recommended to set a target of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity at a rate of 30 minutes for 5 days a week. You can start with a target of 10 minutes and then increase it gradually after that.

Loss of excess weight:
In the case of overweight or obesity, it is recommended to target weight loss at a rate of 7-10% in the first year of starting high blood pressure treatment, which leads to reducing the chances of complications due to it.

Quit Smoking:
Smoking destroys and damages blood vessels. Which increases the chances of developing high blood pressure and complications associated therewith, so you should stop smoking.

Stress management:
You must learn how to manage stress, relax, and deal with problems, which contributes to improving mental and physical health. There are some activities that may help reduce stress (such as: regular physical activity, yoga, relaxation exercises, and meditation).

Eating and diet effect on high blood pressure and kidney disease:
Following a healthy eating plan can help lower blood pressure, and reducing the amount of sodium in the diet is an important part of any healthy eating plan. You can follow the DASH diet, which is recommended for patients with high blood pressure, which is based on:

  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other heart-healthy foods
  • Reducing sodium (salt), fat, cholesterol, red meat, sweets, added sugars and sugar-containing drinks.
  • Taking milk, dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts that are skimmed or low in fat, and that are rich in nutrients, proteins, and fiber.

Foods that patients with high blood pressure and kidney disease should limit:
Kidney patients should

  • Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sodium.
  • Maintain blood pressure readings in the target range by eating a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet, quitting smoking, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and taking medications as prescribed.
  • Eat moderate or low amounts of protein, as increased protein intake leads to an increase in the burden on the kidneys, which leads to a faster deterioration of kidney function.

Last Update : 24 August 2023 11:28 AM
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