Kidney Diseases caused by Hypertension

Updated at: Dec 15, 2012
Kidney Diseases caused by Hypertension

High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease: High blood pressure can affect your kidneys adversely and cause chronic kidney disease. It also one of the leading causes of kidney failure.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Heart HealthWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Feb 25, 2011

The kidneys have a major role in maintaining your blood pressure in the normal range. But do you know that high blood pressure can affect the health of your kidneys. Studies have show that high blood pressure or hypertension, can affect your kidneys adversely and cause chronic kidney disease (CKD).


[Read: Blood Pressure Control and Kidney Disease]


How does high blood pressure hurt the kidneys?   

High blood pressure or hypertension increases the pressure on your arterial walls and leads to damage to arteries and makes it more prone for atherosclerosis. If the blood vessels in kidney are damaged the function of kidney gets affected. It fails to remove the waste product and extra fluid from the body. Accumulation of fluid in the body leads to further increase in blood pressure---and it becomes a dangerous and vicious cycle.
Kidney disease is a leading cause of death and disability in adults. And high blood pressure is an important risk factor that leads to kidney disease and kidney failure (or end-stage renal disease).


What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure?


[Read: Symptoms of High Blood Pressure]


Most people with hypertension have no signs or symptoms even if their blood pressure is very high. But high blood pressure can do immense harm to your kidneys and it significantly increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

Hence experts say that all adults above the age of 20 should regularly get evaluated to diagnose hypertension. Early detection of hypertension and appropriate treatment can significantly decrease the damage to your kidneys and other organs.


What Should Blood Pressure Be if You Have Chronic kidney disease?

The normal blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mmHg. If your systolic and/or diastolic pressures are more than 140/90 mmHg on several occasions, your doctor may diagnose it as hypertension.

But if you have kidney disease, blood pressure reading above 130/80 mmHg will be considered high and your doctor will recommend medications to treat high blood pressure.


What are the signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Kidney disease in early stages is a silent problem, and like high blood pressure it does not cause any symptoms. Many times even a person with CKD may not about his or her disease as they do not feel sick.

If your doctor suspects kidney disease he or she may measure your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR measures how well your kidneys are functioning and removing the wastes from the blood. If your estimated GFR (eGFR) is less than 60 milliliters per minute (mL/min) it indicates some kidney damage. The lower the eGFR values the more severe is the damage to your kidneys.

Another sign of kidney disease is proteinuria or presence of protein in the urine. If your kidneys are functioning well there is minimal protein in your urine. As the kidney function worsens, the amount of protein on your urine increases. 


How can kidney damage from high blood pressure be prevented?

Experts say that control of blood pressure is very important to prevent damage to the kidneys.

Normally blood pressure above140/90 mmHg is considered hypertension but if you kidney disease blood pressure reading above 130/80 mmHg will be considered high. And your doctor will recommend medications to treat high blood pressure. The aim of treatment will be to lower your blood pressure to less than 130/80 mmHg with medications and lifestyle changes.


How can blood pressure be controlled?


[Read: Tips to Control High Blood Pressure]


Your doctor will prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes to control your BP.

There are several medications to treat high BP. Antihypertensive medications that are preferred in people with kidney disease include ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor bl...


Read more articles on High Blood Pressure


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