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The Relationship Between High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

Hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, can damage the kidneys over time. It narrows blood vessels throughout the body, making them weaker. The kidneys are affected, as less blood flows to them. They cannot filter wastes effectively or remove extra fluid in the body. This extra fluid raises the blood pressure more, so a vicious cycle begins. Over time, the kidneys will fail.

How Common is This Problem?

Approximately 50 percent of adults have been diagnosed high blood pressure. Over 14 percent also have chronic kidney disease. In fact, diabetes is the top cause of kidney failure in America today, but high blood pressure comes in second. It accounts for 26 percent of kidney failure cases, while diabetes accounts for 38 percent.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

As men and women age, they become more at risk of high blood pressure, particularly if they have family members with hypertension. Unhealthy lifestyle habits contribute to the development of high blood pressure, including excessive alcohol intake and overconsumption of sodium. African Americans and males are also at higher risk of hypertension and may benefit from the best kidney supplement to prevent complications.

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

Certain factors put a person more at risk of developing kidney disease. Anyone with diabetes should have their kidney function monitored regularly. The same holds for those who have family members with kidney issues. Hispanics and African Americans are more at risk of chronic kidney disease, as well.

Symptoms to Watch For

Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. Kidney disease, however, will present in several ways. Edema is often the first sign a person’s kidneys are failing. They may experience muscle cramps or weight loss and find their skin is dry or darkens. Generalized itching is another sign of kidney failure along with a change in urination patterns. However, many other symptoms could suggest a person’s kidneys aren’t working as they should. Any changes in the way the body functions should be investigated by a doctor.

Preventing or Slowing the Progression of Kidney Disease

Men and women with hypertension who have been diagnosed with kidney disease need to focus on getting their blood pressure under control. There are several ways they can do so. Exercise is an excellent way to combat high blood pressure as is quitting smoking. Men and women with high blood pressure need to manage stress in their lives and eat a healthy diet. Lowering sodium intake and maintaining a healthy weight will also help bring blood pressure under control.

Blood Pressure Medications

Even with lifestyle changes, some men and women find their blood pressure remains high. When this is the case, doctors often prescribe medication to help bring it under control and slow the kidney disease progression. Angiotensin-converting enzymes or ACE inhibitors work for many individuals. Other people, however, find they do better when taking angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs. Work with a physician to determine which option is best.

However, some people find they must take a combination of medications to bring their blood pressure under control. A diuretic may be prescribed to assist the kidneys in removing fluid from the blood. Other medications may also be needed to achieve this goal, including supplements focused on kidney health.

Any person who suspects they have high blood pressure or kidney disease should see a doctor immediately. Regular checkups are essential, however, because high blood pressure often comes with no symptoms. Being proactive helps to prevent kidney disease or slow its progression, so seeing a doctor routinely is always the best course of action.

Bryan Cunningham is a writer who explores many different types of stories. He is skilled at creating interesting tales in various categories, making his work enjoyable for a wide range of readers.

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