Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist


Blood Pressure and Kidneys | How Does High Blood Pressure Hurt the Kidneys

How Does High Blood Pressure Hurt the Kidneys, It has been estimated that in one quarter cases of kidney failure, the cause is high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure and Kidneys | How Does High Blood Pressure Hurt the Kidneys

 The force with which heart pumps blood through the arteries is called blood pressure. Its reading consists of two numbers; the systolic and the diastolic. The systolic level is the measurement of the blood pressure while the heart is pumping and the diastolic is the reading of the pressure when the heart is resting or between beats. There are two basic reasons for high blood pressure or hypertension. The first reason is that normal amount of blood is moving at increased pressure through arteries that have become narrowed due to plaque buildup or have become hardened or stiffened. The second reason could be that an increased volume of blood is passing through healthy arteries.

How Does High Blood Pressure Hurt the Kidneys?

If blood pressure is more than 120/80, then it is considered to be higher than the normal range. Consistent high blood pressure is a dangerous condition and can lead to various other complications. Blood vessels are directly harmed by chronically uncontrolled blood pressure. They become weak throughout the body, particularly those capillaries that are in the kidney nephrons. These are responsible for filtering the blood of waste materials and to maintain fluid volume. Ultimately, the damage reaches to such an extent that kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and to maintain proper blood volume. This causes blood pressure to increase further. To make matters worse, kidney damage is not detectable until it is in late stages.

It has been estimated that in one quarter cases of kidney failure, the cause is high blood pressure. It has also been observed that age, race or cause of kidney disease will not matter in the worsening of kidney damage if the blood level remains high. Moreover, Caucasians have a little less chance of developing hypertension and its related kidney damage as compared to African Americans for whom even a slightly higher than normal blood pressure can lead to this complication. The same is true for diabetic patients as well who have a greater risk of developing hypertension related kidney problems.

Since kidney damage does not become apparent until in its later stage, it is essential for people with hypertension to keep a tight check on their blood pressure. They must follow a healthy diet which includes consumption of a lot of fruits and vegetables and less fatty foods that will increase their weight. Alcohol and sodium should be taken in very limited amounts whereas smoking should be eliminated completely from their diet. People with hypertension should also include some sort of physical activity in their daily routine.

Besides these lifestyle changes, hypertensive patients can also use medication to control their blood pressure. These medications include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) both of which slow down the progression of kidney damage along with lowering blood pressure. ACE inhibitors are more effective in slowing kidney damage than ARBs in African Americans. Other medications include beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers.


Your Comments
Click here to add a comment
There are no comments to display
DeliciousFacebookTwitterStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksTechnorati


privacy policy