The circulatory system and the kidneys support each other to maintain good health. The kidneys need a number of blood vessels to filter wastes and excess fluids from blood. When the blood vessels are damaged, oxygen and nutrients cannot reach nephrons which have the function to filter your blood, so nephrons cannot work well. High blood pressure (hypertension) is, as a result, the leading cause of kidney disease and kidney failure (end-stage renal disease).
High blood pressure, if left untreated, can, over time, cause the arteries surrounding your kidneys to narrow, harden, or weaken. The arteries that are damaged cannot carry sufficient amounts of blood to the kidney tissue. Hypertension can damage the filters in your kidney, which makes it hard for the body to remove waste. People diagnosed with end-stage renal disease may require kidney transplantation or a blood-cleansing process.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
Most of the people who have high blood pressure hardly display any symptoms; there may be headaches in some rare cases.
Kidney diseases, too, barely exhibit any symptoms during the early stages. There may occur edema in legs, ankles, feet, sometimes hands or face due to the kidney’s weakened ability to remove excess fluid and salt. A decrease in kidney function can present with symptoms such as:
- Nausea, vomiting, appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Urinating more often or less often
- Shortness of breath
- Darken complexion
- Chest pain
- Muscle cramps
The first step to preventing kidney damage caused by high blood pressure is that you have to put effort into getting your blood pressure controlled. Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Make sure you nourish yourself with a healthy, proper diet. Your doctor may advise you to employ DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan. Following DASH basically means that you enrich your diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, foods that are lower in sodium. Avoid foods high in fats and cholesterol.
Furthermore, moderate exercise is highly recommended. Regular physical activity can help keep your blood pressure low and decrease the risk of other health issues. You should consult a healthcare provider to know what kinds of exercise that suit you most. For instance, you can spend half an hour every day walking, or doing other moderate exercises such as cleaning the houses, bowling, gardening.
And remember to take medication as exactly prescribed and directed by your doctor.
The most important treatment is to manage your blood pressure. You can use drugs that have function to lower blood pressure and shield your kidneys from damage such as ACE inhibitor and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB).
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 17, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019
High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/high-blood-pressure. Accessed August 10, 2017
How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Damage or Failure. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/LearnHowHBPHarmsYourHealth/How-High-Blood-Pressure-Can-Lead-to-Kidney-Damage-or-Failure_UCM_301825_Article.jsp#.WY0jTVEjHIU. Accessed August 10, 2017
High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-related-kidney-disease. Accessed August 10, 2017