Hypertension and Kidney Failure

January 30, 2020
Never take a medication unless you have a prescription from your doctor, because your liver and kidneys can't process them well.

Did you know that hypertension is one of the worst enemies to your kidney health? This silent illness can slowly damage the body and lead to conditions like kidney failure, for example.

That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor on a regular basis and have your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure tends to worsen over time if you don’t take measures to control it. Your doctor will probably recommend some lifestyle changes, as well as some medication to lower your blood pressure.

Today we want to show you some of the best strategies to prevent this from happening and help you get your blood pressure under control. This way you’ll be able to experience a better quality of life. However, remember that a visit to your doctor should always be the first step.

How does hypertension damage the kidneys?

The link is really easy to understand. The real problem, however, is that we almost never pay any attention to our blood pressure until we start experiencing adverse symptoms, often when it’s too late.

Keep this information in mind to understand the link between high blood pressure and renal failure:

  • High blood pressure makes your heart work harder. If the heavy workload goes on for too long, your blood vessels can be irreparably damaged.
  • One of the greatest risks is that the blood vessels in the kidneys will be damaged which will prevent them from filtering the blood, allowing toxins and waste products to accumulate.
  • This excess liquid damages the blood vessels even further and increases blood pressure as a consequence.

All of this leads to a dangerous cycle that can end up causing serious health problems.

Read more: Yoga Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

How do I know if I’m suffering from kidney failure?

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Unfortunately, once you start to experience symptoms of renal insufficiency, you’ll need to continuously monitor your kidney function because this problem is irreversible. People with chronic kidney failure are at a higher risk because they need constant dialysis and even kidney transplants.

This is a really serious problem that’s worth trying to prevent. You’ll not only need to control your blood pressure regularly but also watch your diet and lifestyle. How do you know if your kidneys are losing function? These are some of the symptoms:

  • Feeling really tired throughout the day.
  • Swollen feet and ankles.
  • Sensitivity to cold.
  • Urine is really yellow.
  • Hard, swollen abdomen.

The clearest indicator is a urine analysis. People with kidney failure have higher creatinine levels. What is creatinine? It’s a waste product produced during the breakdown of muscle cells and proteins. When the kidneys are functioning properly, creatinine is excreted in the urine, but if the kidneys are not functioning well, then this waste product will accumulate. It’s a clear indicator of kidney problems, but as we mentioned, it’s only discovered through urine analysis.

Discover more: 10 Symptoms of Kidney Failure and How to Prevent Them

How can I better care for my blood pressure?

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Now that you know how important it is to watch your blood pressure to prevent possible kidney failure, take a look at the following tips to keep it under control:

  • Avoid being overweight. Maintain a healthy weight for your age and height.
  • A balanced and healthy diet is important. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and diuretic fruits like pineapple, pears, grapes and cranberries.
  • Completely avoid salt. Eliminate sodium from your diet as well as sugar and refined flours.
  • Exercise for at least half an hour a day, but try to keep it moderate to activate your heart and blood flow. Try going for a walk for half an hour, cycling, swimming, or even signing up for dance lessons..
  • If you smoke, quit this dangerous bad habit today.
  • Try taking vitamin D supplements. They’re great for kidney function.
  • Try not to take a lot of medication, or at least don’t take non-prescription medications as they’re hard for the liver and kidneys to process.
  • Try to keep your stress levels under control and find emotional balance in your life. As you know, stress is a direct trigger of blood pressure, so you want to make sure you keep it in mind.

Don’t forget to see your doctor for periodic checkups to control hypertension and monitor kidney health. Buy a blood pressure meter to monitor your levels at home. Take care of your blood pressure to keep your kidneys healthy.

  • Gordillo-Paniagua, G., & Valencia-Espinoza, L. C. (1992). HIPERTENSION ARTERIAL. Acta Pediatrica Espanola. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.82.115408
  • Herrero, J. I., & Alegre, F. (2008). Insuficiencia renal. In Trasplante hepático. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-84-8086-310-0.50022-1
  • MedlinePlus. (Consulta 2018). PRESIÓN ARTERIAL ALTA. Online [https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/highbloodpressure.html].