Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
When it comes to protecting your kidneys, one of the most important things you can do is keep your blood pressure in check. Close to 75 million Americans have high blood pressure—and many do not know it. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a silent condition: that means there are not usually any symptoms. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Untreated, high blood pressure can damage your heart, brain, and eyes, in addition to your kidneys.
Careful control of high blood pressure lowers the risk of developing problems. Sometimes, people with heart disease or kidney disease, or those who have had a stroke didn’t even know they had high blood pressure. That is why it’s so important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure or any other risk factors.
While the exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, your chances of developing high blood pressure may be increased if you:
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, or controlling it if you have already been diagnosed. Making some of the lifestyle changes below can have a big impact on your overall health:
If lifestyle changes do not control your blood pressure well enough, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower blood pressure. Some blood pressure lowering medicines may help to protect kidney function.
Remember, early detection and management of high blood pressure are the keys to living a healthier life.
For more information on high blood pressure and your kidneys click here.
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