High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney failure. About one in four people with kidney failure have it because of high blood pressure.

Your circulatory system and your kidneys rely on each other for good health. The kidneys help balance water and minerals and filter excess fluids and waste products from your blood. They do this through a filter system of dense blood vessels that process large volumes of blood.

Damaged kidneys don’t filter blood well. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause the arteries around the kidneys to narrow and harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney and the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, salts, and hormones in the body.

Damaged kidneys fail to regulate blood pressure. Healthy kidneys help the body regulate blood pressure through a hormone called aldosterone. As the kidneys become damaged, they fail to regulate blood pressure which leads to more arteries becoming blocked and eventually the kidneys begin to fail.

How do I know I have kidney disease?

Kidney failure due to high blood pressure is a process that can take years to develop. Early kidney disease may not have any symptoms. To know if your kidneys have been damaged, your doctor may order tests, including:

  • Blood tests: To help see how well your kidneys still work
  • Urine tests: To check for blood and protein in your urine or other signs of problems
  • Imaging tests: Such as an ultrasound, CT scan, X-ray or MRI to look at your kidneys

Protect your kidneys by managing your blood pressure

The good news is that when kidney disease is caught early, it may be possible to reverse it by treating high blood pressure. If you already have kidney disease, you may be able to slow down the damage to your kidneys by controlling your blood pressure. Once kidney disease reaches a more advanced stage, the damage cannot be reversed.

Here are some steps to help manage your blood pressure and prevent kidney disease:

Aim for a healthy weight. A healthy weight can help you control your blood pressure and lower your chances of getting kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about what a healthy weight is for you.

Follow a healthy eating plan. Your diet can affect your blood pressure. Avoid foods that are high in sodium (salt) and fat to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

Get active for 30 minutes most days of the week. If you’re not used to exercising, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

Take your prescription medicines exactly as your doctor tells you.

If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to manage your diabetes. Having both diabetes and high blood pressure can make you more likely to get kidney disease.

Manage your cholesterol. Having both high cholesterol and high blood pressure can make your risk of kidney disease more likely. Talk with your doctor about what your cholesterol level should be and how you can manage it.

Limit how much alcohol you drink. The healthy guidelines for drinking alcohol are: ​​​​​​

For men: No more than two drinks per day

For women: No more than one drink per day

Quit smoking or using tobacco. Tobacco can damage blood vessels and make high blood pressure and kidney problems worse. Quitting can help lower your chance of getting kidney disease or help keep your kidney disease from getting worse.



https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/high-blood-pressure-How does high blood pressure affect the kidneys, may no longer work properly

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