Hypertension has been identified as a risk for the kidneys’ well-being. This is enough ground for patients to be observed, especially those with over <130/80 mmHg blood pressure level. However, newer studies indicate that this is not necessarily a “better” gauge to observe the progression of renal disease in an individual.
Current research dispute the lower recommended level, and in fact updated this to <140/90 mmHg. This new and higher level demonstrated minimal side effects on kidneys. Additionally, the progression of kidney-related illnesses was seen to be slow at this number.
Overtime hypertension can damage the blood vessels of the body, including those in the kidneys. Once they are damaged they may stop functioning causing the retention of wastes and fluids. In turn, extra fluids in the vessels cause hypertension and starts a vicious and dangerous cycle. In fact, it is a leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). According to the study of a kidney institute in the United States, 25,000 cases of recorded kidney failure in the US were caused by hypertension.
However, the new numbers mean not everyone afflicted with the disease need to be on medications like diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiontensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. These medications slow the progression of damage to the kidney and help a person eliminate excess fluids in the body. In general, they keep the level below 130/80. Patients must consult with their doctors to assess current medications.
Another element to consider is that medication is not the only way of treating high blood. Lifestyle changes are important. This would include maintaining a normal weight and eating healthy foods that are low in sodium.
Some Lifestyle Tips:
- Stay fit daily. Include exercise in your daily routine.
- Minimize salt intake. Use herb and spices to flavor meals and avoid too much sodium.
- Minimize or avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
As a genetic disease, family history plays a factor in determining when or whether a person develops the medical condition. Age is another consideration since the arteries age as people grow older.
Studies have also shown that African-Americans are six times at risk of developing hypertension-related kidney illnesses than Caucasians. Early management of is important for this group of people.
It is important to monitor a patient’s BP to preserve kidney functions. It is recommended to consult with doctors about this new study before revising treatments plans.