High blood pressure takes its toll on your health over time. It increases your risk for conditions like heart disease and stroke. If you have chronic high blood pressure, you’re at risk for long-term kidney damage.
At Metro Renal Associates, we can help you understand the relationship between your kidneys and your blood pressure. Expert nephrologists Dr. Kevin Griffiths, Dr. Cosette Jamieson, and Dr. Oyije Susannah Iheagwara help patients throughout Washington, DC, and Capitol Heights, Maryland with treating their blood pressure and maintaining healthy kidney function.
The facts about high blood pressure
Your blood pressure is the amount of force placed on your vessels as blood travels from your heart to the rest of your body. Typically, your blood pressure is the same throughout the day but can fluctuate here and there.
High blood pressure happens when the force on your vessels stays elevated all day, every day. This causes damage to your vessels along with other health problems.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 45% of US adults suffer from high blood pressure. Other facts about high blood pressure from the NKF include:
- High blood pressure is considered 130/80, while stage 2 high blood pressure is defined as 140/90
- The second highest factor in kidney disease is high blood pressure, only second to diabetes
- 20% of adults with high blood pressure also have chronic kidney disease
In the early stages of both high blood pressure and kidney disease, you might not have any symptoms. That’s why it’s so crucial that you get your blood pressure screened regularly. Catching high blood pressure early has a significant impact on your kidney health.
What is kidney disease?
Your kidneys are a vital part of your urinary tract, filtering out waste from your blood and creating urine. Your kidneys filter about a half cup of your blood every minute. They are also responsible for regulating fluid to make urine.
Kidney disease happens when there’s damage to these organs, usually from other health conditions. This damage impairs the kidney’s ability to remove toxins and harmful waste from your blood.
Kidney disease usually gets worse over time, especially if you don’t take care of chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure. Kidney disease may also come on due to uncontrolled diabetes.
When you have kidney disease, your risk of complications from the disorder increases significantly. You could end up with anemia, weakened bones, and nerve damage.
How are high blood pressure and your kidneys linked?
Your kidneys and your circulatory system work hand-in-hand to filter waste from your blood. When you have high blood pressure, the extreme force causes damage to the vessels inside your kidneys. The arteries that supply blood to the organs also become damaged, by hardening or becoming weak.
If the arteries that supply your kidneys are damaged, your kidneys don’t get enough blood to allow them to work correctly. This damages the small vessels that filter wastes, limiting oxygen and nutrient supply. Damaged vessels inside your kidney mean these organs aren’t able to efficiently get rid of waste products, or regulate hormones and fluids in your body.
Your kidneys are also essential in regulating your blood pressure. This means that when you have high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease, it’s a never-ending circle, which ultimately leads to kidney failure.
Although kidney failure isn’t immediate, you must get your blood pressure under control as soon as you can. Our team helps you improve your blood pressure, so you can avoid complications that may end with dialysis or total renal failure.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure and your kidney health, call one of our offices in Washington, DC, or Capitol Heights, Maryland today. You may also send the team a message using our convenient online tool.