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Understanding How Uncontrolled Hypertension Affects Your Kidneys

Uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a difficult-to-detect and serious health condition. Alongside the risk of heart damage, uncontrolled hypertension can hurt other organs, including your kidneys.

In recognition of World Hypertension Day on May 17, Thomas Nguyen, MD, and our entire team at Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, are bringing awareness to the link between high blood pressure and renal hypertension, or kidney disease. Learn more about how uncontrolled hypertension harms your kidneys and what you can do to prevent and treat the issue.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading determines how hard your heart needs to work to keep blood flowing.

You could get diagnosed with high blood pressure if you have a blood pressure reading of higher than 120/80, with your risk increasing the higher those two numbers read. Without treatment, your heart continues to have to work harder to keep your organs working, which can lead to renal hypertension.

What is renal hypertension?

Renal hypertension is a type of hypertension that affects your kidneys. Your kidneys play a key role in your body, separating waste and water from your blood to create urine.

As part of this process, your kidneys rely on blood flowing reliably from the heart to the kidney. When you have hypertension, your blood vessels narrow or harden, making it harder for your kidneys to receive blood.

Without the blood they need, the kidneys become less efficient at separating waste and water from the blood vessels. This lack of filtering means extra materials remain in the blood, making it even harder for the kidneys to work efficiently.

When not treated, this cycle can ultimately lead to renal failure.

Who can get renal hypertension?

Anyone who’s been diagnosed with hypertension could potentially develop renal hypertension. You’re at higher risk of renal hypertension if your hypertension isn’t well controlled.

Renal hypertension is also more common in older adults, patients who have diabetes, and anyone who has family members who’ve experienced kidney failure.

Diagnosing renal hypertension

Like other types of hypertension, renal hypertension frequently has no symptoms. Regular blood pressure checks at Nguyen Medical Group are the best way to monitor your heart and kidney health.

When renal hypertension becomes advanced, it can sometimes cause symptoms, including:

In addition to testing your blood pressure, our team performs blood and urine tests to diagnose renal hypertension. A GFR blood test checks how well your kidneys are filtering blood, while a urine test checks if your urine contains a protein called albumin, which can indicate problems with your kidney filtering.

Renal hypertension treatment

If you have hypertension, the good news is that you can avoid or treat renal hypertension if your hypertension is well-controlled. The first step is to make any lifestyle changes and take any medications needed to control high blood pressure.

If you’re also diagnosed with renal hypertension, our team might change your medications to kinds that specifically help with renal issues. If medications don’t help, an angioplasty procedure can help expand narrowed arteries and improve kidney function.

Renal hypertension has potentially significant consequences, but with proper management and early diagnosis, you can manage or even reverse renal artery damage. Contact us at Nguyen Medical Group to have your blood pressure or renal function checked today.

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