Hypertension is a well-documented risk factor for heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, but many people don’t know that having high blood pressure can cause kidney disease.
Dr. Liwei Huang, Nephrologist at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville Virginia, specializes in kidney disease and is raising awareness of the damage that high blood pressure can cause – because people typically associate hypertension with heart attacks, heart disease and stroke, but aren’t aware that long-term high blood pressure can also cause kidney disease.
“When you have very high blood pressure, you actually induce a lot of stress to your blood vessels in the kidney, which eventually will cause kidney damage. See your doctor regularly and they can help you adjust medications to control your blood pressure”, explains Dr. Huang.
Raising awareness and education are crucial to helping people understand how important it is keep blood pressure at healthy levels because when the blood flow is increased, it flows through vascular vessels with more pressure and force than normal — causing damage. When the kidney begins to lose function, other serious health risk factors arise.
High blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’ because there are often no symptoms – yet the vascular system is being damaged – “it takes several years, maybe more than 10 years or 20 years to develop the disease”, explains Dr. Huang,.
Dr. Huang advises people to check their blood pressure at least once or twice every day and to keep a blood pressure journal by recording their blood pressure readings – she says bringing the journal to medical appointments can help physician’s consider their patient’s blood pressure over a span of time.
When high blood pressure damages a kidney to the point it can no longer function, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be the only option a patient has, so it is vital to prevent damage from hypertension by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Although elderly patients have the highest risk factor for developing kidney disease due to hypertension, every person should be pro-active about maintain healthy blood pressure levels, which is manageable with proper, individualized care and methods.
The American Heart Association advises easy and naturally effective pro-active steps to control high blood pressure, including cutting back on salt consumption, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, as well as safely supporting and protecting the vascular system by lowering high blood pressure.
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Release ID: 97364