Why Does High Blood Pressure Affect the Kidneys?

kidney disease - Sriramakrishnahospital

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often referred to as the “silent killer” due to its insidious nature. While it’s well-known that uncontrolled hypertension can lead to severe cardiovascular complications, its impact on other vital organs, particularly the kidneys is often underestimated. In this blog, we will look into the complex relationship between high blood pressure and kidney health, exploring the mechanisms that make the kidneys vulnerable to the hypertension effect on kidneys. 

What is high blood pressure?

The pressure of the blood pumping through the blood vessels (which are the tubes in the body that carry blood to different organs) is referred to as blood pressure. Human heart constantly works hard to pump blood if the pressure is too high. Over time, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage that can result in serious health issues such as kidney failure. 

What is meant by kidney disease?

A collection of tissues where the kidneys aren’t functioning as well as they should are referred to as kidney disease. It may also be referred to as chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is usually not severe, has no symptoms, and can be controlled by the kidney specialists. However, on rare occasions, it can progress and cause kidney failure and other life-threatening issues. Renal hypertension is a condition that develops when unmanaged blood pressure starts affecting kidney health

What is the role of kidneys in the human body?

Before understanding the relationship between kidneys and high blood pressure it is important to understand the role of kidneys in the overall health. These bean-shaped organs play an important role in filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, producing urine, regulating electrolyte balance, and controlling blood pressure. The network of blood vessels within the kidneys ensures that they receive about 20% of the blood pumped by the heart.

What are the common symptoms of kidney disease associated with high blood pressure?

When the kidneys health is affected with high blood pressure it can show certain symptoms. Although these symptoms may not develop overnight and may take a few months to start developing symptoms. The most common kidney damage symptoms include:

  • Nosebleeds 
  • Headache 
  • Confused state of mind
  • Blood in the urine 
  • Doubled or blurry vision

What is the link between hypertension and kidney disease?

Increased pressure on the renal arteries:

One of the primary reasons high blood pressure affects the kidneys is the increased pressure on the renal arteries. The arteries that supply blood to the kidneys are delicate and, when subjected to prolonged high pressure, undergo structural changes. This constant strain can lead to a condition known as arteriosclerosis, where the arteries thicken and become less flexible, impeding the smooth flow of blood to the kidneys.

Damage to the glomeruli:

Within the kidneys, there are tiny filtering units called glomeruli. These structures are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluids from the blood to form urine. Elevated blood pressure can damage the delicate walls of the glomeruli, making them less efficient in performing their filtering function. Over time, this can result in proteinuria, a condition characterized by the presence of excess protein in the urine, indicating compromised kidney function. 

The Domino Effect: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):

As hypertension continues to exert its toll on the kidneys, the risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops. A progressive illness, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by a progressive loss of kidney function over time.

Reduced blood flow and oxygen supply:

Prolonged hypertension can lead to a reduction in blood flow to the kidneys. With compromised blood flow comes a diminished oxygen supply to the renal tissues. This ischemic condition not only impairs the kidneys’ ability to filter waste but also contributes to the development of scar tissue, further hindering their functionality.

Formation of kidney cysts:

Hypertension has been linked to the formation of cysts in the kidneys, a condition known as renal cystic disease. These fluid-filled sacs can interfere with normal kidney function and, in severe cases, lead to the development of conditions such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

How does hypertension affect the kidneys?

The effects of high blood pressure on the kidneys are as follows:

  • To filter waste and fluid from your body, your kidneys require a lot of blood. 
  • Your kidneys will behave as though you are dehydrated if high blood pressure damages your blood vessels that supply your kidneys with blood. 
  • Your kidneys will therefore instruct your body to retain more fluid and salt. 
  • Your blood pressure rises as the extra salt and fluid fills your blood. Kidney failure may result from this in due course.

Seek help from the best kidney specialist in Coimbatore to restore the function of the kidneys and benefit the overall health.

How can I lower my BP quickly?

There are various ways to manage high blood pressure, here are the best ways to prevent kidney damage from hypertension:

  • Eat healthy foods 
  • Lose weight if needed
  • Exercise at least 5 times a week
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Manage stress effectively 

Can the kidney damage be reversed once identified?

Treating the underlying cause, such as high blood pressure, can frequently reverse kidney disease if it is discovered early. If you already have kidney disease, managing your blood pressure may help you stop further kidney damage. Book an appointment with a kidney hospital in Coimbatore to seek medical care and treatment from the experts.

Important Takeaway:

By understanding the mechanisms through which hypertension affects the kidneys, individuals can take proactive steps to safeguard these vital organs. With a focus on blood pressure management, lifestyle modifications, and early detection, the silent threat of kidney damage can be mitigated, promoting long-term health and well-being.

kidney disease - Sriramakrishnahospital

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