Hypertension and Kidney Disease

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Dr Joycelyn

 Hypertension and Kidney Disease

Hypertension and Kidney Disease go hand in hand.

High blood pressure can gradually and quietly damage your body parts for years before symptoms may start bothering you. Without proper control, it can leave you with a disability and poor quality of health. Fortunately, it’s easy to control – that is, if it is not associated with other health diseases, including kidney problems. Listed below are the top three things your doctor may not be telling you about hypertension and its possible association with kidney disease:
Hypertension can sometimes cause renal disease
Hypertension can damage your blood vessels.  When the pressure of the blood flowing within your blood vessels is high, your blood vessels stretch. This stretching scars and weakens your blood vessel walls, including those within your kidneys, explains National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. This damage within the blood vessels of your kidneys leads to inefficiency in your kidney function resulting in sub-optimal removal of wastes and extra fluid from the body. With the presence of extra fluid within your body, your blood pressure further shoots up, leading to a vicious cycle.
Some anti-hypertensive medications can complicate certain renal diseases
Hypertension can cause renal disease; however, some antihypertensive medications (such as ACE inhibitors) can, in fact, complicate certain renal problems. Many doctors use angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, also known as ACE inhibitors (example: captopril, enalapril, lisinopril), to manage hypertension in patients with chronic renal failure. Physicians find these medications helpful in decreasing the pressure within the very small blood vessels of kidneys while minimizing the amount of protein that goes out with the urine of patients with renal failure. However, ACE inhibitors are contraindicated in patients with renal artery stenosis, a kidney problem that commonly happens as a result of fatty plaque deposition within the kidney artery wall. Do you want to know the reason for this contraindication? These medications can push patients with renal artery stenosis to develop acute renal failure, the sudden shutdown of kidney function, says a study published by Pharmacotherapy.
Renal disease can lead to hypertension
Some medical conditions, including certain kidney diseases, can cause high blood pressure – a health problem doctors refer to as secondary hypertension. Contrary to essential hypertension, the commonly encountered kind of hypertension that happens without a clear cause, secondary hypertension can occur as a result of other health problems that affect your heart, kidneys, arteries and endocrine system. The most common renal diseases that cause secondary hypertension are glomerular disease, the swelling of the kidney’s waste filter system, and renovascular disease, the narrowing of one or both arteries that supplies blood to the kidneys, says Mayoclinic.com.
Reference:
National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse: High blood pressure and kidney disease
Pharmacotherapy; Acute Renal Failure Secondary to Angiotension II Receptor Blockade in a Patient With Bilateral Renal Artery Stenosis; Wargo, K.A. et al; 2003
Mayoclinic.com: Secondary hypertension

Dr. Jocelyn Ibanez-Pantaleon is a physician and a professional blogger. Her greatest passion is to share her knowledge about disease prevention through healthy living. Through her articles, she strives to make a difference by educating patients about chronic health problems, such as kidney diseases, hypertension and kidney disease.
Contact Dr. Jocelyn at Google+