One of the two leading causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure (hypertension). The other is diabetes. Since there is a close link between high blood pressure and kidney disease, several of our providers have additional training and certification in hypertension management.
Hypertension is an elevated blood pressure in the arteries. To circulate blood through the body, heart muscles contract and then rest pushing blood through the arteries and capillaries to the veins. The pressure within the arteries is measured as the blood pressure reading. Readings may vary from person to person and throughout the day.
- 120/80 – normal blood pressure
- 100-130/70-80 – within normal range
- 140+/90+ – considered high blood pressure
The first value (top number) measures pressure in the arteries while the heart muscle is in the peak of contracting (systolic pressure). The second value (lower number) measures pressure while the heart is resting between beats (diastolic pressure).
High blood pressure often has no physical symptoms. It can be a silent killer, damaging the body’s vital organs – the heart, brain and kidney – before damage is diagnosed. High blood pressure can lead directly to a heart attack, stroke (brain damage), eye damage, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. Have your blood pressure checked regularly by your primary care provider, at least once a year.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
In most adults there is no identifiable cause. It cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.
Certain factors increase risk:
- Family History
- African American
- Age – more susceptible as you get older
- Sleep Apnea
- High Salt Diet
- Lack of Exercise