High Blood Pressure (Hypertensive Nephropathy)

Hypertension is a condition when your blood pressure is recorded consistently at the level of 140/90 mmHg or higher. Most of the time, hypertension does not show any symptoms. The problem is that Hypertension is not just a cause of kidney disease, but it's also a result of damage created by the kidney disease. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder and damages your blood vessels. As the blood vessels in your heart become damaged, they lose their effectiveness in screening the wastes from your body. This increases the fluids in your body and increases your blood pressure even more.

The damage of the blood vessels in your kidneys due to high blood pressure is what is known as Hypertensive Nephropathy.

What are the symptoms of Hypertensive Nephropathy?

If high blood pressure runs in your family, the presence of the disease seems to increase chances of developing kidney disease. Symptoms of kidney disease due to high blood pressure include:

  • A need to urinate more often, especially at night
  • Decrease in amount of urine or difficulty urinating
  • Edema (fluid retention), especially in the lower legs

How is Hypertensive Nephropathy diagnosed?

Certain laboratory tests can indicate how effectively your kidneys are eliminating waste. These tests include serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN); too much of either can indicate kidney damage. Proteinuria, an excess of protein in the urine, is also a sign of kidney disease.

How is Hypertensive Nephropathy treated?

For patients who have hypertension and kidney disease, ACE inhibitor (angiotensin (an-gee-oh-TEN-sin) converting enzyme) and angiotensin II receptor blocker drugs are used to lower blood pressure. Lowered blood pressure protects the kidneys from further damage. In addition, regular exercise and proper diet will protect your kidneys.

How is Hypertensive Nephropathy prevented?

To prevent hypertension-related kidney damage:

  • Keep your blood pressure below 130/80
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly
  • Maintain a proper diet
  • Take any medications prescribed by your doctor