Hypertension and chronic kidney disease - Cause and consequence
The kidney is both a cause and victim of hypertension. High blood pressure is a key factor responsible for deterioration of kidney function. In cases of resistant hypertension the most common cause would be preexisting kidney disease, however it is often underappreciated. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) CKD is a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. Each of your kidneys has about a million tiny filters, called nephrons. If nephrons are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But if the damage continues, more and more nephrons shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter your blood well and are less able to do the following jobs to help maintain health:
- Remove wastes and extra fluid from your body
- Release hormones that help to
- A blood test for creatinine, a waste product from muscle breakdown: This should be used to calculate your glomerular filtration rate, or GFR. Your GFR is a measure of your level of kidney function. If your GFR is too low, it may mean your kidneys are not able to remove enough wastes and extra fluid from your blood.
- A urine test for protein: Persistent protein in the urine is a sign of kidney damage.
- A urine test to check for red blood cells and white blood cells
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a low-salt diet
- Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
- Adequate fluid intake
- Monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and keeping them in normal range
- Taking your antihypertensive medications correctly as prescribed by your doctor
- Not smoking
- Avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other drugs which cause kidney damage
- Getting your kidney function tests regularly