Skip to content

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article

High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

Font Size

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading cause of kidney disease and kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). 

Hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney, making removal of waste from the body difficult. Once a person is diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, dialysis -- a blood-cleansing process -- or kidney transplantation are necessary.

Recommended Related to Hypertension

Understanding High Blood Pressure -- the Basics

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it courses through the body. Like air in a tire or water in a hose, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity. Just as too much air pressure can damage a tire or too much water pushing through a garden hose can damage the hose, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart...

Read the Understanding High Blood Pressure -- the Basics article > >

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

The symptoms of kidney disease include:

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

How Is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

As with high blood pressure, you may not realize that you have kidney disease. Certain laboratory tests can indicate whether your kidneys are eliminating waste products properly. These tests include serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN);  elevated levels of either can indicate kidney damage. Proteinuria, an excess of protein in the urine, is also a sign of kidney disease.

Who Is At Risk for Kidney Disease Due to High Blood Pressure?

Kidney disease caused by high blood pressure affects every group and race. However, certain groups are at higher risk, including:

  • African-Americans
  • Hispanic-Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Natives of Alaska
  • People who have diabetes
  • People with a family history of high blood pressure and kidney disease

How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease?

To prevent kidney damage from high blood pressure:

  • Try to keep your blood pressure controlled.
  • Make sure you get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
  • Eat a proper diet.
  • Get moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes daily.
  • Take the medication your doctor prescribes.

How Is Kidney Disease Treated?

For patients who have high blood pressure and kidney disease, the most important treatment is to control your blood pressure through lifestyle changes. ACE inhibitor and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) drugs lower blood pressure and can protect the kidneys from further damage.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC on May 08, 2012
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
headache
Learn the causes.
 
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
 
heart healthy living
ARTICLE
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
VIDEO
Compressed heart
Article
 
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Heart Foods Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Low Blood Pressure
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections