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Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is a condition where your blood pressure is above accepted readings. High blood pressure can lead to a variety of other health problems, including kidney disease.



What is hypertension? 


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition where your blood pressure reading is elevated above 130/80, and often has no symptoms.

Even without symptoms, it can damage blood vessels and puts you at risk for other health conditions such as stroke, heart attacks, and kidney disease.

How does hypertension affect kidney disease?  


Hypertension is the second leading cause of end stage kidney disease (the need for dialysis or transplantation) in the US.

Your doctors can help you determine if your high blood pressure is primary (not related to any other medical condition), or secondary (elevated blood pressure related to another underlying medical problem).

Symptoms of Hypertension 


Frequently, hypertension can have no symptoms at all. When they do appear, symptoms of high blood pressure can include:


  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Leg swelling

What to Expect From Hypertension Treatment 


Hypertension is a chronic disease, and while often not cured, it can be easily detected and controlled with lifestyle modification and medications. 

You have some control over your blood pressure, and can help reduce your readings with:

  • Reducing your dietary salt intake by not using a salt shaker and limiting processed foods
  • Losing weight, if you are overweight
  • Following a diet of lean meats, low fat dairy, and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Increasing your activity level to at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week
  • Limiting alcohol to no more than 1-2 drinks per day

Nephrologists are hypertension specialists that can help identify and treat patients with uncontrolled or resistant blood pressure, and focus on a treatment regimen for reducing risks of strokes, heart disease and kidney problems. 



Facts About High Blood Pressure

Go to American Heart Association

Education about High Blood Pressure

Go to NIH.gov

High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease

Download from National Kidney Foundation

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