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High Blood Pressure - How It Can Affect Your Kidneys?

Dr. Sanjiv Saxena 92% (33 ratings)
DNB (Nephrology), MD, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
High Blood Pressure - How It Can Affect Your Kidneys?

Roll up your sleeves for a blood pressure check to know how well your kidney is doing. High blood pressure is the leading cause of kidney disease. Therefore, it is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly. Let’s understand the connection between high blood pressure and kidney disease by knowing about them in detail.

What is high blood pressure?
It is the force of the blood that pushes against the blood vessel walls when the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is an increase in the force of blood as it moves through the body. The first number is the systolic pressure that indicates the pressure as the heart beats and pushes blood through the blood vessels. The latter number is the diastolic pressure, which indicates the pressure as the blood vessels relax between each heartbeat. A high blood pressure is one where the systolic pressure measures 140 or above and the diastolic pressure measures 90 or above.

How do kidneys work?
Each kidney is made of millions of filtering units called nephrons. These nephrons constitute a filter called glomerulus and a tubule. The glomerulus allows fluid and waste products to pass through it and prevents blood cells and large molecules from passing. The filtered fluid then passes again through the tubule, which removes waste and sends the nutrients back to the blood stream. The waste products are excreted in the form of urine.

How does high blood pressure affect your kidneys?
The nephrons in the kidneys are surrounded and supplied with a dense network of blood vessels. Each nephron receives blood supply through tiny hair-like capillaries, which constitute the smallest of all blood vessels.

When there is an uncontrolled high blood pressure and an increased blood flow, it tends to narrow, weaken or harden the arteries. Without enough blood supply through the damaged arteries, the nephrons do not get enough oxygen and nutrients. As a result, the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and remove wastes. The small blood vessels of the kidney are more prone to damage due to high blood pressure.

Healthy kidneys release a hormone called renin-angiotensin-aldosterone, which regulates the blood pressure and is responsible for maintaining the level of sodium and water in the body, which eventually controls blood pressure and enables you to lead a healthy life. On the contrary, damaged kidneys fail to regulate the pressure of blood in the body which further results in even high blood pressure and contributes to the damage in a spiral way. Kidney failure due to high blood pressure is a progressive process. However, you can act now by managing your blood pressure levels and lead a healthy life.

Kidney Diseases

Dr. Murugananth S 91% (75 ratings)
DM - Nephrology, MD - Medicine
Nephrologist, Coimbatore
Kidney Diseases

Genetically   Indian ethnics have more chance of getting diabetes and hypertension. We know these are the common causes of chronic kidney disease. From the onset of diagnosis of both these diseases one has to be aware that he or she has a chance of getting a kidney problem but one should not get frightened of this fact.

Prolonged life expectancy –

            Average life span of persons even in the developing world is increasing due to advancement in the medical field and quite naturally the rate of chronic disease will be rising over the years to come

Indian stats –

            Various statistics from Indian studies show a prevalence of kidney disease may be from 2 -3 % though there may be variations.                                                 

Diabetes –

            Diabetes is an epidemic in India with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease.  It is predicted that by 2030 diabetes mellitus may afflict up to 79.4 million individuals in India. Diabetes is a multisystem disease and kidney problems may occur even at the diagnosis of type2 diabetes mellitus. Indians develop diabetic nephropathy earlier than the western population.

Hypertension –

            Recent studies have reported that shown that hypertension is present in 25-30% urban and 10-20% rural people in India. This translates into an approximate population burden of 100-110 million persons with high blood pressure. If hypertension is not going to be adequately controlled all the blood vessels of the body is going to get affected including the tiny blood vessels of the kidney culminating in permanent kidney failure.

Other causes –

  • A family history of kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Older age
  • Having protein in the urine

Chronic Kidney Disease

Dr. Suraj Kumar 92% (54 ratings)
DM - Nephrology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Medicine
Nephrologist, Gurgaon
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This is a type of disease wherein there is gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months or even years. About one in ten people have Chronic kidney disease.

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Why do young people are more prone to kidney disease?

Dr. K.S Shiva Kumar 89% (373 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Urology
Urologist, Bangalore
Why do young people are more prone to kidney disease?

Those two, small bean-shaped organs are indeed essential for a perfectly healthy life. To check if a person is dead or living, medical practitioners need to confirm response from three organs of the human body heart, brain and kidneys. Kidneys absorb impurities from the blood, thus, purifying it and lead to the production of urine. Urine is necessary to rid your system of body wastes. Kidneys play a key role in maintaining hormone balance. The presence of any factor that could impede free functioning of this organ should be diagnosed, treated and eliminated at the earliest possible. Kidney diseases and subsequent kidney failure see no age bar. It affects both young and old people. In case of younger folks, the symptoms take years to surface and thus the chances of a fatal outcome are even higher.

Causes of kidney failure at a tender age:

  1. Chain smoking is a trigger: Smokers suffer from a higher risk of kidney failure. Smoking is a bad habit that has engulfed almost ninety percent of young adults. Irrespective of awareness programs and warning messages, there are millions who smoke nonchalantly. Smoking is known to impair kidney function which again can have frightening implications.
  2. High blood pressure levels must be controlled: Since stress is a common phenomenon among most individuals high blood pressure is also prevalent among a majority of these individuals. Younger people suffer from high blood pressure due to workplace politics and familial tensions. High blood pressure should not be taken lightly. Exercising and regular medications should be opted for in order to counter the threat of kidney failure at a young age.
  3. If you are obese, you are stepping closer to the threat: If not optimal; being close to the optimal body weight is very necessary to keep health disorders in check. If you are obese, you are not safe; one must make efforts to lose weight or else face the alarming situation when his or her kidneys fail to function properly.
  4. Consumption of junk food can cause complications: Junk food is fatty. One must keep away from high-protein and high-fat diet. Food items rich in protein and fats can push you towards chronic kidney diseases.
  5. Genetics may discern the health of your kidneys: The incidence of kidney failure in your family history can make you prone to a similar condition. Extra care should be taken to avoid any such possibility. Regular health check-ups should be undertaken. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2919 people found this helpful

Kidney - 5 Tips To Keep It Fit and Healthy!

Dr. Srinivas Rao 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Urology
Urologist, Bangalore
Kidney - 5 Tips To Keep It Fit and Healthy!

When we talk about health, the kidneys are rarely spoken of. These unsung heroes are responsible for filtering waste out of our bodies and ensuring that only clean blood flows through our system. The kidneys are a pair of small, bean-shaped organs located at the back of the abdomen. Along with removing waste from the blood, the kidneys also balance electrolytes and control the fluid balance in the body. Thus, keeping the kidneys healthy is as important as keeping the heart and lungs healthy.

Kidney stones are the most common condition that can affect these organs. Other conditions that can affect the kidneys include inflammation of the kidneys, renal failure, nephrotic syndrome and cysts. Thankfully, keeping the kidneys healthy is easy. Here are a few things you can do to improve the health of your kidneys.

  1. Drink plenty of water: Keeping your body hydrated is crucial to kidney health. Ideally, a person should drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water helps control the production of aldosterone- a hormone that regulates blood pressure- by the adrenal glands and helps the kidneys retain enough water and sodium to balance blood volume levels. If the kidneys do not get enough water, the adrenal glands are stressed into increasing blood pressure levels.
  2. Limit consumption of caffeine: We drink caffeine in many ways- sodas, coffee, tea etc. While caffeine may act as a stimulant and keep you focused on what you are doing in the short run, in the long run, it dehydrates the body. Dehydration can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. Hence reduce your caffeine intake and instead drink more water and fresh juices.
  3. Quit smoking: Smoking not only affects the lungs but also damages blood vessels thus decreasing blood flow to the kidneys thus preventing the optimal functioning of the kidneys. Smoking can also increase one’s risk of suffering from renal cancer.
  4. Get regular exercise: Exercise benefits all parts of your body including the kidneys. Regular exercise reduces blood pressure and helps keep the blood moving. This can help prevent kidney diseases and a number of other conditions. Ideally, aim for half an hours exercise a day at the least.
  5. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables: Fruits like grapes, apples and blueberries and vegetables like spinach, beets, garlic and red bell peppers help improve kidney functioning. Women should also include oestrogen boosting foods like chickpeas, fennel, tomatoes, cherries and carrots in their diet to protect themselves against kidney damage and fibrosis. Foods that are low in gluten, sugar and soy also help reduce the risk of kidney inflammation.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3011 people found this helpful

World Kidney Day - 7 Step Guide to Protect Your Kidney Health!

Dr. Yogesh Kumar Chhabra 89% (29 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Nephrology, DNB (Nephrology)
Nephrologist, Delhi
World Kidney Day - 7 Step Guide to Protect Your Kidney Health!

If you are concerned about your health, it is important for you to protect your kidneys from several harmful conditions. There are several types of kidney disorders, which may develop if your kidneys are not well cared for. This may include an overload of toxins, acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Along with these problems kidney cancer is another fatal threat.

Steps to keep your kidneys healthy
There are several ways you can take care of your kidneys and keep them safe, such as

  1. Take certain tests for obtaining the panel reading of your BUN or blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR) must be determined as well. The scores obtained from these tests will tell you about the condition of your kidneys at that point in time.
  2. Lower your amount of phosphorous intake. When the kidney does not function properly, phosphorus accumulation is likely to happen, which causes serious conditions like heart disorders and calcification of the tissues. You should avoid phosphorous rich food items and abstain from drinking carbonated drinks.
  3. You must consume foods that support and boost the health of your kidneys, which includes watermelon, cranberry, cabbage, cauliflower, blueberry, strawberry, apples, garlic, onion and olive oil.
  4. Obesity is related to kidney cancer and hence, you must maintain a healthy weight and carrying out regular exercises is highly advisable.
  5. Several pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS may have harmful side effects on the kidney and may lead to kidney cancer. Try to avoid these medicines.
  6. You can take an Epsom salt bath. This is a common measure for detoxification, as it enables in removing waste and toxins from the body and improves the overall health of your kidneys. Also, it is advisable to go for regular blood and urine check-up along with ultra-sound to know how your kidneys are functioning.
  7. You should keep your blood-sugar level and blood pressure under control as they can lead to kidney failure. You should quit smoking and stop using tobacco in any form as the toxins from nicotine will harm your kidneys.

With proper care and management of your kidneys, you will be able to prevent several harmful conditions.One should get Kidney function test and Ultrasound done to check that the kidney is functioning normally. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3516 people found this helpful

Hypercalcemia - Can It Cause Nephrogenic Diabetes?

Dr. Deepak Sharma 87% (753 ratings)
FIMSA, MD-Nephrology, DM - Nephrology, MD-Medcine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
Hypercalcemia - Can It Cause Nephrogenic Diabetes?

For many people, “diabetes” often be known as just Type I or Type II diabetes. You will be surprised, but there are several forms of diabetes. We have Diabetes mellitus and there is Diabetes insipidus. This type of diabetes is actually a hormonal disorder that directly affects the kidneys.

The signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus are the same they cause increased thirst that is almost insatiable. The person tends to always feel thirsty and will urinate much more than usual.
Diabetes insipidus or DI is a fairly uncommon disorder, and it does require proper treatment. Therefore, it is better to have an understanding of the problem and discuss the best possible treatment options.

Diabetes Insipidus explained
The kidneys are the filtering system of the body. One of the things that they filter is the extra fluid in the bloodstream. When there is too much water, it gets stored in the bladder and becomes urine. When the kidneys are working normally, the amount of urine that is created will rise or fall depending on the fluid levels that are present in the body.

When diabetes insipidus is present, this control is skewed. What happens now is that the hormones-mainly Vasopressin produced by the brain and controlled by the pituitary gland- that tell the kidneys to remove the extra fluids malfunction. Vasopressin thus acts as an anti-diuretic. Or sometimes, the kidneys don’t respond to the hormonal signals. At other times, there is a change in the amount of Vasopressin.

Types of Diabetes Insipidus
There are four main types of Diabetes Insipidus, amongst these, the central diabetes insipidus is perhaps the commonest and in this the Vasopressin regulation system malfunctions. This causes the kidneys to think that there is too much water in the body and they in turn, continually pull out fluids from the bloodstream and turn it into urine. A patient can sometimes end up urinating 20 litres of urine per day. The second important type of Diabetes Insipidus is Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus.

What causes Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus?
In Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the kidneys are unable to understand what the hormone levels within the body happen to be.
So, there is a breakdown in hormonal communication between the pituitary and kidneys with the pituitary gland producing the right levels of Vasopressin that are required, but the kidneys are unable to absorb the water from the bloodstream as and when requested. This defect typically happens within the tubules of the kidneys.

The most common reasons for nephrogenic diabetes insipidus to occur are

  • Long-term medication use, especially with lithium. People on lithium medication have a 40% chance of developing this form of DI. Long-term antibiotic use with demeclocycline can also increase risk for nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. 
  • Like central diabetes insipidus, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can also be caused by genetic factors. The symptoms of this DI can be present at birth or may develop slowly throughout childhood.
  • The third reason for nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is hypercalcemia. This means there is too much calcium in the blood.
  • Calcium is problematic for the kidneys and too much of it may cause them to stop responding to the fluctuating vasopressin hormone levels.

Hypercalcemia explained
In hypercalcemia, the level of calcium in the blood is too high and this causes no disturbing symptoms other than nausea, thirst, digestive problems. If left untreated, hypercalcemia can cause confusion and coma.

  1. Hyperparathyroidism: It is one of the reasons behind hypercalcemia. In this, one or more of the four parathyroid glands secrete too much parathyroid hormone which helps control the amount of calcium in blood.
  2. Diet: Eating too much calcium in the diet is another common reason for hypercalcemia.
  3. Too much vitamin D intake: If you take very high daily doses of vitamin D over several months, the amount of calcium absorbed from the digestive tract increases substantially and can lead to hypercalcemia.
  4. Other reasons: Other common bone disorders like Piaget disease where too much calcium is removed from bones and cancer.

Treatment of Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is usually done by a combination of diuretics and NSAID medications. Taking ibuprofen and other OTC painkillers concentrates the urine within the kidneys and relieves excess urination.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2583 people found this helpful

Renal Hypertension - Common Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Dr. Sunil Prakash 92% (32 ratings)
FISN, FISPD, MD - General Medicine, MBBS, DM
Nephrologist, Delhi
Renal Hypertension - Common Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Renal hypertension is a disorder, which is characterized by a rise in the blood pressure that results from kidney disease. The blood flow to the kidney is impaired due to the narrowing of the arteries and this leads to renovascular hypertension. 

The various symptoms of renal hypertension are: 

  1. You may experience symptoms of high blood pressure.
  2. Your kidneys may not function properly due to the impaired supply of blood
  3. It may lead to presence of blood in your urine
  4. You may be affected by pulmonary edema that results in accumulation of fluid in the lungs
  5. It may result in severe headaches and confusion
  6. You may experience blurred vision
  7. You may have nosebleeds
  8. The impaired kidney function may also lead to chronic kidney damage. 

The various causes of renal hypertension are: 

  1. Accumulation of cholesterol in the body may lead to blockage of the artery due to plaque buildup
  2. Smoking may increase your chances of getting affected by narrow arteries

The narrowing of the arteries causes a reduction in the blood supply to the kidneys. This results in the kidneys to release various hormones that instruct the body to hold on to water and sodium. This causes the fluid to accumulate in the blood vessels, thus resulting in high blood pressure. 
The various risk factors renal hypertension are: 

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Substance abuse
  3. Diabetes
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol
  6. Aging

Medications used to treat high blood pressure are used to treat renal hypertension. It is important that you get your blood pressure levels checked on a regular basis. You need to make certain lifestyle changes such as: 

  1. Exercise on a regular basis to keep your heart and body healthy
  2. Limit consumption of alcohol and reduce smoking
  3. Eat well balanced meals to keep obesity at bay
  4. Keep your mind free of stress
  5. Restrict consumption of salt
  6. Maintain optimal weight levels
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10 FAQs You Must Know About Kidney Diseases!

Dr. Sanjiv Saxena 92% (33 ratings)
DNB (Nephrology), MD, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
10 FAQs You Must Know About Kidney Diseases!

Having a kidney disease can make it feel as if your life has spun out of control. But having some knowledge about your kidney disease can save you the stress and trauma that you might experience. Knowledge about the same can also help you take better control over your condition. Here are some frequently asked questions about kidney diseases:

1. How do you know if you are at the risk for kidney disease?
Some basic things are to be monitored to keep away from the risk:

  • Blood pressure levels to be monitored at least once a year
  • Urine analysis to check protein levels
  • Creatinine level in your blood

2. What can we do to take care of our kidneys?
The most important thing is to ensure that your blood pressure and blood sugar are under control. Essential lifestyle changes can help keep your kidneys working longer.

3. How long can I live with Kidney disease?
Many people think that if their kidneys fail, it is the end of their life. But with modern advances in health care, this is not the case. How long you live depends on age, your overall health and how involved you are in your care. Even if you reach kidney failure you can continue to live for a long time with dialysis or kidney transplants.

4. What can be done for fatigue when you have kidney disease?
Fatigue is a common symptom of kidney disease, but there are medications to deal with it. Talk to your doctor to assess your condition and deal with it.

5. Is kidney disease hereditary?
Genetical factors can contribute to kidney disease and around 10% of kidney failures are caused by hereditary factors.

6. Do I need dialysis?
If your kidneys don’t perform their function and the serum creatinine levels reach a certain point, dialysis can be done. The dialysis machine will take over the kidney function of filtering out the impurities from your blood.

7. How long can you stay on dialysis while waiting for a transplant?
There is no set upper limit for the amount of time spent on dialysis. Some patients have gone over 25 years and it all depends on your health condition.

8. What questions should I ask my doctor?
No two people are same. Asking questions is the best way to find where you stand. So, discuss with your doctor on what percent of kidney function you have and what can be done to improve.

9. Can Dialysis be done at home?
Yes, discuss with your doctor to know how it can be done and whether it is good for you.

10. Do kidney stones lead to kidney disease?
No, they don’t lead to kidney failure. But long term obstruction of the kidney can cause kidney failure.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2034 people found this helpful

Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease!

Dr. Anuj Maheshwari 88% (112 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, FACE, FACP, FRCP (London)
Diabetologist, Lucknow
Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease!

At the point when our bodies process the protein we eat, the procedure creates waste products. In the kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels act as filters since they have even tinier holes in them. As blood flows through these vessels, little molecules such as waste items may press through the gaps. These waste items turn out to be a part of the urine. Helpful substances such as protein and red blood cells are too enormous to go through the gaps in the filter and stay in the blood.

Diabetes and kidneys: Diabetes can harm the kidneys. Abnormal amount of glucose make the kidneys filter a lot of blood. After a couple of years, they begin to spill and helpful protein is thereby lost in urine. Having low protein levels in the urine is called micro albuminuria.

Medication: When kidney disease is analyzed on time, during micro albuminuria, a few medications may keep kidney disease from getting worse. Having elevated levels of protein in the urine is called macro albuminuria. When kidney disease is looked up some other time during macro albuminuria, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) usually follows.

Causes: Strain on the organs may cause the kidneys to lose their filtering capacity. Waste items then begin to develop in the blood. Finally, the kidneys start to fail. This failure, ESRD, is intense. A patient with ESRD needs a kidney transplant or a blood filtration by a machine (dialysis).

Other complications: Individuals with diabetes will probably have other kidney-related issues such as bladder infections and nerve damages in the bladder.

Preventing complications: Not everybody with diabetes goes through a kidney disease. Elements that can impact kidney disease improvement include genetics, blood sugar control and blood pressure. The more a person keeps diabetes and blood pressure under control, the lower the chances of getting a kidney disease.

Keeping your glucose levels high can counteract diabetic kidney problems. Research has demonstrated that blood glucose control diminishes the danger of micro albuminuria by 33%. For individuals who suffer from micro albuminuria have now a reduced danger of advancing to macro albuminuria. Different studies have recommended that blood glucose control can reverse micro albuminuria.

Treatment: Essential treatments for kidney infection include control of blood glucose and blood pressure. Blood pressure dramatically affects the rate at which the condition progresses. Indeed, even a gentle increase in blood pressure can rapidly aggravate a kidney infection. Four approaches to bring down your blood pressure are:

  1. Shedding pounds
  2. Eating less salt
  3. Maintaining a strategic distance from liquor and tobacco
  4. Exercising regularly

A low-protein diet can decrease the amount of lost protein in the urine and increase the protein levels in the blood. Never begin a low-protein diet without talking to your physician. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4324 people found this helpful

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