WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?
Temporary increases or drops in blood pressure are normal and expected in healthy individuals. However, if your blood pressure stays above 130/80 mmHg most or all of the time, this is an indication that you have hypertension. Hypertension is extremely common, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. qualify for a diagnosis of hypertension. Only about 25% of those people are successfully managing their high blood pressure in order to prevent other health issues from arising. Uncontrolled high blood pressure not only raises your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, but it can cause damage to your kidneys over time. People who are already experiencing kidney problems can also develop hypertension due to loss of renal function.
Where It All Begins
CAUSES OF HYPERTENSION
The most common cause of both hypertension and chronic kidney disease is diabetes, especially if patients have blood sugar levels that stay elevated or frequently swing from one extreme to another. Over time, this extreme instability can damage the filtration structures inside the kidneys and cause blood vessels to stiffen and lose their ability to circulate blood efficiently. Both effects can prevent your kidneys from functioning the way they should, which makes glucose levels and blood pressure harder to control.
Additional Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
Likelihood of Developing Hypertension
As with many forms of kidney disease, hypertension can develop due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, excessive use of alcohol, and other behavioral factors. Addressing these issues can mitigate the effects of hypertension or prevent it from developing in the first place. In other cases, however, genetics and family history can cause high blood pressure even if they're making generally healthy choices. Some women may also develop hypertension as a consequence of pregnancy. This condition, often referred to as pre-eclampsia, can become very dangerous for both mothers and child if it isn't detected or addressed with proper prenatal care.
Help For High Blood Pressure
TREATMENT & PREVENTION WITH KHA
At KHA, we work to find a hypertension management strategy that takes all of your health considerations into account in order to help you maintain healthier, more stable blood pressures for better long-term results. These may include lifestyle changes, modifications to your diet, or prescription medications, especially in milder cases of hypertension. If your blood pressure is severely elevated or you have other factors that make your hypertension more complicated to manage, our team of experts will take a deeper look at how your body is functioning and which organ systems may be playing a role in keeping your blood pressure elevated. Gathering as much information as possible about your unique medical concerns will allow Kidney & Hypertension Associates to craft the ideal treatment and management plan for long-term success.
Get The Care You Deserve
At Kidney and Hypertension Associates, our dedicated, knowledgeable physicians and nurse practitioners will work with you to find the best management and treatment strategy for hypertension, kidney disease, or disorders of kidney function, no matter what other factors may have influenced your kidney care before now. KHA patients can schedule regular visits at one of seven office locations across the Northshore area, and our providers consult with hospital-based physicians and direct operations for Fresenius dialysis units at medical centers and clinics throughout the region.
Call us today at (985) 893-0911 to schedule your first visit.