Can Kidney Disease Cause Hypertension?

When people think of causes of hypertension, or high blood pressure, they think of obesity, lack of exercise, diet, and genetics, they don’t normally think of kidneys. However, kidney disease, especially when left untreated, can cause a dramatic increase in blood pressure.

How Does Kidney Disease Cause Elevated Blood Pressure?

Renal disease has a direct impact on blood pressure because of the damage it causes to the kidneys. Renal disease, when left untreated for a long time, will slowly start to damage the arteries that surround the kidneys. Damage to the arteries causes the arteries to narrow. When the arteries are narrowed, the kidneys are not able to receive the enough blood.

In an effort to counter the lack of blood flow, the kidneys react, but they react in the wrong way. The kidneys, wrongly, believe that the lack of blood is caused by dehydration. To fix the problem and get proper blood flow back, the kidneys release a type of hormone that encourages the body to retain water and sodium.

Retaining water and sodium would be helpful if the kidneys were dehydrated, but they aren’t. The retained water and sodium actually causes blood pressure to increase, which can cause even more problems.

Are There Any Symptoms of Elevated Blood Pressure from Kidney Disease?

Elevated blood pressure is difficult to notice because it has basically no symptoms. The only way to know your blood pressure is high is by using monitoring equipment to provide you with detailed blood pressure numbers.

Even though high blood pressure has virtually no symptoms, there are a few common symptoms that may be linked to it. Those symptoms include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Headache

How is High Blood Pressure Treated when it is Caused by the Kidneys?

Treatment for renal hypertension is no different than treatment you would receive for high blood pressure caused by other things. The first line of treatment that is used is medication. The medications that may be prescribed are ACE inhibitors and ARBs.

Sometimes you may need to take more than one high blood pressure medication to treat your high blood pressure. Doctors will often work with you to find a combination of medications that can safely bring down your blood pressure.

In some situations, use of medication may not help. When medication fails to bring down blood pressure, a doctor will recommend performing either an angioplasty, stent procedure, or a surgery to bypass the damaged kidneys. Surgery has the best results, while stenting and angioplasty produce results, but those results may not last.

If you suffer from hypertension that may be caused by kidney disease, schedule a visit to Southeastern Massachusetts Dialysis Group. Our team of physicians can properly evaluate your case and determine the best course of treatment for you. Call our offices today to schedule an appointment.