As for someone who exercises regularly and is not overweight, it can be disgruntling to learn that you have hypertension and you must take pills for that for the rest of your life. Hypertension means high blood pressure and is often associated with aging and unhealthy habits, like not eating a healthy diet, not getting enough sleep, and so on. But the fact that even healthy and young people suffer from this condition is alarming and concerning. A condition called chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often associated with hypertension because it is one of the leading causes of CKD. Similarly, CKD can also cause hypertension as the kidneys play a crucial role in the blood pressure regulation. In this article, we look at the similarities between CKD and hypertension. But first, let’s look a brief look at the two conditions.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is a chronic condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over a span of few to several years. It is a long-term condition that significantly impacts the ability of the kidneys to filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood. It is a common health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. CKD is defined by the National Kidney Foundation as the presence of kidney damage or decreased level of kidney function for at least three months. Studies suggest about 8 to 10 percent of the world’s population is suffering from chronic kidney disease.
Although CKD is a condition often associated with aging, younger population are also getting affected by this condition. If not properly treated or managed, the condition can progress to a stage that your kidneys will stop working completely. People with CKD may not experience any noticeable symptoms at the early stages, but as the condition progresses, symptoms such as fatigue, swelling in the hands and feet, and difficulty concentrating may follow. Early diagnosis is the key to preventing further kidney damage and minimizing the risk of serious complications such as heart stroke.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a health condition commonly associated with high blood pressure and is known as the silent killer. It is a serious problem affecting millions of people in the United States, with every 1 in 4 adults living with hypertension. Hypertension has surprisingly no noticeable symptoms but it has the ability to cause significant damage to the body. It is a chronic condition where the force of your blood flowing through the arteries is too high. It is a major contributor to many serious health problems, including heart disease, kidney damage, stroke, and even blindness.
If left untreated, hypertension can have a significant impact on your quality of life, leading to disability and reduced productivity. Once hypertension is diagnosed, an adequate control to levels below 130/80 is of paramount importance to prevent the growth of kidney disease. It can be managed with simple lifestyle changes such as a proper workout routine, a healthy and balanced diet, and reducing alcohol consumption. Doctors may prescribe additional medications if the lifestyle changes are not enough.
Similarities between CKD and Hypertension
– Both CKD and hypertension are two common chronic conditions that are commonly associated with aging, but younger people are also getting affected by the conditions. Hypertension is both a common cause and complication of the chronic kidney disease. The early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension is critical in caring for patients with CKD. Both conditions can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to reduced kidney function over time.
– The heart and kidneys are closely related. One cannot function properly without the other. In fact, the heart and the kidneys have a bi-directional relationship in many diseases. For example, hypertension can ultimately lead to kidney disease which can ultimately lead to worsening hypertension. Essentially, it implies, “Treating the kidney to cure the heart.”
– Hypertension is when the force of your blood flowing through the arteries is too high. It can damage the blood vessels of the kidneys, ultimately affecting their ability to filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood, which can lead to CKD. Similarly, CKD can cause hypertension as the kidneys play a significant role in regulating blood pressure.
Symptoms and Treatment
– The symptoms of both the conditions may not be noticeable during the early stages, but the symptoms may worsen if left untreated. Some common symptoms include loss of appetite, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the hands and feet, among others. Treatment for both conditions involves simple lifestyle changes such as physical exercise, healthy eating habits, as well as medications to keep the blood pressure in check.
What happens to the kidneys with CKD and high blood pressure?
The kidneys start to lose their ability to function properly, if left untreated. CKD impacts the ability of the kidneys to filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood. Hypertension is a major contributor to many serious health problems, including kidney damage.
Is there a link between hypertension and CKD?
Both hypertension and CKD are closely linked as hypertension is both a common cause and a significant risk factor for CKD. Managing hypertension is a crucial part of preventing and managing CKD.
How do you control hypertension with CKD?
Controlling hypertension in people with CKD involve some lifestyle changes as well as medications, such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, to lower the blood pressure.
How does chronic hypertension lead to CKD?
Hypertension can cause damage to the small blood vessels in the kidneys, which minimizes their ability to function properly. Over time, this can lead to a gradual loss of kidney function and the development of CKD.
How long does it take for high blood pressure to damage kidneys?
The amount of time can vary from person to person. In some cases, it may take a few years to several years of untreated hypertension, while in others, the damage to kidneys may start earlier than anticipated.
What is the drug of choice for hypertension in CKD?
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are often the preferred drugs of choice to treat or manage hypertension in CKD.
What do kidneys do with high blood pressure?
With high blood pressure, kidneys cease to function gradually over time. Typically kidneys play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure by maintaining a healthy balance of body fluids and electrolytes.