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High blood pressure and kidney disease

High blood pressure is a major cause of kidney disease and kidney failure.

The extra pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, stopping them from working properly.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

The symptoms of kidney disease include:

  • High blood pressure.
  • A decrease in the amount of urine produced or difficulty urinating.
  • Oedema (fluid retention), especially in the lower legs.
  • A need to urinate more often, especially at night.

How is kidney disease diagnosed?

As with high blood pressure, you may not realise you have kidney disease. Certain laboratory tests can indicate whether your kidneys are eliminating waste products properly. These tests include serum creatinine and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) as elevated levels of serum creatinine and reduced GFR rates can indicate kidney damage. Proteinuria, an excess of protein in the urine, is also a sign of kidney disease.

Who is at risk of kidney disease due to high blood pressure?

Kidney disease caused by high blood pressure affects every group and race. However certain groups are at a higher risk, including:

  • People who have diabetes.
  • People with a family history of high blood pressure and kidney disease.
  • People who are black of African or Caribbean descent.
  • People who are of South Asian origin.

How can I prevent and treat kidney disease?

To prevent, and treat, kidney disease from high blood pressure:

  • Try to keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Make sure you get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Take the medication your doctor prescribes.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 09, 2014

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