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Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common health condition affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.13 billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension, and it is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Hypertension can also have a severe impact on the kidneys, leading to kidney disease and ultimately, kidney failure. In this article, we will discuss hypertension, its impact on the kidneys, and how it can be managed.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Hypertension is a condition where the force of blood against the walls of arteries is consistently too high, leading to potential damage to the arteries and other organs, including the kidneys.
There are two types of hypertension: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is the most common type of hypertension, accounting for 90-95% of all cases. Its cause is unknown, but risk factors include family history, age, race, obesity, lack of physical activity, and a diet high in sodium. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, or adrenal gland disorders.
The kidneys are essential organs that filter waste and excess fluids from the body. In addition, they play important role in production of red blood cells and in bone health. High blood pressure can put additional strain on the delicate blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to damage and reduced kidney function. The kidneys' blood vessels are responsible for filtering blood and removing waste products, but high blood pressure can cause these blood vessels to become narrower, which reduces blood flow to the kidneys. As a result, the kidneys may not function correctly, leading to a condition called kidney disease.
Kidney disease is a severe condition that can progress to kidney failure if left untreated. When the kidneys fail, they can no longer filter waste and fluids from the body, leading to a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. Kidney failure is a life-threatening condition that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Early kidney disease caused by hypertension is usually asymptomatic and can only be detected during physical examination and/or laboratory tests. Early signs includes needing more medicines to control blood pressure and increased frequency of urination at night. Swelling of the ankles, although common, is usually a late sign. Hypertension can lead to proteinuria, a condition where protein leaks into the urine, which is an early sign of kidney damage even before the blood tests become abnormal. For that reason, it is important to have urine tests during annual physical examination if one has hypertension.
The good news is that hypertension can be managed to protect kidney health. The first step is to identify and diagnose hypertension through regular blood pressure checks. If diagnosed with hypertension, the healthcare provider may prescribe lifestyle changes and medication to lower blood pressure as appropriate.
There are several classes of medications that can be used to manage hypertension, including:
Lifestyle modifications are also essential in managing hypertension. These include:
In addition to medication and lifestyle modifications, healthcare providers may also recommend regular kidney function tests to monitor kidney health. If kidney disease is detected, additional treatments may be necessary to slow its progression and prevent kidney failure.
Hypertension is a common health condition that can have a severe impact on kidney health. High blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease and ultimately, kidney failure. However, hypertension can be managed through medication, lifestyle modifications, and regular kidney function tests to protect kidney health. In addition to reducing the blood pressure independently, lifestyle changes also help the medications work better. If you have hypertension, it is essential to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. By managing hypertension and protecting kidney health, you can reduce the risk of serious complications and improve your overall health and well-being.
Important: The information provided is NOT a substitute for a doctor or professional healthcare or advice. Any health related information provided in SmartBP® app and this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.
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This is so much easier than writing it down!
I’ve been having high BP readings at the clinic the last few months. Doctor is ready to put me on meds. I asked for a few weeks to check readings and improve lifestyle. This app is showing me so many things! Like what the average reading is and what percentage it’s on each category. Turns okay systolic the majority’s of the time but it looks like I have diastolic hypertension which is supposed to be rare. I wouldn’t have known this without the insights and stats screens.
Best blood pressure tracking app that I have found. Very versatile. Developer responsive and continually looking to polish the app. No regrets upgrading to paid version. Extremely happy.
This app helps me track my blood pressure and assists my doctor in helping me with my hypertension.
I had to monitor by BP for the Dr. while checking responses to medication. This was an efficient way to keep record for myself and show the Dr. my progress
I just got diagnosed with hypertension. This app has helped me and doctors find the best meds to use
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and need to monitor twice daily at least and review with my doctor every three months. She and I both love the app because you can track a lot more than just BP and you can share your findings. I love that I can SEE it clearly too as some other apps I tried were very small and very light text. Even though I could track in Apple health kit I prefer this for many reasons and you can pull the data from here to there anyway AND then other apps if you do desire like LoseIt!
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A great way to keep track of your blood pressure daily so you can keep up with your numbers.
I’ve been using the app for a long time. Version 6.6 had a bug that wouldn’t open the app on my iPhone. Problem was fixed within 24 hours. Outstanding response.
SmartBP is being a great help to me tracking my blood pressure while I’m battling high pressure. Having the graphs and stats is encouraging when I see the downward trend. Being able to send a report to the doctor instantly is great for getting feedback from the doctor easily. I like that the limits can be modified and have changed mine (with help of my doctor) to reflect the parameters that apply for me. Great response from the developer to my questions and suggestions. You know you have a good app when the developer is working to make it better and responsive to input. I see from other posts that this developer is engaged with users and working on making the app even better!
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