Hypertension and parenchymal renal disease often go hand-in-hand as the association between the two conditions are well known. Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is known to cause damage to the kidneys, often resulting in chronic renal disease. The kidneys become damaged because they play an essential role when it comes to maintaining proper blood pressure. High blood pressure occurs when the blood vessels become narrowed, causing an increase in pressure against the vessels’ walls as blood is forcefully pumped through them.
Hypertension and Parenchymal Renal Disease
It’s estimated, more than 25,000 new cases of chronic renal disease are diagnosed every year in the United States as a result of hypertension. Hypertension is the leading cause of chronic renal disease. When chronic renal disease, or kidney failure, occurs a patient must undergo dialysis until a kidney transplant is received.
As hypertension causes the heart to work harder, the blood vessels eventually become damaged due to the force of the blood flow. This causes the vessels within the kidneys to become damaged as well. As this occurs, the kidneys no longer receive adequate blood supply, which leads to kidney damage. As the kidneys become damaged, they are no longer able to remove wastes and extra fluids in the body, which can raise the blood pressure even higher.
Symptoms of Chronic Renal Disease
Most often, symptoms of early kidney damage aren’t experienced, causing the damage to continue as the condition is left untreated. Most often, chronic renal disease is diagnosed from a person’s glomerular filtration rate (GFR,) which is a measurement of how well the kidneys are working to remove wastes from the blood. As creatinine (used to break down muscle cells) levels are measured within the blood, the GFR is estimated. This allows chronic renal disease to be properly diagnosed because when the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, creatinine levels within the blood begin to rise. Normally, creatinine is taken out of the blood and exits the body in urine.
Risks for Chronic Renal Disease
While anyone can suffer from chronic renal disease, African Americans have an increased risk for developing renal disease associated with hypertension. In fact, it’s estimated African Americans are six times more likely to develop kidney failure due to hypertension when compared to Caucasians. Those with diabetes, especially African Americans, have a higher risk for developing chronic renal disease.
Early management for hypertension is essential to prevent chronic renal disease. There are several effective medications that can be used to treat hypertension. These medications, used in combination with a healthy lifestyle, exercise and a balance diet will decrease the risk for developing chronic renal disease. Diuretics are also beneficial to rid the body of excess fluids. With these medications, blood pressure levels are often significantly lower, reducing the risk for kidney failure.
“High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease.” https://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/highblood/
“Hypertension in Parenchymal Renal Disease.” https://www.nature.com/ki/journal/v69/n6/full/5000177a.html
“Secondary Hypertension.” https://www.cvphysiology.com/Blood%20Pressure/BP023.htm#Chronic%20renal%20disease