What Causes High Blood Pressure? Part 2, Renal (Kidney) Hypertension
Continuing the five-part series, we will now discuss renal (kidney) hypertension
Renal (Kidney) Hypertension
Renal (or renovascular) hypertension is a type of secondary high blood pressure caused by diseases of the kidneys. Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the renal artery can cause renal hypertension. Renal hypertension varies in younger people and older people. In younger people, the thickening of the muscular wall causes narrowing of the arteries. Renal hypertension in older people is caused by atheroslerotic (fat containing) buildups and blocks the renal artery.
How is renal hypertension caused?
It starts with the narrowing of the renal artery and then the impaired circulation of the blood to the kidney that has been affected. Deprivation of needed blood stimulates the hormone production of renin and angiotensin from the kidney. Renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone work together to constrict and increase the force needed in the peripheral arteries. The result is elevated blood pressure levels. Simply put, renal hypertension is caused by a blockage in the artery. Renal hypertension can be caused by salt retention and/or hormonal disturbances. Renal hypertension can cause kidney disease and kidney disease can cause renal hypertension.
Who is susceptible to renal hypertension?
Renal hypertension is most common in white men and black men and women. Approximately six out of 100,000 people have renal hypertension. Renal hypertension is most common in men over the age of 45 with atherosclerosis and women under the age of 45 with fibromuscular dysplasia. Other factors that are susceptible to renal hypertension include diets high in salt, genetics, heavy metal exposure, smoking, and stress.
What are the symptoms of renal hypertension?
The main symptom of renal hypertension is high blood pressure. When someone with renal hypertension has her blood pressure taken, the bottom number, or the diastolic number, is higher than 104 (the normal is 90). Varied symptoms include anxiety, chest pain, confusion, excessive perspiration, fatigue, headache, nausea, pale skin, vision problems, and vomiting. These side effects will vary according to the degree and severity of the renal hypertension itself. What makes renal hypertension even more confusing is the fact that some people don't have any symptoms.
Why is renal hypertension so dangerous?
Renal hypertension can be dangerous because it can lead to blindness, blood vessel damage, congestive heart failure, heart disease, kidney damage, kidney failure, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
How can renal hypertension be cured?
Renal hypertension can't be cured, but it can be controlled with a medical test called a balloon angioplasty where a stent is left to stretch the artery, medications, or surgery (although rare). Renal hypertension can be successfully addressed with simple changes in your lifestyle. None of these recommendations will surprise anyone. You should stop smoking and stop eating a high-sodium diet. You should adopt a regular physical schedule. You should learn everything you can about renal hypertension and you should check out all your options when it comes to dietary supplements. Will it be easy? Maybe not. Will it be worth it? Absolutely yes.
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