High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for kidney disease. This doesn’t mean that blood pressure problems always lead to problems with the kidneys, but high blood pressure is certainly one of the things that can cause them damage. But how exactly does it do that?

According to MedicineNet.com, the damage from high presure is caused not just to the kidneys, but to a person’s blood vessels in general. The measurement of one’s blood pressure involves how much force the blood exerts against the walls of the blood vessels as the heart pumps. Various factors like retention of fluid or clogged vessels can make the heart work harder and increase the pressure as it works to push blood through.

One reason high blood pressure can lead to kidney problems is that it damages the blood vessels there as well as in other parts of the body. This sometimes results in substances collecting along the inside walls of the blood vessels, thickening them so that the blood pressure goes up. And a vicious cycle can often be created, in which the kidneys can’t remove all the wastes carried in the blood vessels, which leads to a higher fluid volume in the blood vessels, which leads to higher blood pressure.

As is the case with other physical causes of kidney disease, the root issue is frequently that the kidneys are simply made to work much harder than they should. Eventually they simply wear out, and stop being capable of filtering wastes out of the blood. Damage caused to blood vessels by high blood pressure is one of the insidious ways kidneys can be harmed.

People most often think of strokes and heart attacks as dangers people can face if they have high blood pressure. But kidney failure is another major risk, and demonstrates another reason why it is absolutely necessary to keep one’s blood pressure under control.

(Further reading: MedicineNet.com; Wikipedia – Hypertensive Nephropathy)

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