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Tag Archives: blood pressure

Categories Kidney Diet, Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre

Lowering Salt Will Always Help Your Kidneys

The idea seems straightforward when you think of high blood pressure: if you lower your salt intake, you will help to lower the blood pressure, or at least prevent it from getting worse. But the systems in our bodies don’t operate in isolation, and the good you do for one of them is bound to have positive effects in others. This was demonstrated yet again by a review conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration Renal Group.

This group reviewed thirteen studies relating to salt intake in diabetic patients. What they found was not entirely surprising, but the implications of their conclusions are widespread. First of all, they confirmed once again the connection of high salt intake and blood pressure issues. So clearly, diabetics would do well to reduce salt levels in their diet for that reason alone, because this reduction lowers the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure.

But the evidence gathered in the same studies also reinforces the understanding that high blood pressure is just as hard on the kidneys as on the heart. The studies also suggested that even for people whose blood pressure hasn’t yet inched into the “high” range, lowering salt intake will still have a positive effect on heart and kidney health.

This isn’t necessarily a rule condemning people to a life of tasteless food, however. Removing salt from one’s diet provides the opportunity to discover the natural, intrinsic tastes of food, and to combine these tastes into something that as delicious without needing a salty boost. While easing the blood pressure and helping the heart and kidneys, the lessening of salt might open up a whole new culinary world.

(View the Cochrane Renal Group Summary: Suckling RJ, He FJ, MacGregor GA. Altered dietary salt intake for preventing and treating diabetic kidney disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD006763. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006763.pub2)

(Further reading: PulseToday, December 9, 2010; Nursing Times, December 10, 2010)

Categories Kidney Disease

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)

Categories Kidney Disease

Taking Your Blood Pressure Meds Can Improve Kidney Disease Outcomes

You’d think it would be completely straightforward. Since one of the things that sometimes results from kidney disease is higher blood pressure, a kidney disease sufferer with hypertension problems would naturally take their medication. But a recent report has suggested that one-third of these patients actually don’t maintain their blood pressure treatments.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center have just published a report that describes this problem. They took two years’ worth of data from 7,227 patients at the VA who had chronic kidney disease (CKD), and who also suffered from hypertension. And this was when they uncovered the astonishing fact that about thirty-three percent of these patients either didn’t take their blood pressure medications, or had what was described as “poor medication adherence.”

The consequence appears to be a twenty-three percent higher likelihood of a worse outcome for those CKD patients themselves, when it comes to the progression of the disease. Doctor Charuhas Thakar, associate professor at the university and chief of the renal division at the VA, points out that high blood pressure is “probably the most important modifiable risk factor in chronic kidney disease.” This means that if patients are able to regulate their blood pressure and reduce the strain on the kidneys, they can do much better at improving their kidney health and, incidentally, lowering medical costs.

The report has just been published in the November 2nd online edition of the American Journal of Nephrology. Doctor Thakar points out that the results of this analysis need further confirmation, since all of this data came only from one place. But certainly this news suggests that people with CKD should not neglect their blood pressure medication if they suffer from hypertension.

(Further reading: UC Academic Health Center News Release, November 3, 2010)

Categories Health, Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Pain Killers Bad for Kidneys, Worse for CKD

Do you pop pills at the slightest pain? If you are a pill-popper here is something you should know about analgesics also known as pain killers. They may relieve your pain but may be harming a vital organ in your body: your kidneys.  Even worse is those analgesics further reduce blood flow to the kidney when a person suffers from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

How can the use of analgesics hurt the kidneys? The long term use of ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and other higher dose aspirin can cause chronic interstitial nephritis. For this reason, over the counter (OTC) pain relievers should not be used for more than 10 days and fever reducers for more than three days. This is clearly indicated in the warning labels of OTC analgesics. OTC analgesics include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and ketoprofen.  Prescription analgesics are also available, and are usually stronger than OTC ones.

Additionally, analgesics and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) have been known to contribute to gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers. The use of NSAIDs also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. NSAIDs are a group of pain relievers that include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and ketoprofen.

It is strongly recommended that analgesics be used as prescribed by your doctor, or as stated on the label for OTC drugs; they should be taken at the lowest dose; and used for a short period.

Those with reduced kidney functions are not recommended to take higher dose aspirin and NSAIDs. If necessary, kidney patients should take NSAIDs under a doctor’s care. NSAIDs also have contra-indications for people with heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure and those over 65. These pills increase the risk of kidney failure and cause progressive kidney damage.

Meanwhile, acetaminophen is the recommended analgesic for kidney patients. Aspirin is not recommended because it acts as a “blood thinner” and may cause bleeding complications. Patients on regular acetaminophen use should be supervised by their doctors. Alcohol should be avoided while on this medication.

The good news is kidney disease caused by the use of analgesics is PREVENTABLE! Here are some guidelines on how to use analgesics without harming your kidneys: Remember what was earlier said about prolonged use? Well OTC analgesics should not be used for more than 10 days for pain, and more than 3 days for fever. Drink at least eight glasses of fluids daily when taking analgesics, and avoid drinking alcohol. Analgesics with a mixture of painkillers and caffeine in one pill should be avoided. These can drastically damage the kidneys. Read the warning labels for all OTC analgesics. Those with underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure, kidney or liver diseases should take NSAIDs under the doctor’s care.  Last but not least, your doctor should be aware of all the medications you’re taking.