Kidney Function and Hypertension

Nephrology deals with the physiology and diseases of the kidneys and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension is a dangerous medical condition that can cause significant repercussions. Blood pressure means the force with which blood pushes against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure is an increase in the force of this pressure. Various factors can lead to high blood pressure.

How does hypertension affect kidney function? Your kidneys are a set of two fist-sized organs found below your rib cage on either side of the spine. These organs filter blood and produce urine. Urine is then moved from the kidneys to the bladder through the ureters.

High blood pressure can affect blood vessels in the kidneys over time, impairing their function. In fact, hypertension is the second highest cause of kidney failure among patients in the United States. High blood flow pressure causes the blood vessels to distend, which can lead to scarring and weakening of the blood vessels over time. This can impair the kidneys’ ability to take waste and excess fluid out of the body. As a result, this can create a vicious cycle, where excess fluid causes blood pressure to raise even higher.

Diagnosing Kidney Disease

Your doctor can diagnose high blood pressure after conducting several blood pressure tests—typically over a more extended period of time to show a consistent problem over time. Kidney disease is typically diagnosed using tests such as urine and blood tests.

Some signs of kidney disease may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry skin
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty focusing / concentrating
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Darker skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased urination / decreased urination
  • Itching / numbness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Headaches

MMC Nephrology Services

  • Kidney Stone Prevention and Testing
  • Chronic Kidney Disease Evaluation and Care
  • Treatment for Electrolyte Abnormalities
  • End Stage Kidney Disease Management Including Dialysis
  • Diagnosis and Care for all Kidney Disorders
  • Hypertension Diagnosis and Treatment

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