World Hypertension Day: When the function of the kidneys begins to fail, they can cause a further increase in blood pressure
Reprsentational image. Adam Niescioruk/Unsplash
World Hypertension Day is observed on 17 May every year to educate the masses about the ill effects of hypertension on the body.
This year, the theme is Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer which reflects on combatting low awareness rate and create more and more awareness about the disease and its management.
According to a study published in the famous Lancet journal, India is ranked 156 and 164 globally in terms of hypertension prevalence among men and women respectively. Over two-thirds of the cases of chronic kidney disease in Western countries are on account of high blood pressure and diabetes, the estimate in India is about 40–60 per cent today.
Our kidneys are both the victim and the cause of hypertension. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney diseases today. Hypertension or high blood pressure causes damage to the tiny blood vessels that filter blood in the kidney, making removal of waste from the body difficult and thereby causing a damaged kidney. When the function of the kidneys begins to fail, they can cause a further increase in blood pressure by releasing certain hormones or by causing retention of salt and water in your body.
One who is hypertensive may not know that they have kidney disease until their blood is tested for Blood Urea, Serum Creatinine and GFR. It is an extremely important parameter that every hypertensive individual should be tested at least once in six months irrespective of their age to check for their renal function.
For patients who have high blood pressure and kidney disease, it is extremely important to keep a control check on their blood pressure through their lifestyle changes. It is very imperative to adhere to a strict diet. The most common advice is to restrict salt/sodium which alone is not the only thing to do but it is important to understand to follow a DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet.
Inclusion of DASH, staying well hydrated and indulging in physical activity for 45 minutes per day not only controls blood pressure and prevents kidney diseases but also keeps a check on your weight and overall well-being.
The author is Chief Dietician, NephroPlus. Views are personal.
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