By age 60, 80-90% of Americans will have abnormal blood pressure. This is actually an adaptation to aging, but in the long term, HBP is not beneficial for your health if it is not treated. High blood pressure results in increased risk of stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease.
In this population, following the systolic number is more important. Medical literature shows that the systolic number being high is directly related to organ damage in the form of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, and eye damage. Treating this early before damage occurs is the key to preventing these complications.
If taking medications results in fatigue, this typically means (a) that the medication is very effective and drops your blood pressure too low, too soon, or (b) you just don’t tolerate the medication. Your doctor should be aware of your fatigue so he or she can adjust your medications.
Your PCP is correct since kidney disease is silent until the very late stages. You do need to see a nephrologist. The earlier this problem is addressed, the more that can be done to keep you at your healthiest.
This problem is not due to your kidneys. It requires evaluation by a urologist, who is the surgical counterpart to a nephrologist and is involved with the mechanical (plumbing) issues of the urinary tract. By contrast, a nephrologist takes care of medical conditions related to the kidneys and their chemical functions.
The kidneys also determine your total body water needs and adjust your sodium levels depending on your diet. Because of these properties, the kidneys are the control tower of your blood pressure.
In addition, kidneys activate vitamin D to its effective form and give feedback to parathyroid glands, which, if not monitored, can lead to a form of kidney osteoporosis called metabolic mineral bone disease or chronic kidney disease (renal osteodystrophy).
Lastly, the kidneys produce erythropoietin, a hormone that promotes the formation of red blood cells by the bone marrow. Maintaining a normal level of red blood cells is important in order to avoid anemia.
In addition, certain patients with proteinuria will benefit from the use of ACE inhibitors, ARBs, or spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic. This is a decision that must be made by your doctor since not all medications are suited for everyone.
Make every doctor you see aware that you are a kidney patient. Your nephrologist should also be an advocate for this.
Avoid over-the-counter (OTCs) medications as per your doctor’s recommendations, specifically the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
In addition, the combination of Tylenol (acetaminophen) with aspirin can cause the kidneys to form a toxic by-product if taken regularly.
Herbal supplements comprise a multimillion dollar business that is not liable for long-term harm to your health. To date, there have been no significant published randomized controlled clinical trials that testify to the health benefit of herbal supplements. They all contain a label in very fine print on the side of each product that states “this is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.”
The following have been listed by the National Kidney Foundation as possibly harmful for people with kidney disease: ginseng, ginger, noni juice, alfalfa, aloe, rhubarb, and licorice to name a few. For more information, visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website.
We do not allow walk-ins since all appointments are filled. We do accommodate our patients promptly if a problem arises, but this must be scheduled by phone to meet your needs.
If you would kindly notify us during office hours with at least 24 hours’ notice, it should not be a problem. The sooner you can notify us, the sooner we will be able to reschedule your appointment.
Due to our limited appointments, any no-shows or cancellations that are not called in during office hours at least 24 hours in advance will result in a $25 charge.
Depending on the medical urgency, your call will be returned within the day to 48 hours by our staff. Multiple calls regarding the same problem are not necessary. All medical questions are reviewed and answered by your doctor.
Please bring all of your medicine bottles with you to your appointment for proper care. We recommend submitting refill requests 7-10 days prior to running out, since emergency refills are not in our office policy.
Also, many pills are not meant to be cut and become non-effective when cut. Just remember, all medicines are filtered by your kidneys. We have seen many mistakes in medication lists. It’s only human. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us to provide you with the best care.
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