Hypertension Overview

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, namely a blood pressure above 140 mmHg systolic (upper value) and/or above 90 mmHg diastolic (lower value).

Hypertension is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease due to the deleterious effects of increased blood pressure on kidney vasculature. Long-term, uncontrolled, high blood pressure leads to high intraglomerular pressure, impairing glomerular filtration. -Learn why high blood pressure can lead to chronic kidney disease-

Fortunately, treatments to lower blood pressure are usually easy to take and can help prevent health problems.

High Blood Pressure in the United States

According to the CDC (1):

  • Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.
  • In 2018, nearly half a million deaths in the United States included hypertension as a primary or contributing cause.
  • Only about 1 in 4 adults (24%) with hypertension have their condition under control.
  • About half of adults (45%) with uncontrolled hypertension have 140/90 mm Hg blood pressure or higher. This includes 37 million U.S. adults.
  • High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 410,000 Americans in 2014—that's more than 1,100 deaths each day.
  • High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 494,873 people in the United States in 2018.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

Having certain medical conditions can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. These conditions include:

  • Prehypertension.
  • Diabetes.

Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for high blood pressure, especially for people who have one of the medical conditions listed above.

Unhealthy behaviors include:

  • Smoking tobacco.
  • Eating foods high in sodium.
  • Not getting enough physical activity.
  • Being obese.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes is an essential first step in treating high blood pressure. To get the maximum health benefits of drinking water, you need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

Generally, if you have hypertension, your ultimate goal should be twelve 8-ounce glasses or 96 ounces of water per day. -Ask your doctor before following these standard guidelines.-

Chronic dehydration also can be a cause of high blood pressure by making the body hold onto sodium. This increases blood volume and thus blood pressure. Make a point of drinking a minimum of eight and preferably 10 to 12 glasses of pure, filtered water every day.

Control Blood Pressure

Measuring your blood pressure is an essential step toward keeping healthy blood pressure. Because high blood pressure and prehypertension often have no symptoms, checking your blood pressure is the only way to know whether it is too high.

If you learn that you have prehypertension or high blood pressure, you should take steps to control your blood pressure to lower your risk of chronic kidney disease.

Manage Diabetes

Most people with diabetes—about 6 out of 10—also have high blood pressure (1). If your healthcare provider thinks you have symptoms of diabetes, he or she may recommend that you get tested.

If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels carefully. Talk with your health care team about treatment options.

Your doctor may recommend specific lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under reasonable control—those actions will help reduce your risk for high blood pressure.

Take Your Medicine

If you take medication to treat high blood pressure or diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you do not understand something. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor.

Talk with Your Health Care Team

You and your health care team can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to high blood pressure. Discuss your hypertension treatment plan regularly, and bring a list of questions to your appointments.

Our Florida Kidney Physicians providers are specialists in hypertension. They will provide you with a proper diet plan and a guideline for fluid intake.

If you have prehypertension or diabetes, you can take steps to lower your risk for high blood pressure and improve your quality of life.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
(2) kidney.org