In this video, Dr. Bindu Rajagopal discusses the effect of high blood pressure on brain and kidney health
Published: Jun 11, 2020 10:44:43 AM IST
Updated: Feb 22, 2021 05:43:51 PM IST
High blood pressure is the second highest cause of kidney failure and accounts for about one-fourth of all cases. High blood pressure can be both a cause of kidney disease and a symptom of kidney disease. It can cause damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney, making removal of waste from the body difficult. Once a person is diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, it becomes necessary for the patient to undergo either dialysis - a blood-cleansing process, or kidney transplantation. One will not be able to feel if high blood pressure has hurt the kidneys; the only way to know is to be tested. However, there can be some symptoms of kidney disease such as worsening blood pressure, decrease in amount of urine or difficulty in urinating, edema of feet and frequent urination. Certain lifestyle modifications can be helpful to control the blood pressure and prevent kidney disease, or prevent its progression in individuals who already have kidney disease.
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It has long been established that high blood pressure is not good for the heart, but the fact that it is harmful for the brain has also been widely known. Hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis or a blood clot, and is a serious threat to the integrity of brain arteries which may burst anytime due to extra build-up of pressure. A high blood pressure can cause several problems, including transient ischemic attack, stroke, dementia, and mid cognitive impairment. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes, both symptomatic and silent. The higher is the pressure, the higher is the risk. Reportedly, each 10 mm Hg rise in systolic pressure boosts the risk of ischemic stroke by 28% and of hemorrhagic stroke by 38%. However, on the reverse side, in round figures, a reduction of systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg, may cut the risk of stroke by a whopping 44%. Lifestyle modifications including a healthy diet, physical exercise, weight management, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol go a long way in managing the high blood pressure. Finally, medications should be used if more help is needed.
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