KIDNEY WATCH AUSTRALIA
High blood pressure? Your kidneys could be suffering.
Whilst most of us know that high blood pressure is not good for our health, not many are aware that, among other things, it can lead to kidney disease.
High blood pressure, known as hypertension, affects the kidneys by putting more stress on the blood vessels throughout the body, including the kidney filters. If high blood pressure remains unchecked, it can cause blood vessels to become thickened and narrowed, leading to reduced blood supply and to a worsening of any underlying kidney trouble. The end result could be severe or total kidney failure.
The cause of hypertension can vary but if you are older, have a family history of hypertension, or if you are overweight, you are at greater risk of chronic kidney disease. Smoking, high cholesterol, high fat and salt intake, high alcohol intake and too little exercise can also contribute.
What can you do to reduce the risk?
* Keep your blood pressure below 130/80
* Maintain a healthy weight
* Ensure a low salt intake
* Reduce stress
* Moderate alcohol intake
* Don't smoke
How do you know if you have hypertension?
You may have some symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or nosebleeds but quite often there are no symptoms at all.
The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is to have it checked regularly by your doctor.
For kidney health information and advice call the Kidney Health Info Line (freecall) 1800 682 531 or TTY 1800 005 881, or visit the Kidney Health Australia website www.kidney.org.au
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