10 Facts About Blood Pressure

FACT: High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the biggest causes of CKD.

High blood pressure puts a strain on the small blood vessels in the kidney so they cannot filter blood well.

 

FACT: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can worsen your kidney function.

If you do not take the necessary steps to improve your blood pressure, this will increase the chances that your kidney disease progression will get worse. Following your treatment plan for blood pressure can help lower your blood pressure to reach your individual targets, stop your kidney disease from getting worse and lower your chances of getting heart disease.

 

FACT: High blood pressure is both a cause of CKD and a complication of CKD.

High blood pressure cannot only cause kidney disease by damaging the small blood vessels of the kidneys. It can also be a complication of CKD as damaged kidneys are less able to regulate blood pressure which can cause blood pressure to increase.

 

FACT: People with CKD should aim to keep their blood pressure below 140/90. People with CKD and diabetes should aim to keep their blood pressure below 130/80.

These are the recommended guidelines for optimum blood pressure control for people with CKD. However it is important to know your individual blood pressure targets which you can discuss with your healthcare team.

 

FACT: High blood pressure can cause no symptoms.

Hypertension is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because it often shows no symptoms. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check your readings using a blood pressure cuff. You will likely have been asked by your healthcare team to monitor your blood pressure at home and you should keep a record of the results.

 

FACT: High blood pressure can not only damage your kidneys further but it can cause other health problems.

One of the biggest causes of death in people with CKD is cardiovascular disease, a condition affecting the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

 

FACT: There are many different types of medication that can be prescribed in CKD to help control your blood pressure.

The most common types of blood pressure medication prescribed are ACE-inhibitors (ends in -prils eg lisinopril, ramipril), angiotensin-receptor blockers (ends in -sartan eg irbesartan, losartan) and beta-blockers (ends in -ol eg bisoprolol, atenolol). However there are several others and it is likely that you will be prescribed a combination of blood pressure medication that meets your individual needs.

 

FACT: Medication is not the only treatment for blood pressure.

Whilst most people will be prescribed medication to help lower thor blood pressure, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to help reach your blood pressure goals. These include following a healthy eating diet (including eating less salt), increasing your physical activity, reducing your alcohol intake, stopping smoking and reducing stress.

 

FACT: It is recommended to consume no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day.

The recommended salt intake for people with CKD is no more than 6g per day (about 1 teaspoon). This includes salt already included in foods and the salt we add to foods. 75% of the salt we eat comes from salt already in foods which is why it’s important to be aware of which foods are high in salt and cleck food labels. Foods with more than 1.5g salt/100g is considered to be a food product high in salt.

 

FACT: Reducing salt intake can reduce blood pressure and proteinuria (protein in urine) in people with CKD.

Taking steps to reduce salt intake such as cooking with less salt, reducing intake of pre-prepared and packaged foods, eating less salty foods and reading food labels to help choose lower salt options can not only help reduce blood pressure but also reduce the amount of protein in your urine.

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