High Blood Pressure Domino Effect




High blood pressure (HBP) has many consequences. For instance, it is the second-leading cause of kidney failure. The kidneys and the circulatory system depend on each other for good health — the circulatory system provides nutrient-rich blood; the kidneys use the nutrients to remove waste from the blood.

HBP damages your kidneys in three ways:

1. HBP damages arteries, and the kidneys are packed with arteries.

Kidneys are supplied with dense blood vessels, and high volumes of blood flow through them. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.

2. Damaged kidney arteries do not filter blood well.

Kidneys have small, finger-like nephrons that filter your blood. Each nephron receives its blood supply through tiny hair-like capillaries, which are the smallest of all blood vessels. When the arteries become damaged, the nephrons do not receive the essential oxygen and nutrients. Also, the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, hormones, acids and salts in your body.

3. Damaged kidneys don’t regulate blood pressure.

Healthy kidneys produce a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure. Kidney damage and uncontrolled HBP each contribute to a negative spiral. As more arteries become blocked and stop functioning, the kidneys eventually fail. This process can happen over several years, but it can be prevented.

HBP puts your kidneys at risk. Which puts you at risk of that negative spiral. Managing your blood pressure today is an important part of maintaining your health.

Source: American Heart Association website

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