Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, occurs when the pressure of the blood in your arteries starts to increase, thereby stressing your arteries. The bad news is that high blood pressure, which oftentimes is asymptomatic, can lead to any number of chronic or life-threatening ailments, to include stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. The good news is that, when properly treated, blood pressure levels can be managed and even lowered to healthy levels. Because of the dramatic effect that hypertension can have on the kidneys, in many cases someone diagnosed with hypertension will be referred to a nephrologist. Here are three ways a nephrologist may advise you on how to treat hypertension.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
One of the greatest risk factors for hypertension is being overweight. Not only does carrying extra weight add stress to your cardiovascular system, it most likely means that you are not consuming the healthiest of diets. Any doctor treating hypotension will advise a proper diet that consists of “heart healthy” nutrition, meaning reduced sodium levels, alcohol avoidance, lean meats, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to hypertension – aiming for at least 30 minutes of activity a day will generate noticeable improvements in reducing hypertension.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep deprivation – not getting enough sleep – impacts the immune system, not only resulting in more colds and flu but also, obesity. In fact, those who get five hours of sleep or less a night are at a 50 percent greater risk of obesity, which puts one at high risk of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even if you are consuming a healthy diet and exercising, your body needs to time to reset. Getting enough quality sleep can help make that happen.
If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, you may be prescribed medication to help you manage your condition. In many cases, you will be prescribed diuretics that enable you to pass more urine than usual; this helps reduce the salt buildup in your blood vessels that can increase blood pressure. Diuretics also widen the walls of your blood vessels, which allows blood to flow with ease and also lowers blood pressure. Other medications you may be prescribed include ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers), beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, alpha agonists, renin inhibitors, or a combination of these drugs. The effectiveness of your medication will be assessed through regular monitoring of your blood pressure.
Hypertension Treatment in Boston
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, have diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease, consider being under the care of a nephrologist. If you are reside in the greater Boston area, Commonwealth Nephrology Associates offers complete kidney care – from prevention and treatment of kidney stones to in-center and home dialysis. If you do suffer from hypertension, our team of experts will work with you to help you reduce your risk of kidney disease. To schedule an appointment, call Commonwealth Nephrology Associates at (617) 739-2100 or request an appointment online today.