Caring for your kidneys
HIGH blood pressure or ‘hypertension’ is a condition which affects almost a third of all Australians. Over time, hypertension damages the blood vessels and can increase the risk of clots and blockages. This can affect all organs, including the heart, brain and kidneys. It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly as high blood pressure can have no symptoms.
Some of the causes of high blood pressure are not known, although it is known that it tends to run in families. Lifestyle factors such as being inactive, overweight, smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol and eating a lot of salt can also increase your risk.
High blood pressure is often common in people with diabetes.
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. High blood pressure can result in increased risks of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and nerve damage.
Diabetes changes the body chemistry in a way that increases the risk of blood pressure.
People with diabetes should get their blood pressure checked regularly. It is recommended every six months for people with normal blood pressure, three months for people with high blood pressure and every 4-8 weeks if your blood pressure medication is being changed. We work closely with your GP to ensure optimal health benefits are achieved through using your monitor at home. Good management of blood pressure for people with diabetes is extremely important in decreasing the risk of; stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and nerve damage.
There are six positive steps you can take to reduce blood pressure these include don’t smoke, lose excess weight, do regular physical activity (30 minutes each day on most days of the week), have less salt by limiting processed and takeaway foods and not adding salt in cooking afterwards, limit alcohol to two standard drinks per day for men, one standard drink per day for women, with two alcohol free days per week and while tablets may be necessary to help reduce blood pressure, they are in addition to, and not a substitute for, a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity. It is not unusual to need as many as three or four medications to control blood pressure.
Over time, high blood pressure damages your kidney’s leading to kidney disease. Some people may not experience symptoms until they have lost 90% of their kidney function. Blood pressure & kidney disease are very closely related. Don’t leave it until it’s too late to check your kidney health.