House Call: Hypertension and your kidneys Pt. 3
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. In the final part of our three part series, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, Dr. Lewis Akers, Nephrologist at UHC Nephrology, joins us to talk about hypertension and how it can affect your kidneys.
1). How important are medications when it comes to slowing the progression of kidney disease and lowering blood pressure?
Medicines that lower blood pressure can also significantly slow the progression of kidney disease. Two types of blood pressure-lowering medications, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), may be effective in slowing the progression of kidney disease.
Many people require two or more medications to control their blood pressure. In addition to an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, a health care professional may prescribe a diuretic—a medication that helps the kidneys remove fluid from the blood—or other blood pressure medications.
2). How does eating, diet, and nutrition affect high blood pressure and kidney disease?
Following a healthy eating plan can help lower your blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet is an important part of any healthy eating plan. Your health care professional may recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or also known as (DASH) eating plan. DASH focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are healthy for your heart and lower in sodium, which often comes from salt. The DASH eating plan:
- is low in fat and cholesterol
- features fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts
- suggests less red meat, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages
- is rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber
A healthy eating plan includes a variety of healthy, nutritious foods.
A registered dietitian can help tailor your diet to your kidney disease. If you have congestive heart failure or edema, a diet low in sodium intake can help reduce edema and lower blood pressure. Reducing saturated fat and cholesterol can help control high levels of lipids, or fats, in the blood.
People with advanced kidney disease should speak with their health care professional about their diet.
3). What should you avoid eating if you have high blood pressure or kidney disease?
If you have kidney disease, avoid foods and beverages that are high in sodium.
Additional steps you can take to meet your blood pressure goals may include eating heart-healthy and low-sodium meals, quitting smoking, being active, getting enough sleep, and taking your medicines as prescribed. You should also limit alcoholic drinks—no more than two per day for men and one per day for women—because consuming too many alcoholic beverages raises blood pressure.
In addition, a health care professional may recommend that you eat moderate or reduced amounts of protein.
Proteins break down into waste products that the kidneys filter from the blood. Eating more protein than your body needs may burden your kidneys and cause kidney function to decline faster. However, eating too little protein may lead to malnutrition, a condition that occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients.
If you have kidney disease and are on a restricted protein diet, a health care professional will use blood tests to monitor your nutrient levels.
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