Written By: Jim Myers

The views here are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Hope or its sponsor Kibow® Biotech.

National Kidney Month 2020

March is National Kidney Month. It is a time where we raise awareness across the country. Each year, there is a new theme to help raise awareness. This year, in conjunction with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the theme is the link between high blood pressure (HBP) and kidney disease. The below includes kidney facts based on the theme of high blood pressure that those who are and are not kidney patients should know to help protect their kidney health.

What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessel walls as your heart pumps blood throughout your body. High Blood Pressure (hypertension) is an increase in the force that blood places on the vessels as blood moves through your body.

What Do Your Kidneys Do?
Your normal kidneys filter a half cup of blood a minute to remove waste & extra water to make urine. The urine goes from your kidneys to your bladder, and eventually out of your body.

How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Kidneys?

As a result of the increased pressure on the walls of your blood vessels, HBP can cause the blood vessels to narrow. This in turn causes damages the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidney. The constriction reduces your blood flow to the kidney.

This in turn causes your kidneys to fail to remove all the waste products from your body. This can lead to kidney failure.

High Blood Leading to Kidney Disease is Very Common

HBP is the number two leading cause of kidney disease. According to NIH, almost 1 of 2 Adults in America (108 Million People) have high blood pressure. More than 1 in 7 American Adults (37 Million People) have chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it. This is why during the month of March, we urge you to get tested for Kidney Disease.

Who Is More Likely to Have High Blood Pressure and/or Kidney Disease?

Kidney Facts:

You are more likely to have high blood pressure if:

1. You’re Older- Blood Pressure usually increases as we get older. Our blood vessels thicken and stiffen over time;
2. Family History- HBP runs in the family;
3. You Have An Unhealthy Lifestyle- bad habits like eating too much salt, drinking too much alcohol, not being physically active can increase your risk of HBP;
4. You Are Afro-American or Other Minorities-African American, Hispanic or Asian Adults or more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasians;
5. You Are Male- Sorry, guys but men are more likely to have high blood pressure than females before the age of 55. Women are more likely to develop HBP after 55.

Kidney Disease Factors

Kidney Facts:

Factors that increase your risk of Kidney Disease are:

1. Diabetes;
2. HBP- can be both a cause and as a result of Kidney Disease;
3. Family History- a family history of Kidney Disease or heredity can cause it, for example polycystic kidney disease;
4. Race/Ethnicity- African-Americans, Hispanics & American Indians are at greater risk of Kidney Disease.

The Good News
The good news is that you can take steps to protect your kidneys from HBP. These steps include:

1. Take Your HBP Medication: If your doctor prescribes meds for HBP, make sure you take it as directed. This will lower your blood pressure which in turn will slow the development of Kidney Disease;
2. Maintain A Healthy Weight- You can improve your BP by maintaining a healthy weight as reccommended by your doctor;
3. Eat Healthy Foods and Beverages- Fruits and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains & heart-healthy foods should be on your shopping list
4. Quit Smoking!!
5. Get Plenty of Sleep- Try for 7-8 hours of sleep every night;
6. Exercise- Try to get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity every day.

Conclusion

High Blood Pressure is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. In National Kidney Month, please consider taking steps to avoid HBP. Also, please consider testing for Kidney Disease. Talk to your doctor about urinalysis and a blood test for Kidney Disease. Early detection and early treatment could save your life!

Sponsored By: Kibow® Biotech

From the author: Jim Myers

My name is James Myers. I live in Hammond, Indiana. I graduated from Valparaiso University Law School and I have 2 MBA’s in Business and Healthcare Administration. Polycystic Kidney Disease runs in my family. I’ve lost 5 members of my family to PKD, including my Father. I have PKD. I was fortunate. Because of my family’s history, I was diagnosed at the age of 25, and was able to put off dialysis until the age of 58. I was on dialysis for 4 years and was transplanted on April 27th, 2016. I named my new kidney Woody. Woodrow is a family name, so I did this to honor my father and my grandfather.

My advocate nickname is Uncle Jim. If you have a kidney question or issue you need help with, please do not hesitate to contact me at kidneystories@hotmail.com. I thank the NKF for all the opportunities they have given to me.

REFERENCES

March is National Kidney Month,

https://www.davita.com/education/kidney-disease/risk-factors/march-is-national-kidney-month

National Kidney Month 2020
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-kidney-month?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social+media&utm_campaign=nkm+2020&fbclid=IwAR2PIH4_hg8B7BT4-tUQw26o5poFTf63tYKmcvJMUHKKf9lDI5rQIho2KxU

How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Disease,

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure/how-high-blood-pressure-can-lead-to-kidney-damage-or-failure

High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease,
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/high-blood-pressure

High Blood Pressure
https://www.kidneyfund.org/prevention/are-you-at-risk/high-blood-pressure.html