What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, a.k.a. hypertension, refers to a specific medical condition in which the pressure by which the blood is forced against the walls of the arteries becomes elevated. When blood pressure is consistently elevated, it strains the heart and blood vessels, which may lead to health complications. For additional information on how to manage hypertension and avoid its damaging effects, contact the medical specialists at Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines, IA.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is measured by two values – the pressure in the arteries when your heart contracts (systolic pressure) and the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats or when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure). According to the AHA – or the American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure reading would be =/< 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).

Blood pressure readings above the suggested 120/80 mmHg are characterized as –

  • Elevated (120-129/<80 mmHg)
  • Stage 1  hypertension is defined by a blood pressure reading of 130–139/80-89 mmHg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension is defined by a blood pressure reading of 140+/90+ mmHg.
  • Crisis – Hypertensive 180+/120+ mmHg.

How Can a Kidney Specialist Help Manage High Blood Pressure?

A nephrologist or doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and management of renal/kidney disorders can help manage high blood pressure and potential kidney damage as follows -

The Identification of the Underlying Cause of the High Blood Pressure

A nephrologist, after a thorough medical evaluation, will determine if a kidney issue is contributing to hypertension.

Managing/Optimizing Medication

A kidney or renal specialist has the skill and experience to tailor medicine regimes to meet specific patient needs.

Monitoring Kidney Function

A nephrologist has several tests (estimated glomerular filtrate rate, etc. ) to monitor kidney function, which may be adversely impacted by hypertension.

In addition, a kidney specialist, who is likely to work with various specialists managing high blood pressure, is well-versed in the various lifestyle changes that can positively impact the management of hypertension. The various lifestyle recommendations a nephrologist may suggest –

  • Dietary modifications, which are likely to include the reduction of sodium.
  • Managing fluid intake/balancing electrolytes.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Increasing physical activity/exercise.
  • Limiting the intake of alcohol.

It is Important to Proactively Manage High Blood Pressure

For additional information and a customized hypertension treatment plan, contact the medical staff at Iowa Kidney Physicians, with two Des Moines, IA locations. The staff at the Methodist Plaza location can be reached at (515) 336-6557, while the staff at the Riverpoint location can be reached at (515) 243-3161. In addition, Iowa Kidney Physicians staff members can be contacted online.