What Causes Hypertension?

How your kidney doctors in Des Moines, IA, can help you control high blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is called the “silent killer” because there are very few signs and symptoms. It sneaks up on you, causing heart damage before you even know it. Fortunately, your kidney doctor is an expert at diagnosis and treatment of hypertension.

The kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians provide a wide range of medical services in addition to kidney treatment. They have two office locations in Des Moines, IA, to help you.

When you have a high blood pressure, it means that when blood flows through artery walls it encounters resistance. This resistance could be from fatty plaques accumulating on your artery walls. Fatty plaques are caused by a high fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, and a variety of other factors.

There are two categories of hypertension:

Essential or primary hypertension, which has no underlying cause and develops over a long period of time

Secondary hypertension, which has an underlying cause like kidney problems, thyroid issues, and sleep apnea

There are a few risk factors for developing hypertension, including:

  • Being older
  • Having a high stress level
  • Having untreated sleep apnea, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • Having a family history of hypertension
  • Being overweight or sedentary
  • Using tobacco products or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Having a diet high in salt or low in potassium

To treat hypertension, your doctor may advise you to:

  • Limit salt in your diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption

In addition, your doctor will carefully monitor your blood pressure and might ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home with a portable device.

Medications are a primary treatment for high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend medications to:

  • Rid your body of excess water
  • Relax your blood vessels
  • Slow your heart rate
  • Open blood vessels and lower your cardiac workload

To learn more about the prevention and treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure, call the kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines, IA. You can reach them in Methodist Plaza at (515) 336-6557, or in Riverpoint at (515) 243-3161, so call now.