Liver and Kidney

The Link with Hypertension and Liver and Kidney Issues

There is thought to be a link between hypertension issues and some liver and kidney problems.  With the liver, it was once thought that alcoholic was the major cause of alcoholic fatty liver disease, and although it certainly plays a part, many people develop a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver.  Since high blood pressure is linked with obesity, and all are part of many illnesses including liver issues, it may be hard to determine is the cause of what.  But it is clear that most of these issues all feed off one another.

liver and kidneyAnother liver problem is portal hypertension, or an increase in the pressure within the portal vein that carries blood from the liver to the organs.  Causes of this are liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, alcohol abuse, and other common causes of liver damage.  It can also be caused by clotting in the portal vein, and as we point out in hypertension as a cause of stroke and heart disease, high blood pressure can be a major cause of damage to the veins and arteries in the heart and brain. All the data is not in concerning portal hypertension being directly caused by blood pressure issues, but a strong link exists.

How Can High Blood Pressure Affect the Kidneys?

Over time hypertension can cause the damage in veins throughout the body, but when this vein damage appears in any of our organs it can lead to organ shutdown.  If this happens in the kidneys, they may stop removing waste and fluid from the body.  The situation gets worse as the extra fluid in the blood vessels cause a greater increase in blood pressure, causing a further spike in pressure.  As the kidneys deteriorate, it becomes necessary to either go through a regular blood-cleansing treatment known as dialysis or have a kidney transplant.

The Signs of Kidney Disease Are Silent

Beyond The Barriers: Learning To Live With Kidney FailureLike high blood pressure, kidney disease initially will have no symptoms.  There are tests that can be administered to find if the kidneys are doing their job.  A glomerular filtration rate is a blood test that will measure the efficiency that the kidneys are filtering wastes out of the blood.  This test will produce a value as to how the kidneys are performing and if there could be damage.

The damage done to organs because of high blood pressure can be life-threatening.  Maintaining weight levels and exercise are the two most important means to turn hypertension issues around, and eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and grains are important.  Also, the one food to keep under strict control is sodium.  By keeping salt intake to 200 milligrams, or about two teaspoons or one-half tablespoon, should keep you on line there.  But remember, you are eating a lot of salt in many packaged and processed foods, so read labels and be sure to add that intake into your two teaspoon limit.


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