Hypertension or high blood pressure runs in our family. Several of my relatives either died of a heart attack or stroke caused by hypertension that’s been left untreated. I had hypertension as early as my high school days, although I am completely unaware of it. It was just brought up to my attention six years ago, when I was first diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. It was both shocking and unbelievable for me at that time. Being a 26 year-old, it’s quite hard to accept at first that I am already suffering from chronic ailments and would probably face medication and treatment for the rest of my life. But there it was, already out in the open.
The kidneys play a key role in keeping a person’s blood pressure in a healthy range, and blood pressure, in turn, can affect the health of the kidneys. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage the kidneys and lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD).
— Source NIDDK/NKUDIC
This might seem both alarming and outrageous, but it’s true, and it’s a fact. And I just don’t say it from research or reading journals about it, but I’m saying it from experience. Had I known myself to be inflicted with hypertension, I would have done steps to prevent it from helping destroy my kidneys. My doctor said that besides CGN or Chronic Glomerulonephritis, hypertension became one of the contributing factors that lead to kidney failure. But I was young then, and thought myself impervious to such diseases and conditions. Well, I was wrong, and paid dearly for it.
I am still suffering from hypertension up to this day simply because it’s closely associated with kidney failure. Although I am a lot wiser now than before and medications help me maintain my blood pressure at acceptable levels, I still make it a point to implement ways to keep my hypertension at bay.
- I avoid salty and sodium-rich foods as often as I can. Salt makes you more thirsty and if you drink too much water, you might experience fluid overload that will increase your blood pressure.
- I try to stay cool and avoid staying under the sun too much for the same reason that this would make you want to drink more.
- Avoid fatty and deep fried foods, as well as those that are high in cholesterol. Not only will it trigger your blood pressure to rise significantly but will also put you at risk with stroke and heart attack.
- Consult with your doctor on a regular basis and always take your medications for hypertension. Skipping them would desensitize your body to the drug and would cause dangerous spikes in your blood pressure.
It’s hard enough coping with kidney failure and dialysis alone, and even harder to manage different complications that comes along with it. But with sensible management, eager determination, and abundant amount of faith, things could go as normal as it can be for patients like me.
Be wise. Well-informed is well-prepared.