Your kidneys and the circulatory system work hand in hand. Kidneys need many blood vessels to filter out the waste from our blood. So, not only does high blood pressure affect the kidneys significantly but at the same time, the functionality of the kidneys can also have a direct impact on your blood pressure readings.
As a young adult, high blood pressure is not that common but many youngsters do suffer from it. As per experts, it is a common myth that high blood pressure can only affect the elderly. There is no age bar to the condition. Anybody can develop hypertension.
As per experts, hypertension can be both primary and secondary. The former has no known cause but the latter is usually caused by an underlying condition affecting the kidneys, thyroid, adrenal gland and others.
Dr Sanjeev Gulati, Principal Director, Nephrology and Kidney Transplant, Fortis Escorts (Okhla, New Delhi) said that there is no age bar for high blood pressure. From a baby to a child to a young adult, anyone can develop hypertension. The expert explained that many times, the cause of hypertension is unknown as it can have a multifactorial origin. However, he said, secondary hypertension can have a definitive cause.
He said: "All lifestyle factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and excessive alcohol or salt intake contribute to the condition. In secondary hypertension, the most important cause is kidney disease."
The expert explained that hypertension and kidney disease are far more closely related than it is acknowledged. Blood pressure can be both affected by or affect kidney health.
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He said: "Hypertension and kidney disease are closely connected. Hypertension may be the only sign of an underlying kidney disease especially in children and young adults. In elderly individuals, hypertension is amongst the top three causes of chronic kidney disease. Uncontrolled blood pressure causes faster progression and worsening of underlying chronic kidney disease."
Effects of hypertension on kidneys
High blood pressure can cause the arteries around the kidneys to become narrower and hard. This affects the blood supply to the kidneys and they might receive less oxygen and nutrients. Damaged kidney arteries can prevent the kidney's filtering units, or nephrons, from functioning properly. Sometimes an injury to the kidney or arteries can trigger the production of a chemical renin that can raise blood pressure.