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Kidney Disease
                                                                          — A Guide for Patients

               here are hundreds of different diseases that   HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
              can cause chronic kidney disease. Commonly,        Hypertension means high blood pressure.
        Tthe condition is due to one of the following:
                                                              SYSTOLIC blood pressure is consistently over 140
        DIABETES MELLITUS                                     (systolic is the “top” number of your blood pressure
           Diabetes is a disease in which a patient cannot    measurement, which represents the pressure
        control the amount of glucose in their blood stream.  generated when the heart beats).
        It is caused either by an inability to produce the
        substance called INSULIN, which controls glucose      DIASTOLIC blood pressure is consistently over 90.
        in the body (Type 1 Diabetes), or, if the body is     Diastolic is the “bottom” number of your blood
        unable to respond to the insulin that is produced     pressure measurements, which represents the
        (Type 2 Diabetes). Whether diabetes is treated by     pressure in the vessels when the heart is at rest).
        insulin, tablets or diet, it can cause kidney disease.   Either or both of these numbers may be too high.
           Apart from raised levels of blood sugar, an        Severe high blood pressure can, on its own, cause
        important feature, of this disease, is the damage     kidney disease. High blood pressure can make other
        that occurs to small blood vessels. The kidneys       causes of kidney disease worse.
        contain many small blood vessels and, when               In any person with high blood pressure, blood
        damaged by high blood sugar levels in the blood,      vessels (especially small blood vessels) become
        they are replaced with scar tissue and become         damaged. Roughly speaking, the higher and the
        blocked. Diabetes can also damage the nerves in       longer blood pressure has been raised, the more
        many parts of the body. When the bladder is           blood vessel damage is likely to have occurred.
        affected, it is more difficult to pass urine, resulting  To control high blood pressure, many patients
        in a build-up in pressure on the kidneys, causing     need medications – known as anti-hypertensives. A
        further damage.                                       lot can be done to control blood pressure including
           The urine of people with diabetes has a high       changes in lifestyle, weight loss, exercise, and
        sugar content, which encourages the growth of         avoiding salt in the diet.
        bacteria and, as a result, kidney infections may         High blood pressure will commonly require
        occur. Poor sugar control combined with high blood    medication to keep blood pressure within the
        pressure can increase your risk of making kidney      normal range.
        disease worse.

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