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Hypertensive Nephropathy Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diet and Prognosis

What is Hypertensive Nephropathy?

Hypertensive Nephropathy, also known as Hypertensive Kidney Disease, is a medical condition referring to damage to kidney due to chronic high blood pressure.

There are two main types of hypertensive nephropathy, including benign nephrosclerosis and malignant nephrosclerosis. Some degree of benign nephrosclerosis can be seen in most individuals over the age of 60 years. Malignant nephrosclerosis however, is an uncommon condition occurring only in 1-5% of patients with hypertension.

What causes Hypertensive Nephropathy?

"Hypertensive" refers to high blood pressure and "nephropathy" means damage to kidneys; hence this condition is where chronic high blood pressure causes damages to kidney tissues. This includes damages to small blood vessels, glomeruli, kidney tubules and interstitial tissues.

What're symptoms of Hypertensive Nephropathy?

- change in mental status, such as restlessness, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion, decreased ability to concentrate etc.

- recurrent cough, cold, infections

- chronic high blood pressure

- weakness of the arm, legs, face, or other areas

- reduced urine or frequent urination at night

- chest pain

- dizziness and headache

- protein in urine, blood in urine

- back pain

What are the treatments for Hypertensive Nephropathy?

- Western medicine to control blood pressure

Hypertensive Nephropathy patients usually are prescribed some hypotensor like ACEI inhibitors, Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers and Diuretics to control high blood pressure.

- Western medicines to control symptoms

With development of hypertensive nephropathy, patients will suffer from some severe symptoms, like swelling, proteinuria, high blood pressure, etc, some oral western medicine will be prescribed to control the symptoms and prevent further kidney damage. These medicines present curative effects quickly and kidney disease can be controlled temporarily, but once they stop taking medicines or reduce the dose, kidney disease relapse immediately.

- Systematic Chinese medicine treatment

This is a new choice for hypertensive nephropathy patients to get a better prognosis. In China, a featured treatment, known as Toxin-Removing Treatment, is used to remedy this disease. It includes various Chinese therapies that can remedy the disease from root. Through clearing blood and improve the ischemia-hypoxia condition in kidneys, the effective Chinese therapies can repair damaged renal cells and improve renal function from root. Then hypertensive nephropathy patients can avoid dialysis or kidney transplant to prolong their life span.

What is the diet for Hypertensive Nephropathy?

Diet plays an important role in hypertensive nephropathy patients, because the well planed diet can reduce kidney burden and protect residual kidney function. Since the specific illness condition will be different from case to case for hypertensive nephropathy patients, so they should make a good diet based on their own case.

Here are some of the diet principles for hypertensive nephropathy patients:

- low salt diet, limit foods high in sodium

- Take proper amount of fluid intake

- limit the protein intake and take proper amount of high quality protein, such as lean meat, fish, chicken, milk, egg whites, etc.

- Avoid foods high in potassium or phosphorus

- Keep a light diet and avoid spicy or greasy foods

What is prognosis of Hypertensive Nephropathy?

Benign nephrosclerosis:

As the name suggests, this condition will rarely result in renal failure. Patients who develop this condition will have decreased renal reserve and may not cope very well with acute illness and surgical procedures. Between 1-5% of patients with this condition with develop renal failure at some stage in the disease process.

Malignant nephrosclerosis:

With modern therapy, 75% of patients are able to survive more then five years from the onset of disease. The earlier that treatment is initiated, the more kidney will be preserved and the greater the renal function on resolution of the condition.

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