About half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). High blood pressure and kidney health are closely linked. In fact, high blood pressure is the leading cause of kidney disease.
High blood pressure and kidney disease are a vicious cycle. High blood pressure is both a cause and a side effect of kidney disease. Having high blood pressure can make you more likely to develop kidney disease. And, blood pressure is harder to manage when people have kidney disease.
Despite the challenges, it’s important to take steps to manage blood pressure if you have kidney disease. This will prevent more damage to your kidneys.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of how much your blood pushes against your blood vessels and arteries. It is normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. For example, your blood pressure goes up when you exercise. When you sleep, it goes down.
When your blood pressure is very high for a long period of time, your doctor will diagnose you with high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the millions of tiny blood vessels inside your kidneys.
Two numbers make up your blood pressure readings. Learn more about what those numbers mean.
Treatment for High Blood Pressure
There are many different medications that your doctor may prescribe to help you manage blood pressure. Each works in a different way to keep blood pressure in range. In some cases, doctors will prescribe more than one kind to help protect your kidneys. It is important to take your meds exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Taking more than your doctor prescribed or “doubling up” on a dose can make your blood pressure go too low. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, falls, and other dangerous side effects.
Lifestyle changes can also play a role in managing blood pressure. Learn more about steps you can take to keep your blood pressure to a healthier range.
Schedule a session with a Livongo expert coach to help you make changes that fit into your life.
Monitoring High Blood Pressure
Keeping track of your blood pressure is a very important part of treatment for both kidney disease and high blood pressure. Your healthcare team will probably take your blood pressure at every doctor’s appointment.
Your doctor may also ask you to take your blood pressure at home. This helps your healthcare team understand the “big picture” of how well your blood pressure is managed. Because blood pressure varies throughout the day, your blood pressure at home can be very different from your blood pressure at the doctor’s office.
Your Livongo Blood Pressure Monitor makes it easy to take your blood pressure at home. Be sure to use it as often as your doctor recommends. Your records will be sent directly to the Livongo app. This makes it easy to keep track of your readings and share with your healthcare team.
Here are some other tips for taking your blood pressure at home.