​What You Can Do
If you have high blood pressure, you’re at risk for chronic kidney disease, a serious condition that can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and death.  The good news is that you can help protect your kidneys by managing high blood pressure with these 6 healthy lifestyle habits.

Leading Causes of Kidney Failure
In the United States the two leading causes of kidney failure are Type 2 diabetes, (also called adult onset diabetes), and high blood pressure, (hypertension). When these two diseases are controlled by treatment, the associated kidney disease can often be prevented or slowed down.​

Information gathered from Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), Center for Science in the Public Interest, (CSPI), and the National Kidney Foundation websites.

​What does diabetes do to the kidneys?
With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and that will in turn cause hypertension.

In 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published new guidelines for hypertension management and defined normal blood pressure as below 120/80.  Elevated blood pressurehigh hypertension as a blood pressure at or above 130/80. Stage 2 hypertension is defined as a blood pressure at or above 140/90.

Blood Pressure Categories
Normal Blood Pressure(systolic/diastolic)
  Normal <120/<80
  Elevated 120-129/<80

  Stage 1 130-139/80-89
  Stage 2 ≥140 or ≥90 mm Hg

    Also key to remember: 

  • Stay hydrated.  The right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including exercise, climate, and health conditions. Typically, this means 8 cups, or approximately 2 liters per day for a healthy person in a comfortable climate condition.  This should be adjusted when living or working in extreme heat. Your fluid intake may also need to be adjusted if you have kidney, heart, or liver disease. 
  •  Reduce your sodium intake.  Fluid flushes the toxins from your body and helps keep it healthy.  Sodium causes fluid retention, which can raise blood pressure.  Potassium can help reduce the effects of sodium, so be sure to consume foods high in potassium.  However, if you're on a renal diet or in kidney failure, your sodium and potassium intake should both be reduced.
  • ​Don’t take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory/pain-killer pills regularly.  Common drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS), (drugs like ibuprofen), can harm the kidneys if taken regularly.  If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, taking just a few doses can do harm to your kidneys.

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  • Take medications as prescribed.  Your doctor may prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications that are effective in slowing the development of kidney disease.
  • Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight can improve blood pressure readings.
  • Select healthier food and beverage options. Focus on fruits and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, and other heart-healthy foods.
  • Try to quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit.
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Manage stress and make physical activity part of your routine. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities and get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day.