The problem of high blood pressure has become more common now than ever before. Typically, blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against your artery walls. A person’s blood pressure is measured using two numbers: the systolic, in which your heart pumps blood around the body, and the diastolic, when your heart is at rest. In normal conditions, a person’s blood pressure should be 130/80 mmHg, explains Dr Neeru P Aggarwal, Director & HOD, Dept of Nephrology and Renal Transplant Medicine, Max Vaishali (NephroPlus Dialysis Unit).
She tells indianexpress.com that people on dialysis are more prone to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. “There are several patients who are on end-stage renal disease and are maintained on Hemodialysis. These people, too, are at a greater risk of hypertension, and this could be probably because of impaired baroreflex function. Blood pressure and chronic hypertension contribute significantly to the high incidence of cardiovascular disease and the markedly reduced lifespan of Hemodialysis patients.”
What causes high blood pressure?
Dr Aggarwal explains that fluid balance and blood pressure go together, and when there is an excess amount of fluid in the body, water is pushed from your blood system into the surrounding tissues. This is observed more in patients with chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients who pass a reduced amount of urine. “Excess fluid can cause high blood pressure as well as swelling in the ankles and legs. Sometimes it can reach up to your lung in which a patient might experience problems while breathing,” she says.
People who are on dialysis will need blood pressure medicines to ensure their blood pressure remains under control. This, generally, is taken on days when a patient is not going for dialysis. And since blood pressure medicines work in different ways and sometimes the same medicines cannot be used forever, one should consult their doctor to ensure they are consuming the right medication, the doctor says.
“As we are aware, blood pressure is caused by too much fluid in the body, and reducing the dry weight can help a patient on dialysis. In certain cases, some patients may even have to stop blood pressure medication and have normal blood pressure when they reach their true dry weight.”
There are many other ways in which one can improve their blood pressure:
* Stick to your fluid allowance (how much fluid you can drink in 24 hours).
* Reduce salt intake in your diet.
* Exercise within your capabilities. Any form of physical exercise that is good for a person’s overall health and blood pressure.
* If you are diabetic, keep your blood glucose under control.
* Ensure your medications are taken as prescribed.