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Old 01-07-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
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dianne12315 HB User
renin levels

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know what it means when the "renin" level is elevated?

I asked this question on the kidney disorders board but no one answered it.

I also had the "aldosterone" level tested but it was normal. The only thing the doctor told me was that the elevated renin levels could be causing my high blood pressure.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks Dianne

 
Old 01-07-2005, 11:27 AM   #2
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Palamedes HB User
Re: renin levels

How do you know this? Was this from a PRA test? What about the other kidney function tests (BUN and creatinine)?

Renin is an enzyme produced by your kidneys. A normal functioning kidney produces renin when it encounters a low sodium condition. Renin converts angiotensinogen into angiotensin I. ACE (anothe enzyme) converts angiotensin I into II. And, then angiotensin II then causes your vessel to constrict. So, renin is part of a feedback mechanism that regulates blood pressure.

As far as the blood pressure aspect from high renin, this is easily corrected with either an ACEI or an ARB. Therefore, your doctor should know where to start with your treatment for high BP.

Pal

 
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: renin levels

Thanks for the reply and I know the renin level is high because the doctor ordered "serum renin" and "serum aldosterone" levels to be done. The reason he ordered the tests was because of my family's history of High Blood Pressure. He thought I might have had "Primary Aldosteronism" or "Conn's Syndrome."

I have lab test results here in front of me. My BUN was 18. Creatnine was 1.2, Potassium was 3.2 Magnesium was 1.1. Everything else was within normal limits.

I'm on Cozaar and Lopressor now. I have been on numerous medications for over 20 yrs now and none of them have controlled my high blood pressure to the point where the doctor is happy with the numbers.

Thanks for the information. At least I know a little bit more now than I did before.

Dianne

 
Old 01-07-2005, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: renin levels

Hi Dianne,

I am also going to have a Renal scan done on me soon. What do they do during this test?

 
Old 01-07-2005, 03:04 PM   #5
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Re: renin levels

I wish I knew. I just found out that my renin level is high. I will be going back to the doctor on Monday so I guess he will tell me then what needs to be done.

I have been researching it quite a bit on the internet though and I haven't read anything that sounds too scary yet. Just type in renal scan in your search bar and I'm sure it will come up. There are several different tests that can be done to find out if there is anything wrong with the renal arteries though. I'm hoping the doctor doesn't want to be too aggressive with me though.

I've had High Blood Pressure since I was 23 and now they finally found out why. I'm 49 now and have been on dozens of medications for it. (none which really made that much of a difference though). I would like to get off the medications though but I doubt that's going to be possible.

I was in the hospital in September because of an electrolyte imbalance and dehyration. You'd think they would have found something then but they claim they didn't. I guess hypertension is like cancer. It's a money maker if they don't cure you.

Good Luck with your scan. Let me know how you make out. I will know more about mine on Monday afternoon and for everyone's information I will post anything new I find out.

Dianne

 
Old 01-07-2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: renin levels

Same here with the hypertension in the family. I too was diagnosed at age 28 after the birth of my daughter. I've been on soooo many meds. Can I ask what your BP was like?

Since 30 my BP has been chronically higher at an average of 130/90.

S

 
Old 01-07-2005, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: renin levels

I was diagnosed at the age of 23 with High Blood Pressure. My BP was always on the high side in my 20's and 30's and was usually 120/90--140/100. However in the early 1990's I started keeping better track of it and it would go as high 170/120. That is the first time I was sent home from work because of my BP. I went to the doctor after that episode and was put on stronger medication and my BP dropped as low as 110/70 but then I would have side effects from the medication and the dr would have to change it.

In August of 2004 my BP still was not under control and my feet had started swelling due to the Norvasc so the doctor added Clonidine and Lasix in addition to the Hyzaar and Norvasc. It did the job of bringing down my BP though. The day I was admitted to the hospital my BP was 90/52. I was dehydrated and my kidney function tests were all abnormal. To this date....they are still watching the electrolytes very carefully.

I have a problem with my Phosphorus, Magnesium and Potassium levels being too low. It could be from the Lasix though but they have been like that for a few years now. It could have been from the Hyzaar too but the doctor is not sure.

My last BP was 2 weeks ago and it was 158/107 despite being on Cozaar, Lopressor and Lasix. This is why the doctor tested the renin levels. I guess my next step will be a kidney doctor.

Also a Renal Scan is done the same way a Lung Scan is done. You are injected with the radioactive dye then pictures are taken and I'm pretty sure they also use Catopril (don't quote me) because I could be wrong. I guess the Catopril (spelling?) gives the overall picture of what the kidneys are doing. Again I could be wrong and if I am I'm sure someone will correct it.

Dianne

 
Old 01-07-2005, 04:14 PM   #8
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Re: renin levels

Thank you. I think I read on the paperword a renal mra. I will do a search. Thanks again!

 
Old 01-08-2005, 05:18 AM   #9
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: renin levels

dianne,

After just READING: clonidine, lasix, Hyzaar (thiazide +losartan) and Norvasc, I think I'll have to have a lie down.

 
Old 01-08-2005, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: renin levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by dianne12315
IMy last BP was 2 weeks ago and it was 158/107 despite being on Cozaar, Lopressor and Lasix. This is why the doctor tested the renin levels. I guess my next step will be a kidney doctor.
If your doctor is telling you that you have high BP because of renin. And, you are already on Cozaar, then the Cozaar must not being doing it's job. If it is working correctly, high renin shouldn't matter - the effect is blocked. You may want to try upping the dosage or a different ARB. Also, if your renin really is all that high, adding in an ACE inhibitor might help. But, this can lead to terrible side-effects (the cough from an ACE is intensified). And, this combination hasn't done that well in studies. The ideal drug, a renin inhibitor - aliskiren, is still a couple years away from approval. If all goes well with this drug, a RI + ARB combo would virtually eliminate any effect from the renin-angiotensin system with virtually no side-effects.

Pal

 
Old 01-08-2005, 04:26 PM   #11
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Re: renin levels

My Primary Care Physician is the one who told me that my blood pressure is high because of the renin level. He also told me I did not need to see a kidney specialist because all he was going to do is order more tests which he doesn't think I need because of my family history of high blood pressure and the fact that I have had high BP since I was 23.

He told me that the high renin level was nothing to worry about. I'm not worried about it but if it is a contributing factor to my uncontrolled high blood pressure I feel it might be worth it to find out why the level is high and if there's a way to get it down without having to take all these medications then that's what I would like to see happen. He's not the one who is on all the medications. I am and I am the one who is has to worry about the side effects.

Norvasc had my legs, ankles and feet so swollen that they looked like they belonged to someone else. It was finally stopped and now I have ankles again. The Lasix and Hyzaar together is what put me in the hospital in September and that's something I don't want to have to do again so the doctor discontinued the Hyzaar and put me on the Cozaar but now I read where Lasix can also raise the blood sugar levels too. The last thing I want is to become a diabetic from trying to control my high BP when there may be a simpler way to do it.

I'm doing better as far as the medication is concerned and I have no side effects from any of it. Before I was put on the Lopressor though I was having quite a few PVC's and chest pain so at least I don't have to worry about that anymore.

Lasix does cause my Magnesium level and Potassium levels to drop kind of low though but I'm on supplements for that. If the doctor thinks that having those awful cramps from the Lasix is a picnic then he better think again.

Thanks for the information. I appreciate all I can get. Knowledge is power and we are the ones whose opinions should matter the most when it comes to our health.

Dianne

 
Old 01-09-2005, 07:31 AM   #12
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Re: renin levels

dianne,

Were you on the Cozaar when your renin was measured? One of the feeback effects of blocking the effect of angotensin (and ultimately renin) is the production of MORE renin. I would think that anyone on either ACE or ARB therapy would show a higher than normal renin level on testing (and a higher level than they'd have WITHOUT the drug.)

An aside: I think I am FINALLY beginning to see the interplay of the two sides of the delicate BP dance and am slowly coming to the conclusion that both sides of the equation: angiotensin and aldosterone must be considered. For me it seems to mean an ARB AND diuretic (or salt control...yeah, right?) is necessary.

Last edited by Lenin; 01-09-2005 at 07:42 AM.

 
Old 01-09-2005, 07:56 AM   #13
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Re: renin levels

I was told by my cardio that lasix doesn't increase cholesterol or glucose. I asked her bcuz i am diabetic and don't want my a1c to rise. I just quit taking hctz bcuz it caused high cholesterol & glucose reading to skyrocket.

She assured me that my cholesterol & glucose would not alleviate taking lasix 20 mgs.

 
Old 01-09-2005, 01:23 PM   #14
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Re: renin levels

Lenin,

Yes...I was on Cozaar 100mg OD when I had the blood drawn. I did not take it that morning. I was also on Hyzaar 100/25mg for many years. I was the one who asked for the renin/aldosterone levels to be drawn because I belong to a High Blood Pressure group and one of the doctors thought I might have Primary Aldosteronism because of my strong family history of hypertension, low potassium, low magnesium and low phosphorus levels.

Both my parents, my 3 older siblings, and my two grandmothers had hypertension. Also my father had 10 siblings and they all had it. There are two left and my aunt is 72 with hypertension and my remaining uncle who is 56 also has it. My mother and older brother were both on Aldactone and suffered from low potassim/magnesium levels. Since they are no longer living there's no way to find out if they had PA or not. My mother passed away in 2001 from Resp failure. (70) and my brother died 10 yrs ago at 43 from Colon Cancer. (1994)

I have 2 older siblings and both will be tested for renin/aldosterone levels too. My sister has the same symptoms I do.

What exactly causes the renin level to go up? Why is it high on some people and not others? Was my renin level high because of the Cozaar?

Forgive me if I sound stupid or anything but I don't know why the doctor told called me and told me he needed to see me the other day because something was wrong with the lab work. If it's not that a big of a deal to have high renin levels then why did he call me and make me nervous? He told me I will need to go to a kidney specialist. Is this true?

I hope you or someone can answer my questions because after having high blood pressure since I was 23 I'm kind of used to be told that it's just my nature to have a blood pressure that is hard to control. If there is a way for me to get off some of the medications I'm on then that is what I'd like to do. My PCP (Primary Care Physician) wants to add another BP pill.

Thanks for the information and advice you can give me.

Dianne

 
Old 01-09-2005, 01:30 PM   #15
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Re: renin levels

JTU,

My doctor told me the same thing about the Lasix and I didn't believe him either. I never had a cholesterol problem until I started taking Lasix and that was in early September. I had lab work done in October and now I have high cholesterol. I'm not too sure about the glucose levels though because mine usually ran low anyway so an increase there would probably be good for me. I will have to check it when I get the results tomorrow and compare it to my previous levels.

I will let you know if there is a difference in the glucose levels.

Dianne

Last edited by dianne12315; 01-09-2005 at 01:30 PM.

 
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