I am sorry about your wife's diagnosis.
Hypertension is both a complication and a cause of kidney disease. In individuals with hypertension and renal impairment, the focus is on controlling hypertension. Strict blood pressure control is essential. Reducing urinary protein losses is equally important, because it slows the progression of renal injury.
ACE inhibitors are very effective in reducing proteinuria as well as blood pressure. Unfortunately, some people cannot tolerate them and develop complications. ACE inhibitors are contraindicated in certain renal and other disorders. Sometimes they aggravate the existing problem to such an extent that they have to be rapidly discontinued. Their use can result in decline in renal function, acute renal failure, hypotension, high potassium levels, cough, sometimes accompanied by bronchospasms, and other adverse effects. Clearly, they are not for everyone.
The role of high blood pressure in speeding up the progression rate, and in the outcome makes blood pressure control a first-line treatment in kidney disease. When the renoprotective ACE inhibitors cannot be tolerated, Angiotensin receptor blockers can be used, alone or in combination with other drugs,with similar results. So, fortunately, in addition to the ACE inhibitors, there are other treatment options available to deal with the hypertension and to reduce proteinuria. I think the doctor, by progressive increase of the dose, is aiming for a significant
reduction of proteinuria, as well as achieving the blood pressure target. I hope your wife's response is closely monitored so that adjustments can be made to her therapy in a timely
Many kidney and other diseases are closely linked to inflammation. Often, the inflammatory processes are ongoing. Machaon's suggestion about identifying and avoiding the triggers of the inflammatory and overactive neurohormonal processes should prove very helpful, though it may take some time to yield benefits.
Supplements can also help reduce inflammation. In addition to the antihypertesive/antiproteinuric drug treatment, lifestyle modifications, such as restricting sodium intake, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and losing excess weight (that's a tough one) should be tried.
A quick note about the side effects. Nausea is one of the many symptoms of chronic kidney disease. There are drugs that can help with that short-term. Unfortunately, they are not without untolerable side effects. The cough is likely an adverse effect of the drug, unless there is a history of pulmonary, GI or other problems. It can begin within 1-2 weeks of therapy, or be delayed for up to six months. The ACE I cough resolves within 1-4 days of discontinuing the therapy, but can take up to four weeks to get rid of. Your wife should insist on seeing her doctor soon to evaluate her response (or, rather, lack of one!) to this medication. My experience in dealing with chronic kidney disease is limited. I am dealing with some of the same issues as your wife. Tell her to do some research - knowledge is power. It takes a while to understand how things work and what makes us tick.