Re: HBP and relation to kidneys
Hi Arch -
Regarding your question about how to tell if high blood pressure is related to kidney problems: there are a few tests that can be done. First of all, there's an IVP, which is basically an x-ray of your kidneys. This can show up some problems. Second, a doctor, preferably a nephrologist, should listen to the arteries leading to your kidneys (they pass over the groin area), to see if you have any bruits...these are sounds that are indicative of a problem with the blood circulation to your kidneys. If either of these (ivp, stethoscopic exam of kidney arteries) is positive, they would then probably want to follow up with a renal arteriogram.
There may be other tests they can do, such as a creatinine clearance test, 24 hour urine sample, etc. A nephrolgist, that is, a kidney specialist, would be the doctor to see.
The kidneys are the organ most responsible for regulating blood pressure. There is a substance called renin which is produced by the kidneys to raise blood pressure if it's too low. A condition called "renal stenosis", or a narrowing of the arteries leading to one or both kidneys, can cause blood to enter the kidney at a reduced rate, thus tricking the kidney into thinking you have low blood pressure. The kidney responds by producing extra renin to raise your blood pressure. This kind of high BP is not amenable to treatment with diet and exercise; medications must be used. The good news is that you can have this condition for years (as I have) and be fine as long as you control the high blood pressure.
As far as I know, a protein urine test is for kidney functioning (i.e., filtering, etc.) and would not tell you anything about renal stenosis or an increased production of renin.
You didn't say how old you are, Arch, or how high your BP is. If you're much under 40, and especially if your diastolic (bottom) number is high, you should definitely have you kidneys checked out.
Hope this has been of some help.
Ruth<p>[This message has been edited by SamQKitty (edited 12-18-2001).]