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Secondary Hypertension

Nephrology & Hypertension serving Middle Tennessee

Secondary Hypertension services offered throughout Middle tennessee

If you have secondary hypertension (high blood pressure) due to a medical condition, such as kidney disease, turn to Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee. The superior nephrology team offers treatments to reduce your chance of life-threatening complications. Call the nearest office to schedule an appointment, or use the online booking feature today.

What is secondary hypertension?

Secondary hypertension, also called secondary high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure inside blood vessel walls is too high because of another medical condition. Pregnancy and conditions that affect your arteries, endocrine system, kidneys, or heart, can all contribute to secondary hypertension.

Early detection and effective treatment of secondary hypertension reduce your chance of kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, and other problematic complications. 

What are the symptoms of secondary hypertension?

There aren’t usually any symptoms associated with secondary hypertension. For some people struggling with blood pressure that has reached dangerously high levels, nose bleeds, headaches, or shortness of breath may appear.

The following signs may indicate that your high blood pressure is secondary to another medical problem:

  • Medication-resistant hypertension
  • Very high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure without obesity
  • Hypertension without a family history of high blood pressure
  • Sudden onset of high blood pressure after 55 or before age 30

You may also have high blood pressure previously controlled by medication that no longer responds to the medicine. 

When left untreated, secondary hypertension can worsen its underlying medical problem. It can cause an aneurysm, artery damage, heart failure, narrowed or weak kidney blood vessels, damage to the blood vessels in your eyes, and metabolic syndrome. You might also have memory problems or other cognitive issues.

What are the risk factors for secondary hypertension?

Some of the common causes and risk factors for developing secondary hypertension include:

  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Glomerular diseases
  • Diabetes complications
  • Renovascular hypertension (narrowing of kidney arteries)
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Kidney, heart, artery, or endocrine system problems
  • Excess aldosterone production
  • Tumor in the adrenal gland
  • Thyroid and parathyroid disorders
  • Narrowed aorta
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Carrying excess body weight
  • Some medications or dietary supplements

Adopting healthy habits and properly managing chronic diseases are the best ways to reduce your risk of developing secondary hypertension. 

How is secondary hypertension diagnosed?

To find out if you have secondary hypertension and treat it properly, the Southern Kidney Specialists team checks your blood pressure using an inflatable cuff and blood pressure machine. You might also need blood tests, urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a kidney ultrasound, or additional diagnostic testing.

How is secondary hypertension treated?

The solution for secondary hypertension involves treating its underlying cause by taking medications or undergoing surgery as needed. 

It’s also important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including eating nutritious foods, minimizing your sodium intake, getting regular exercise, and maintaining an ideal body weight. Limit or avoid alcohol, don’t smoke, and keep stress levels as low as possible. 

To get screened and treated for secondary hypertension, schedule an appointment at Southern Kidney Specialists by phone or book one online today.