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Renal Artery Disease

Renal artery disease is the narrowing of one or both of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.

When the arteries that carry blood to your kidneys become narrow, less blood flows to the kidneys. The kidneys mistakenly respond as if your blood pressure is low and give off hormones that tell the body to hold on to more salt and water. This causes your blood pressure to rise.

Symptoms:

Usually, high blood pressure causes no symptoms. Occasionally you may have a mild headache. If your headache is severe, or if you have any of the symptoms below, see a doctor right away. These may be a sign of malignant hypertension.

  • Blood in urine
  • Confusion
  • Crushing, angina-like chest pain
  • Ear noise or buzzing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nosebleed
  • Tiredness
  • Vision changes

Call your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of renal artery disease.

Treatment:

High blood pressure caused by narrowing of the arteries that lead to the kidneys (renovascular hypertension) is often difficult to control.

Medications may be used to help control blood pressure. There are a variety of high blood pressure medications available. You and your doctor will decide which type is best for you.

  • Everyone responds to medicine differently. Your blood pressure should be checked frequently. The amount and type of medicine you take may need to be changed from time to time.
  • Everyone should keep their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. If you have diabetes or have had a stroke, your blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. Ask your doctor what blood pressure is appropriate for you.
  • Take all medicines in the exact way your doctor prescribed them.

Have your cholesterol checked and treated. If you have diabetes, heart disease, or hardening of the arteries somewhere else in your body, your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL.

Further treatment depends on what causes the narrowing of the arteries that lead to the kidneys.

Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.