Are these blood pressure drugs damaging your kidneys?

Approximately one billion people around the world live with chronic high blood pressure.

And according to the renowned Mayo Clinic, if you’re one of them, you’re at significantly increased risk of everything from aneurysm and heart failure to heart attack, stroke, dementia and even hearing loss.

The truth is, high blood pressure leads to a laundry list of health dangers and can even negatively affect your sexual function.

But you’re safe as long as you take your blood pressure medicine, right? Not so fast…

According to research findings from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVA), simply taking blood pressure medication long-term could actually damage your kidneys over time…

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The long-term effects of prescription blood pressure drugs

So where does the kidney danger come in when you have high blood pressure or take medication to keep that pressure in the green zone?

Well, according to those UVA researchers, it all comes down to specialized cells in your kidneys called renin cells.

And since it can get a little complicated, let’s walk it through from the beginning…

When your renin cells are working normally, the namesake hormone they produce helps to regulate your blood pressure.

However, when your blood pressure stays up too long, they just can’t keep compensating.

And instead of your renin cells helping with your high blood pressure, your high blood pressure leads to harmful changes in your renin cells, causing them to invade the walls of your kidney’s blood vessels, which become thick and stiff.

Blood no longer flows freely through your kidneys and dialysis becomes a nasty shadow lurking over your health and your future.

The problem is, those blood pressure drugs can instigate the same harmful changes in renin cells that high blood pressure does.

In fact, the UVA researchers found that long-term use of blood pressure drugs, including the widely-used ACE inhibitors, was associated with hardened kidney vessels in both lab mice and humans.

In other words, taking blood pressure medications for an extended period of time can lead to serious kidney damage.

“Our studies show that renin-producing cells are responsible for the damage. We are now focusing on understanding how these cells, which are so important to defend us from drops in blood pressure and maintain our well-being, undergo such transformation and induce kidney damage,” said Maria Luisa Sequeira Lopez MD, of UVA’s Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Research Center.

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We eat right and exercise to help maintain our blood pressure levels within a normal range. Sometimes it still just isn’t enough. But there are clinically-tested nutritional ingredients that support arterial health to help keep blood pressure levels… MORE⟩⟩

Natural help for your blood pressure

So do you chuck your blood pressure meds in the trash in order to save your kidneys?

The researchers say no.

Instead, talk to your doctor about the risks to your kidneys, and whether or not continuing your medication regimen is in your best interest.

And in the meantime, consider taking natural steps that have helped others support healthy blood pressure, like:

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Sources:

Long-term use of blood pressure drugs may cause kidney damage, study suggests — ScienceDaily

High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension’s effects on your body — Mayo Clinic

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.