High blood pressure: Glomerulosclerosis is a condition of the kidneys – what is it

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High blood pressure can seem lower down on your list of health priorities because it does not produce any major signs. It is therefore tempting to downplay its significance. The kidneys are largely affected by having high blood pressure and glomerulosclerosis is a worrying condition of the kidneys that can develop over time. What is it and what are the symptoms to look out for?

High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney failure.

Damaged blood vessels prevent kidneys from effectively filtering waste from your blood, allowing dangerous levels of fluid and waste to accumulate.

A person may require dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Kidneys filter excess fluid and waste from your blood — a process that requires healthy blood vessels, said the Mayo Clinic.

The health site continued: “High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in and leading to your kidneys.

“Having diabetes in addition to high blood pressure can worsen the damage.

Kidney problems caused by high blood pressure include kidney scarring (glomerulosclerosis).

“This type of kidney damage occurs when tiny blood vessels within the kidney become scarred and unable to effectively filter fluid and waste from your blood.

“Glomerulosclerosis can lead to kidney failure.”

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What is glomerulosclerosis?

Focal Segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a type of glomerular disease and describes scarring (sclerosis) in your kidney, said the National Kidney Foundation.

The site added: “The scarring of FSGS only takes place in small sections of each glomerulus (filter), and only a limited number of glomeruli are damaged at first.

“Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis affects both children and adults.

“Males are affected slightly more often than females.”

Signs of the condition can include:

  • Swelling in body parts like your legs, ankles and around your eyes
  • Weight gain due to extra fluid building in your body
  • Foamy urine caused by high protein levels in the urine
  • High fat levels in the blood (high cholesterol)
  • Low levels of protein in the blood

It is important to cut down on the amount of salt you eat because salt raises your blood pressure.

According to the NHS, you should aim to eat less than six grams (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.

“Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure,” says the health body.

Being active and taking regular exercise also lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.

“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week,” advises the NHS.

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