Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Essential Hypertension

Renal Clinic of Houston

Nephrology located in Katy, TX & Memorial City, Houston, TX

Almost half of adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), and essential hypertension accounts for 95% of all cases. Without treatment, essential hypertension puts you at risk for chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. The experienced team at the Renal Clinic of Houston provides comprehensive care for essential hypertension, helping patients live a longer, healthier life by maintaining normal blood pressure. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Katy, Memorial City in Houston, or Cypress, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Essential Hypertension Q&A

What is essential hypertension?

chronic kidney disease

Essential hypertension, also called primary hypertension, refers to high blood pressure an underlying health condition does not cause, such as kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, kidney failure, thyroid disease, or obstructive sleep apnea.

This type of hypertension develops gradually over years of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Leading a sedentary life
  • Consuming too much salt
  • Living with frequent stress
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking too much alcohol

Hypertension caused by an identifiable health condition is called secondary hypertension.

What complications does essential hypertension cause?

As your heart pumps blood into your arteries, the blood pushes against the arterial walls. The amount of force against the wall determines your blood pressure.

When you have high blood pressure, the excessive force damages the wall, creating areas where cholesterol attaches to the wall. Over time, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens, a condition called atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis causes serious health complications such as:

  • Renal artery stenosis (damage to arteries in your kidneys)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

These conditions lead to life-threatening problems such as kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

What symptoms does essential hypertension cause?

Essential hypertension seldom causes symptoms. Your blood pressure can keep rising for years, and you won't experience red flags warning you about the problem.

The first symptoms occur when atherosclerosis significantly blocks blood flow. Depending on the location of the fatty plaque, you may experience chest pain or leg pain.

If essential hypertension leads to kidney disease, you may have swelling in your hands, feet, and abdomen, itchy skin, and fatigue. For many people, the first symptom is a major event such as a heart attack or stroke.

How is essential hypertension treated?

The treatment for essential hypertension includes two primary approaches: modifying your lifestyle and medications.

For mild to moderate stages of hypertension, the Renal Clinic of Houston begins your treatment by changing the lifestyle issues contributing to your high blood pressure. For example, you may need to limit salt, lose weight, or reduce your alcohol consumption.

When your essential hypertension doesn't improve or has already reached an advanced stage upon diagnosis, your provider prescribes medications to lower your blood pressure. 

Renal Clinic of Houston treats kidney problems that may have developed due to your essential hypertension. They also refer you to vascular specialists who treat atherosclerosis.

If you need a blood pressure check or treatment for essential hypertension, call the Renal Clinic of Houston or book an appointment online today