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Secondary Hypertension

Renal Clinic of Houston

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

Secondary hypertension, which accounts for about 10% of all cases of high blood pressure, frequently develops due to problems in your kidneys. As experts in kidney disease, the team at the Renal Clinic of Houston has diagnosed and treated many patients with secondary hypertension. Early treatment significantly lowers your risk of serious health complications caused by secondary hypertension, as well as the underlying medical problem. Schedule an appointment by calling the office in Katy, Memorial City in Houston, or North Cypress, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Secondary Hypertension Q&A

What is secondary hypertension?

chronic kidney disease

Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that an underlying health condition causes. By comparison, primary (essential) hypertension, the most common type of high blood pressure, develops without an identifiable cause.

What conditions cause secondary hypertension?

Obstructive sleep apnea, overweight, and obesity may lead to secondary hypertension. Though rare, inherited disorders such as familial hyperaldosteronism also result in high blood pressure.

However, secondary hypertension is most often caused by:

Kidney conditions

Kidney conditions are the top causes of secondary hypertension. Problems such as renal artery stenosis, chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, and glomerular disease are a few examples of kidney problems that cause high blood pressure.

When renal artery stenosis blocks the blood supply to your kidneys, your kidneys release hormones that boost blood pressure. If your kidneys sustain damage from other conditions, they can’t do their job. As a result, fluids build up in your body, which causes high blood pressure.

Endocrine conditions

Several hormones regulate your blood pressure. When the glands that produce or regulate these hormones, such as your kidney, adrenal, and thyroid glands, fail to work normally, you end up with secondary hypertension.

What symptoms occur if I have secondary hypertension?

Hypertension on its own doesn't cause symptoms. However, the following problems are signs of secondary hypertension:

  • Resistant hypertension (hypertension doesn't improve despite several medications)
  • Very high blood pressure (higher than 180 over 120)
  • Onset of high blood pressure before age 30 or after 55 
  • Sudden severe rise in blood pressure

The underlying health conditions responsible for secondary hypertension can cause symptoms. You may experience: 

  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Edema (fluid buildup)
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Intolerance to heat or cold
  • Purple lines on your abdomen

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, protect your health by scheduling an appointment for a blood pressure check and exam.

How is secondary hypertension treated?

Your treatment for secondary hypertension involves medications and lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure. The underlying condition responsible for your hypertension also receives treatment. 

The team at the Renal Clinic of Houston treats many people with secondary hypertension due to kidney disease. Your provider does an extensive workup, including a physical exam, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound to determine your diagnosis. Then they create a customized treatment plan that fits your unique health care needs.

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms associated with secondary hypertension, don't wait to seek medical care. Call the Renal Clinic of Houston or book an appointment online today.