Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD.
Obstruction of the main artery that brings clean
blood to your kidney is called renal artery stenosis. The artery to one or both
kidneys may be blocked. This usually, but not always results in high blood
pressure. In individuals older than 50 years, buildup of atherosclerotic
material inside the blood vessels, which occurs with age, can gradually block
the artery. In young women, a condition called “fibromuscular
hyperplasia” can cause blockage of the artery and high blood pressure.
This is also a form of renal artery stenosis. If this condition is not diagnosed
and treated in a timely manner, it may result in a progressive decrease in
kidney function and complete kidney
Living With Your
You may not have any symptoms
from your condition. Your doctor may suspect that you have this condition if you
have high blood pressure. Special
necessary to diagnose this condition. The test that is most helpful is putting
some dye in an artery in your groin and then taking pictures of your kidney
blood vessels. You have to take your blood pressure medicine
artery blocks can be dilated with a balloon, whereas others may require surgery.
Occasionally blood pressure will be controlled with drug therapy. Your doctor
will examine you often to ensure that your blood pressure is well controlled.
He will also follow your kidney blood tests closely. If your blood pressure is
poorly controlled with medicines or your kidney function starts to worsen, you
may need the balloon treatment or surgery. Sometimes you may also receive
• Do not smoke. Smoking makes
cells called platelets in your blood sticky. This worsens blood pressure control
and may increase your chances of getting heart
• Do take your medicine
regularly. It is the most important thing you can do to delay or prevent
worsening of your kidney function.
Do keep your appointments with your
• Do exercise regularly. This
will decrease the risk of complications, such as heart disease, that result from
high blood pressure.
• Do eat healthy
food. Follow your dietitian’s advice because it is possible that your
blood cholesterol level is high. A high cholesterol level increases your risk of
heart disease, especially with high blood
• Do ask your doctor about
any questions you may have regarding this
• Don’t stop
taking your medication before checking with your
• Don’t take
over-the-counter medication, especially drugs similar to ibuprofen, unless you
have checked with your doctor. Some of these medicines may not be safe with your
kidney condition and may actually make it worse.
• Don’t take any herbal
preparations that you may find at health food stores. Some of these preparations
have been known to cause kidney
• Don’t hesitate to
ask your doctor any questions that may concern you about your disease or its
When to Call Your
Always call your doctor if you
feel unwell. He may be able to assess whether you need to be seen right away or
whether a change in medication is necessary.