Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

A condition present when blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. Also called high blood pressure. Hypertension can strain the heart, damage blood vessels, and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and death.

About Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called "hypertension," is a serious medical condition. It happens when the force of the blood pumping through your arteries is too strong.

When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. When the blood pushes harder against the walls of your arteries, your blood pressure goes up. Your blood pressure may be different at different times of the day. It is usually higher when you first wake up, after you exercise, or when you are under stress.

Having higher blood pressure for short amounts of time is normal. However, when your blood pressure stays high for most of the time, it can cause serious health problems.

Kidney

One of a pair of organs in the abdomen. The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood (as urine) and help keep chemicals (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) balanced in the body. The kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate bone marrow to make red blood cells.

How Do the Kidneys Work?

A healthy person has two kidneys, which look like oversized beans. The kidneys are located to the right and left of the spine, just below your ribcage.

Your kidney is about as big as a bar of soap or the size of your fist. It weighs between 135 and 150 grams. The indented edge of the kidney is turned inward towards the spine. At the middle of this indentation a tube called the ureter leaves the kidney, and nerves, and blood and lymph vessels also lead in and out of the kidney. Each kidney is covered by three layers made out of fat or connective tissue, the so-called kidney capsule (or renal capsule). These layers give the kidney extra stability, protect it from external harm and anchor it in the surrounding tissue.

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