Noticing blood in your urine could be a signal of high blood pressure. Hematuria is the medical term for blood in the urine and should not be ignored. Hematuria is more common in an individual with large kidneys and high blood pressure. Blood in urine can come from the kidneys, where urine is made. It can also come from other structures in the urinary tract such as ureters, bladder, and the urethra.
Renal hypertension, also called renovascular hypertension, is elevated blood pressure caused by kidney disease.
Renal hypertension is caused by a narrowing in the arteries that deliver blood to the kidney.
One or both kidneys arteries may be narrowed. This is a condition called renal artery stenosis.
When the kidneys receive low blood flow, they act as if the low flow is due to dehydration. So they respond by releasing hormones that stimulate the body to retain sodium and water. Blood vessels fill with additional fluid, and blood pressure goes up.
The narrowing in one or both renal arteries is most often caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
This is the same process that leads to many heart attacks and strokes.
Having high blood pressure puts strain on the artery wall, over time, the artery wall either narrows down to cope with the stress or becomes thinned and fragile
Doctor James Teo, consultant neurologist
A less common cause of the narrowing is fibromuscular dysplasia.
This is a condition in which the structure of the renal arteries develops abnormally for unclear reasons. Renal hypertension can cause chronic kidney disease.
This is a slow decline in kidney function. The vast majority of people with renal hypertension never experience symptoms however, symptoms of severely elevated blood pressure include headaches, confusion, or blurry vision.
Doctor James Teo, consultant neurologist at The Wellington Hospital and Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Having high blood pressure puts strain on the artery wall, over time, the artery wall either narrows down to cope with the stress or becomes thinned and fragile.
Eventually this results in blockage of the blood vessel or a leak or even a rupture.
Doctor Teo continued: “There are also more and more apps and devices that allows people to measure their own pressure in their own homes or on the move.
“These provide helpful information for people to identify and manage their own risk.”
If you suspect you may have high blood pressure or renal hypertension, it’s important to speak with your GP who will be able to determine if it might be high blood pressure or an unexplained chronic kidney disease.
Your GP will normally investigate the blood in the urine as a matter of urgency.
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