High Blood Pressure and CKD

CKD and high blood pressure often go hand and hand. Small diet changes can reduce your risk of CKD progression.

November 16, 2023

Note: This newsletter is meant for individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). All information is for educational purposes only.

CKD Research Digested

In this segment, our nutrition professionals digest the latest research and break it down for you.

What You Need to Know About Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Disease

High blood pressure (hypertension) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are conditions that affect many people in the United States. Almost half of all U.S. adults have high blood pressure and more than 1 in 7 U.S. adults have CKD1. But did you know that these conditions often coexist? In fact, more than 20% of people 20 years or older with high blood pressure also have CKD2 and over 50% of people with CKD have high blood pressure3.

High Blood Pressure: A Cause and Effect of CKD

So why are these two conditions so connected? High blood pressure is both a cause and an effect of CKD. This can be seen in two main ways:

  • High blood pressure can cause CKD by damaging the blood vessels throughout your body. This damage can reduce the blood flow to your kidneys. Also, when your blood vessels are damaged your kidneys cannot properly get rid of your body’s wastes and extra fluids. Because of this, fluid can build up in the blood vessels and lead to an even bigger increase in your blood pressure.
  • CKD can cause high blood pressure complications because of the kidneys’ role in blood pressure regulation. When the kidneys are working as they should, they help keep your blood pressure within a normal range. However, if you have CKD your kidneys are impaired so they are not as good at regulating your blood pressure. As a result, your blood pressure increases.

High blood pressure increases the risk that your CKD will progress and that you will develop heart disease. That’s why it is so important to eat foods that will keep your and your body happy.

Nutrition for High Blood Pressure and CKD

So what are your next steps? How can you make sure that you’re eating a nutritious diet for your high blood pressure and CKD? That depends on your stage of CKD but here are a few general tips:

  • If you are in stages 1-2 of CKD you may need to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, and dairy, like those recommended in the DASH diet. This diet is also low in sugar and salt.
  • If you are in stages 1-4 of CKD, you may need to be mindful of how salt affects your body and your blood pressure. Reducing the amount of salt you eat could help you lower your blood pressure.
  • If you are in stages 1-4 of CKD, try replacing some of the foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat with those containing unsaturated fats. An excessive amount of saturated fats and cholesterol can clog your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease

Trying to figure out what to eat while managing both conditions can get a bit overwhelming but VidaEats is here to help! We’re ready to get you started with dietitian recommendations that are tailored to your specific high blood pressure and CKD needs.

This week’s Research Digested contributor is Myesha Rolle, dietetics student at the University of Maryland, under the supervision of Alana, RD.

Sources: High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/high-blood-pressure

High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease. National Kidney Foundation. Published August 12, 2014. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/factsheets/High-Blood-Pressure-and-CKD

National Kidney Foundation. High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease. https://www.kidney.org/sites/default/files/docs/hbpandckd.pdf

Pugh D, Gallacher PJ, Dhaun N. Management of Hypertension in Chronic Kidney Disease. Drugs. 2019;79(4):365-379. doi:10.1007/s40265-019-1064-1


  • Make your own salt-free spice blend in bulk to use on vegetables, meats, or in soups.  See the recipe below.  Don’t feel like preparing your own?  Here are some suggestions you can pick up at the grocery store: Mrs. Dash, Lawry’s Salt-Free Seasons, Bragg Sprinkle Seasoning, Simply Organic Spice Right.  Do not purchase “salt substitute”— it is loaded with potassium
  • Always try your food before adding table salt. 1 “dash” or “shake” of table salt has nearly 160 mg of sodium!

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