Renal artery stenosis is when one or more of the arteries responsible for carrying blood to your kidneys narrow. The blood flow helps your body remove excess fluids and filter waste. If your arteries narrow, you may experience damaged kidney tissue. Renal artery stenosis can also increase your body’s blood pressure.
You will not necessarily notice symptoms of renal artery stenosis until it progresses to an advanced stage. Doctors will sometimes unintentionally discover the condition when running tests for something else. Symptoms that can alert your doctor may include:
Other potential indicators and symptoms of advanced renal artery stenosis are:
These symptoms are not necessarily related to renal artery stenosis. Make an appointment and speak with a physician if you notice an overlap or have any questions.
There are two primary causes of renal artery stenosis. They are:
These causes can lead to complications in other arteries throughout your body. Consult with a medical professional if you have any knowledge of a related family history.
A doctor can run through several diagnostic tests for renal artery stenosis. The preliminary methods of diagnosing the condition include:
You can also speak with a doctor about undergoing imaging tests. The most common imaging tests for diagnosing renal artery stenosis are:
Narrowing kidney arteries most commonly cause renal artery stenosis. There are certain risk factors that cause your arteries to become narrower throughout your body. They may include:
Multiple complications, aside from high blood pressure, can arise from renal artery stenosis. You may notice the following complications:
Speaking with a medical professional when you start noticing symptoms may minimize future complications associated with renal artery stenosis.
Medical professionals may recommend several different ways of treating renal artery stenosis. Some treatment methods involve lifestyle changes, medication, and working to restore blood flow to your kidneys. Some doctors may suggest combining treatment methods for optimal results. Treatment, or lack thereof, will depend on your symptoms and general health.
Medications for treating renal artery stenosis often target high blood pressure. It may take some trial and error for your doctor to find the right medication or combination of medications to treat your condition. The common medications for treating high blood pressure as it relates to renal artery stenosis are:
Doctors may also recommend certain medical procedures as another form of treatment for renal artery stenosis. Common procedures for the condition include renal angioplasty and stenting, as well as renal artery bypass surgery.
Discuss your medical options with your healthcare provider before trying to make any plans. Treatment options are not one-size-fits-all and may be adjusted to better suit your needs.
If your condition is not severe, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as your treatment plan. Certain changes you can adapt into your daily life are:
You should make a doctor’s appointment about possible renal artery stenosis if you notice any concerning signs or symptoms. Once you speak with a general practitioner, they may refer you to a nephrologist or a cardiologist. There are a number of ways that you can prepare ahead of time for a consultation with a specialist.
The outlook for renal artery stenosis depends on how quickly medical professionals detect it and begin treatment for the condition. If you notice worrying symptoms, speak immediately with your doctor for a better outcome. Identifiers that may mean the kidney disease is progressing are:
Renal artery stenosis can result in permanent damage to your kidneys if you do not seek any treatment. It is also crucial to speak with a medical provider if you have underlying conditions like high blood pressure. Ignoring the damaged kidney tissues can lead to kidney failure and potentially require a kidney transplant.