Are you experiencing symptoms like loss of appetite and frequent urination? If yes, then you need to consult the doctor as soon as possible. It can indicate renal artery stenosis (RAS), a condition that causes arteries narrowing that carries blood from your heart to the kidneys. If you are not aware or have much information about the problem, then this write-up is for you. We will cover a detailed discussion on RAS which includes its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options. So, make sure to give it a read till the end.
Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is a condition that occurs because of the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood from your heart to the kidneys. We have two renal arteries supplying blood to the right and left kidneys. There can be stenosis in one or both of these arteries. The renal arteries’ function is to carry blood that is oxygen-rich and helps the kidney get rid of body waste and excessive fluid. This condition causes problems like high blood pressure, kidney failure, and chronic kidney disease.
People who have atherosclerosis are identified to be at a greater risk of experiencing renal artery stenosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque is formed on the artery walls. There are other risks factors of renal artery stenosis as well which include:
There are no identifiable renal stenosis symptoms, but you can start noticing the symptoms as the condition develops. Once the condition has progressed, here are the symptoms you are likely to observe:
There are two primary causes of renal artery stenosis which are:
The renal artery can narrow so extensively that it becomes harder to get enough blood and as a result, one can experience high blood pressure problems at a very young age. This issue can occur in one or sometimes both kidneys. Specialists aren’t sure of the reasons behind fibromuscular dysplasia, but this condition is more common among females and can be congenital.
There are other causes of renal artery stenosis as well which include blood vessel inflammation or growth that develops in the abdomen.
There are times when a healthcare expert might detect or diagnose renal artery stenosis incidentally. It means that the doctor has diagnosed this disease while diagnosing or treating another condition. If your doctor suspects RAS, then they might perform the following tests:
The treatment of Renal Artery Stenosis involves medications and lifestyle changes.
One of the ways to treat this condition is with medications. Your doctor will recommend some medications which will help you in relaxing the blood vessels so that they are not narrowed. Here are the medications:
Beta-blockers and alpha-beta-blockers are also recommended as these drugs help minimize blood vessel dilation. Diuretics are also recommended for reduced fluid retention and swelling.
The best treatment you can consider is making certain lifestyle changes along with medications including:
If medication and lifestyle changes aren’t helpful to treat RAS or restrict the effects, then the situation can go out of hand. In such cases, the doctor might recommend procedures for improving the arterial function otherwise it can damage the kidneys. The procedure recommended for RAS involves renal stenting and bypass surgery.
Renal artery disease is a progressive condition and keeps deteriorating over time. The outlook of this disease for someone relies on its severity. According to research, it is found that once diagnosed with this condition around 48% of people can survive for four years. It is a serious condition causing permanent kidney damage. If you have been diagnosed with this disease, it is crucial to consult your doctor immediately and it is more important to consider treatment if you have an underlying condition like hypertension.
You should get in touch with the healthcare provider if you experience signs like a metallic taste in your mouth, abdominal pain, low urine output, nausea, seizures, vomiting, and swelling in your legs, arms, or face.
In most cases, the renal stenting procedure or angioplasty doesn’t cure RHA disease, however, it can help in slowing down the progress of the disease.