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Symptoms of high blood pressure and kidney disease

Most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. In rare cases, high blood pressure can cause headaches.

Kidney disease also does not have symptoms in the early stages. A person may have swelling called edema, which happens when the kidneys cannot get rid of extra fluid and salt. Edema can occur in the legs, feet, or ankles and less often in the hands or face. Once kidney function decreases further, symptoms can include

 appetite loss
 drowsiness or feeling tired
 trouble concentrating
 sleep problems
 increased or decreased urination
 generalized itching or numbness
 dry skin
 weight loss
 darkened skin
 muscle cramps
 shortness of breath
 chest pain

A health care provider diagnoses high blood pressure when multiple blood pressures tests—often repeated over several visits to a health care provider’s office—show that a systolic blood pressure is consistently above 140 or a diastolic blood pressure is consistently above 90. Health care providers measure blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. People can also buy blood pressure cuffs at discount chain stores and drugstores to monitor their blood pressure at home.

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