Once diagnosed with RAS, patients will require close follow-up with their health care team to ensure their blood pressure is controlled. Treatment options can include changes in diet, exercise and different medications to control your blood pressure. It is important for patients with RAS to work with their health care provider. If certain medications are causing side effects, different dosages or changing the medicine may help.
Remember to take medications as prescribed. If a medication is missed the blood pressure may go up rapidly. At home, patients will need to keep blood pressure logs to provide their providers with information about their blood pressure at various times throughout the day. Close follow up with your primary care doctor, and possibly a nephrologist or cardiologist, may be required.
Patients will also need to monitor the salt in their diet. They will be asked to read food labels and keep salt (sodium), intake to 1,000-1,500 milligram a day. This may be difficult at first because salt is hidden in many of the foods we eat regularly. Many low-salt options are now in markets, and some restaurants can cut or prepare your food without salt when asked. After about three months, the taste buds adjust.
Patients should talk to their health care providers before starting any new medications. They also need to be cautious with the use of over-the-counter medications that can affect their kidneys. Additionally, patients will need to watch for symptoms such as increasing blood pressure, decreased urination, increased lower leg swelling or any other concerning symptom.
With regular health visits for optimal control of their blood pressure, many patients live well with RAS.