Reducing blood acidity with the alkali treatment sodium citrate may be a way to slow or delay complete kidney failure caused by hypertension, according to the finding of a study lead by Dr. Donald E. Wesson.
Dr. Wesson’s study considered how endothelin affected kidney function over time. Endothelin is a hormone produced in the kidney to help the organ transfer acidic material from the blood and into urine, and out of the body.
In January, the research was reported on Kidney International’s website, and also in their April 20 print issue.
Dr. Wesson is a nephrologist, the Chief Academic Officer for Scott & White Healthcare and Vice-dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Hypertensive nephropathy is the second leading cause of complete kidney failure in the U.S. after diabetes. It is a disease of the kidney where high blood pressure is damaging the organ.
The Wesson lab has been recognized for this area of research since 1981.
“What is most exciting to us is we know that reduced kidney function increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. So, reducing the loss of kidney function may reduce the risk of the major killer — heart disease,” Dr. Wesson said.