Heart Disease Damages Your Kidneys – What’s good for your heart is also good for your kidneys – but the flipside also applies. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 30 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, but the vast majority of them don’t know it.
The National Kidney Foundation says 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. That’s why it’s important – literally, to get to the heart of the risk factors.
Our kidneys play a crucial role in our well-being. They clear our bodies of waste products and excess fluid. However, they need a good blood supply to remain healthy. That’s where the heart-kidney connection comes into play.
“The function of the heart is to pump the blood and deliver oxygen to different places in the body including the kidneys. So when the heart function is not good, when it’s compromised, so not enough oxygen develops, goes to kidneys and the kidney function deteriorates,” explained Dr. Radmila Lyubarova, a cardiologist at Albany Med.
However, a good blood supply is only part of the picture.
“The same things that cause heart disease, they also cause kidney disease, such as high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, those are major risk factors for both kidney disease and heart disease,” said Lyubarova.
Those diseases can cause the arteries in both the heart and kidneys to harden, damaging their function. To prevent hypertension and diabetes, we need to exercise, stop or never start smoking, eat a balanced diet and treat hypertension and diabetes if you’re diagnosed with those diseases.
When kidney function begins to fail, more protein will be detected in the urine. That’s because the kidney’s ability to filter out toxins has been compromised. So along with hypertension and diabetes, be alert to puffiness around the eyes, swelling of hands and feet along with more frequent urination as signs of potential trouble.
Keep in mind, Chronic Kidney Disease is a silent disease because often there are no symptoms until the disease has progressed. It can be a killer.
“So in most patients with kidney disease, actually the most common cause of death is heart disease,” said Lyubarova.