Heart and Kidney are two of the most complex yet critical organs for our mere existence. Think of that moment when these two tirelessly working organs decide on taking a break! Most of us will pray that they never take a break because if they do then we are aware of what happens!
However, have we ever wondered that Heat and Kidney Diseases often go hand in hand?! They actually do. How? That’s what we are going to talk about here.
The Heart – Kidney Link
Let’s take an example. Think of a traffic jam on one of the busiest highways which connects major neighbouring cities with your city. Though it is only a single highway that will be affected, the arterial roads also will be blocked.
Same is the case with our vital organs which are connected with each other by a network of arteries and veins. If one organ fails, then there is every possibility that the associated organs might fail too, especially in the case of our Heart and Kidney as they work very closely with each other.
How do our Heart and Kidney Collaborate?
The function of our heart is to pump oxygenated blood to different parts of our body. The kidney receives the blood and filters out toxic waste products in the form of urine. In case one of the two organs fails to perform consistently, then the pressure on the other organ increases immensely, leading to combined Heart and Kidney Diseases.
It is more likely that your doctor might recommend a complete heart check-up if you are having a kidney disease and vice-versa. Therefore, before we move forward to the crux of the topic, it will be good to get an idea about what do you mean by heart disease and kidney disease.
What is kidney disease?
The function of our kidneys as we all know is to filter blood. If the kidneys cease to function then it could lead to accumulation of toxic products inside the body. Over a period of time, this can turn into a condition called Chronic Kidney Disease.
This disease might affect the other organs of the body including our heart and lungs.
What is heart disease?
A heart disease is associated with the inability of the heart to pump the required amount of oxygenated blood across our body. This can occur due to the accumulation of solid deposits within the blood vessels that carry blood to or out from the heart. These deposits are called Plaque.
If the intensity of damage to the heart is too high, then it might lead to a heart attack and can subsequently damage the other organs of the body, including kidneys.
How are kidney disease and heart disease related?
This brings us to the main topic of discussion. Two of the common factors that link heart and kidney diseases are the two most common causes of the respective diseases i.e. Diabetes and Hypertension.
Diabetes relates to high sugar levels in the body. Uncontrolled Diabetes can cause extensive damage to your eyes, heart and kidneys.
High Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure is the force with which the blood moves through the blood vessels and presses against the walls of the vessels. High and Low blood pressure reading is both dangerous. They can damage your heart and lungs in succession. The normal recommended blood pressure is 120/80 unless your doctor sets a different goal depending upon your current health condition.
In addition to the above two, certain other factors that can lead to heart and kidney diseases collectively are; Obesity, high sodium diet, smoking, alcohol and lack of regular activities due to a sedentary lifestyle.
How are kidney disease and heart disease treated?
As the first step towards treating heart and kidney diseases, doctors will recommend you to control your blood pressure and diabetes. These can be done through certain medications as well as changing your lifestyle. Drinking adequate amount of water and staying hydrated is another good way to stay active and prevent diseases from getting worse. Your doctors might recommend regular tests to monitor the functioning of your heart and kidneys that include; ECG, Lipid Profile, Serum Creatinine etc.
How can I prevent kidney disease and heart disease?
Precautions and frequent health check-ups can help you monitor the health of your heart and kidneys and prevent major diseases. Having a check on your body weight, maintaining a low sodium diet, keeping cholesterol levels in check and maintaining a routine physical activity are some of the factors that can be of good help. Have a healthy diet routine which suits both your heart and kidneys.
The Bottom LineKidney Disease can lead to Heart Disease and the reverse is possible too. Renowned Nephrologists associated with NU Hospitals, one of the well-known kidney care centres, have solved many complex cases, involving kidneys and heart. Recent studies have proved that heart failure is a significant risk factor for kidney disease. It’s usually impossible to know when you would have avoided a major health hazard. Life is healthy but Lifestyle can make it unhealthy.