Kidney and Heart Disease – Consequences

Heart disease itself is a serious medical concern. When kidney and heart disease occur in combination, the challenge is even greater.

Kidney and heart disease may begin separately, and then progress together, becoming one disease. Heart disease may also spark the beginning of kidney disease. Whichever occurs first, kidney and heart disease affect each other’s progress.

Since kidney and heart disease are so closely related, anyone who has heart disease, or is at risk for developing it, should ask his or her physician to order urine and blood tests that are designed to identify kidney disease.

Kidney Functions

Most people know that the kidneys remove wastes and fluids from the body. In addition to these functions, kidneys also perform other important jobs. Among them, several are vital to heart health.

* Regulate water in the body

* Regulate blood chemicals: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium

* Remove drugs and toxins from the body

* Release hormones that regulate blood pressure and create red blood cells.

Kidney Disease Consequences

Kidney disease that is uncontrolled can become chronic kidney disease (CKD). As CKD worsens, the kidneys can not adequately regulate water in the body. The blood may become too thick, placing an increased work load on the heart.

At the same time, blood chemicals will go unregulated. If the heart lacks the important electrolyte chemicals, it cannot function efficiently.

CKD will also allow drugs, toxins, and other wastes in the blood to build to high levels. These high concentrations of toxic materials can take a toll on the whole body, including the heart.

High blood pressure and anemia (low red blood cell count) can be linked to failure of the kidneys to release necessary hormones.

Kidney and heart disease will then become a combined concern.

How to Prevent the Lethal Combo

Early detection of kidney and heart disease is important. Both can be treated more successfully if detected in their early stages.

Ask your physician about these three simple tests: blood pressure, serum creatinine test, and urine test.

If you have high blood pressure, be sure your physician tests for kidney disease. If you have kidney disease, insist that your physician test for high blood pressure. One can cause the other.

The kidney and heart disease combination is most likely to hit those with diabetes, hypertension, and a family history of kidney disease. If you are African American, Hispanic, a Pacific Islander, a Native American, or a senior citizen, you are at greater risk for kidney and heart disease.

Kidney and heart disease do not always go hand-in-hand, but if you have one or the other, you increase the risks of both.

CAUTION: The author is not a medical professional, and offers the information in this article for educational purposes only. Please discuss it with your health care provider before relying on it in any way.