A traffic jam in one part of the city can create chaos in the rest. This is an everyday happening that you witness. Jam packed roads, hour long traffic jams due to some road block. Your heart and kidneys are also connected in the same way. Visualize your body as a network of roads, taking veins and arteries as roads and bypass routes for blood flow. A major disfunctioning or road block in one part of the body can surely affect the other.
One bad job leads to another:
The job of the heart is to supply oxygenated blood to all parts of the body and the role of the kidney is to purify the blood and filter the wastes out of the body. The excretion of waste ensures that the water and salt in the body are regulated. If a patient is suffering from heart disease or heart failure, there is a fall in the efficiency of the heart, leading to congestion of the heart with blood. This builds up pressure in the main vein connected to the kidneys. Hence malfunctioning of the heart causes an effect on the kidneys too. They also end up getting less supply of oxygenated blood.
heart and kidney 1
Nephrologist Similarly if a patient is suffering from impaired renal function, then the hormone system that controls the blood pressure gets affected. It attempts to increase the blood supply to the kidneys, putting the heart in an overdrive and making it pump higher pressures in the arteries. Due to this extra workload the heart eventually suffers.
Doctors check both – Kidneys and Heart:
Due to the reasons explained above, doctors check your kidney if they believe that you have heart disease and vice versa. A simple creatinine test and in some cases a ultrasound & CT Scan can clear doubts.
Reduce your risk:
If you have either of the two – Kidney or Heart Disease, one should be aware of the risk of co-morbidity. Hence prevention is the best cure and one should modify their lifestyle.
- Quit Smoking
- Switch to a low salt diet
- Weigh yourself regularly to ensure that there is no fluid overload or dehydration
- Be clear of which drugs you are taking. Do not self medicate
- Exercise regularly to keep a check on your blood pressure