3 signs of heart or kidney disease
If you have heart disease, it’s likely you have kidney disease and vice-versa. This is the case because diseases like high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis cause damage to both the heart and kidneys.
“Heart and kidney disease go hand-in-hand together, as one organ dysfunction generally leads to decline in the other,” says Dr. Aamir Memon, nephrologist on staff at Advocate Sherman Hospital. “Kidneys are the main organ that controls fluids, minerals and blood pressure in the body, so any disorder with the kidneys eventually affects the heart.”
If you have any of these three symptoms, it could be a warning sign that you have heart and kidney disease. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following:
1. High blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure, a reading of 140/90 and above, is a major cause of heart attacks and chronic kidney disease. If you fall into this category, it’s time to adopt some lifestyle changes. These can include a better diet, more exercise, and prescribed medications.
“Having uncontrolled blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors contributing to the progression of kidney disease,” Dr. Memon says.
2. Swelling. Consistently swollen body parts should not be ignored. Puffy eyes (particularly in the morning) and swollen hands, feet or ankles are potential signs of kidney disease. Kidneys, when functioning properly, filter waste from the blood and remove excess water from the body. But when not functioning properly, fluids can stay in the system and lead to swelling.
“Fluid retention in the body is usually from abnormal heart function, but certain kidney diseases, especially the one that leads to protein loss, can also contribute to fluid build-up in the body.”
3. Changes in urine output. Both urinating less and urinating more are some of the earliest signs of kidney disease. A darker color should be watched out for as well, but first and foremost, know your body and don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor.
“Though urine output generally depends on oral intake, a sudden decrease in output can be a sign of heart or kidney problems,” Dr. Memon says. “Lack of concentration—hence excess urine output—is typically a sign of advanced kidney disease. There are also other hormonal problems that can lead to changes in urine output.”
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