These 7 ways to maintain kidney and heart health from kidney.org are important because those who have kidney disease are more likely to develop heart and blood vessel disease than others. That means taking care of both the heart and kidneys can really help. Improving heart health will also help the kidneys to stay healthy.
Have a test
It might seem obvious, but heart disease can also put the kidneys at risk and kidney disease can put the heart at risk. It makes sense if you have a problem with one, to have the other tested as well. If a problem is diagnosed early, it makes the treatment easier and usually more effective.
Eat for Both
A well balanced diet is important for both the heart and kidneys. Cut down on sodium and avoid processed food as much as possible. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol should be cut down if there is a problem. These might include eggs, whole milk, cheese and fried foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for heart health so eat more cold water fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, lake trout and sardines. Flaxseed oil, canola oil and walnuts can also help as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Without overdoing it, increasing physical activity can be very good for staying healthy. It can help to decrease blood pressure, increase muscle strength, lower blood fat levels, improve sleep, increase insulin sensitivity and obviously help to control body weight. By becoming more physical, it leads to feeling good. This is an important part of being healthy. Increasing physical activity might seem a little obvious, but it is one of the important 7 ways to maintain kidney and heart health.
Keep Cholesterol Low
There’s a higher risk of developing heart and blood vessel problems if the blood has high levels of fats like cholesterol. Having a blood test is the best way to keep a check on this and if the levels are too high it normally means switching to a low fat diet and doing more exercise. Sometimes it may be necessary to take pills like statins to help reduce cholesterol.
Keep Blood Pressure in Check
High blood pressure sufferers are normally prescribed pills and those for people with kidney disease are angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB’s). They help in protecting the heart but it’s very important to stick to the fluid and sodium advised limits. This will stop too much fluid building up in the body which could lead to increased blood pressure.
Diabetes Sufferers Control Blood Sugar
Those who have diabetes are fully aware that having high blood sugar levels can lead to damage of the eyes, nerves, heart, blood vessels and kidneys. It’s essential to keep blood sugar levels under control as prescribed by a doctor and also with self management methods. By taking action it can slow down or even stop this type of damage occurring.
One of the biggest risks to both the heart and kidneys is smoking. It can lead to hardening of the arteries which in turn causes coronary disease and nephrosclerosis, or hardening of the kidney caused by disease of the blood vessels in it. Smoking can also cause high blood pressure and that’s another route to heart and kidney disease.
A doctor is the best person to give advice on any action to take if there is a problem, but considering these 7 ways to maintain kidney and heart health is a good place to start.