We are linked!



By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

As towns are linked up in a state, so are vital organs in the body linked to each other. Recent research has shown that heart failure is a significant factor for kidney disease and conversely, kidney disease is a risk factor for a heart disease. The two diseases are intertwined.
The kidneys and heart are important in the daily metabolic activities carried out by the body. The kidneys not only remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, they also balance fluids, control the production of red blood cells and produce an active form of vitamin D for healthy bones. The heart pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and organs via blood vessels.
When the heart is not pumping blood efficiently due to cardiovascular diseases (all diseases and conditions of the heart and blood vessels), it gets congested with blood. This result in less blood getting to the kidneys: the blood is meant to supply the kidneys with oxygen and nutrients. The kidneys then lose their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, hormones, acids and salts in the body. Therefore, the kidneys respond by retaining water and salt - resulting in fluid retention that could cause widespread damage.
Patients with chronic kidney disease are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than develop kidney failure. Healthy kidneys have the ability to produce hormones as well as an enzyme known as renin. Renin, which plays an important role in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone hormonal system, helps to control blood pressure. Patients with chronic kidney disease lose the ability to control their blood pressure through this pathway.
This calls for attention to treatment of either of the diseases. Several home remedies that can help in treatment include reduction of salt intake, elimination of alcohol intake and tobacco use, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.


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