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The relationship between chronic kidney disease, diabetes and heart failure

The body is complicated! While each organ in your body has a specific job to do to keep you healthy, they still rely on each other to function well. When one organ isn’t working the way it should, it can put stress on other organs, causing them to stop working properly as well.

The relationship between chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, and heart disease is one example of the ways our organs are connected.

The body uses a hormone called insulin to get blood sugar into the body’s cells to be used as energy. If someone has diabetes, their pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should.

If someone has CKD, their kidneys are not able to filter out toxins and waste from their blood as well as they should.

Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common condition, coronary artery disease, leads to changes in blood flow to the heart, which can cause a heart attack.

So how are these three conditions connected?

Risk factors for each condition are similar and include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, family history, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.

High blood sugar can slowly damage the kidneys and, over time, they can stop filtering blood as well as they should, leading to CKD. Approximately one in three adults with diabetes has CKD.

When the kidneys don’t work well, more stress is put on the heart. When someone has CKD, their heart needs to pump harder to get blood to the kidneys. This can lead to heart disease, the leading cause of death in Europe and the United States. Change in blood pressure is also a CKD complication that can lead to heart disease.

Luckily, preventing or managing one condition can help you prevent and manage the others and lower the risk for more complications.

What’s the good news in all of this? You can manage or prevent CKD, diabetes, and heart disease all at once!

Look at these five tips to get started:

  • Getting active is one of the best ways to help you prevent or manage CKD, diabetes, and heart disease;
  • Choosing healthy foods and drinks is an important way to give your body the fuel it needs to function properly. Adding more fruits and veggies to your plate can also help you keep a healthy weight – another great way to prevent or manage these conditions;
  • Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health;
  • Find out where you stand by taking a one-minute prediabetes risk test. If your risk score is high, talk to your doctor about taking action to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes;
  • Get your annual flu shot. People with chronic diseases are more likely to have health complications if they catch the flu.

In 2024, be more attentive to your body. Be healthier and happier.

Article submitted by the HPA Group