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Heart and kidney weakness are often interrelated – treat risk factors consistently – healing practice



Protect the kidneys and thus protect the heart

A heart failure (medical: heart failure) is often associated with kidney problems and, conversely, impaired kidney function often has negative effects on the kidneys heart. which kidneys protects, also protects the heart.

The two organs are closely linked: diseases such as kidney and heart failure are often interdependent. Experts from the German Heart Foundation explain what those affected need to know in a Message.

Diseased kidneys can quickly lead to heart problems

The kidneys not only filter the blood, but also regulate the water balance and thus protect the heart from overload. Conversely, diseased kidneys can quickly lead to heart problems: a weakened kidney causes rapid calcification of blood vessels and promotes heart diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure and heart attacks.

“About one in two patients with chronic kidney disease also suffers from cardiovascular disease”explains Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Marx of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Heart Foundation, in a contribution.

“Most patients with chronic renal failure die not from kidney disease, but from cardiovascular disease”said the director of cardiology, angiology and internal intensive care medicine at the University Clinic in Aachen.

Damage can be avoided

The good news is that if risk factors such as high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus are consistently addressed, heart and kidney damage can be prevented or at least reduced.

The focus of the current issue of HERZ today 3/2022 is devoted to the connections between the two organs: “Also a matter of the heart: the kidney”. Renowned experts explain which kidney diseases also damage the heart and vice versa; and they report on the results of current research on diagnosis and therapies. A sample can here be asked.

Kidney disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease

The body’s blood circulates through the kidneys about 300 times a day, where it is cleaned of metabolic waste. However, when the heart is weak, it pumps some blood only with reduced force through the circulatory system. Then the kidneys no longer receive enough oxygen and nutrients.

As a result, organs no longer function as usual, retain salt and water in the body, and blood pressure increases. raised arterial pressure in turn, harms both the kidneys themselves and the heart.

The original heart failure also turned into kidney failure (kidney weakness). This, in turn, means that the hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) progresses rapidly and the heart continues to lose strength.

“This interaction of the heart and kidneys is complex and cannot be considered separately”, according to Prof. Dr. Christoph Wanner, Head of Nephrology at University Hospital Würzburg. According to the expert, kidney disease should receive more attention as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

“If the heart and kidneys are already diseased, it is no longer important which organ was damaged first,” says his colleague Prof. Dr. Kai Lopau. Rather, it is important to treat the predominant clinical picture and treatment plans combined for both diseases.

Diseased kidneys almost never cause pain

However, the challenge is kidney disease at all recognize early, because: Diseased kidneys almost never cause pain. On the contrary, the filter function gradually decreases, so that chronic damage gradually develops.

However, early detection of kidney damage is extremely important – both for the heart and for the kidneys themselves. An indication of the occurrence of kidney damage is, for example, the concentration of albumin in the urine. This can be determined approximately by a rapid test using urine strips.

More precise values ​​are given laboratory testin which the ratio of albumin and creatinine in urine is determined.

In order to be able to assess the risk of kidney disease and heart disease in healthy people, nephrologists recommend the so-called Profile ABCDE to be determined. The letters represent the following tests:

A – Albumin in urine
B – blood pressure measurements
VS – Cholesterol level in the blood
D – Diabetes
E – Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)

If the ABCDE profile shows an increased risk of heart or kidney disease, doctors can take early steps to prevent it consequential damage minimize.

Because the following applies to both heart failure and kidney failure: The earlier the disease is detected, the easier it can be treated and its consequences cardiovascular system avoid. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • German Heart Foundation: Those who protect the kidneys also protect the heart (accessed: 08/31/2022), German Heart Foundation
  • German Heart Foundation: Chronic Kidney Failure: A Silent Danger to the Heart, (Accessed: August 31, 2022), German Heart Foundation

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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