Kidney Disease: The Silent Threat to Cardiovascular Health

Kidney Disease: The Silent Threat to Cardiovascular Health

Kidney disease often takes the spotlight, but it is a public health problem that deserves increased awareness. Despite the public attention given to heart and brain diseases, the kidneys and their many important functions for the body remain poorly understood. However, they play a vital role in the elimination of toxins, the production of red blood cells, and the regulation of various metabolic processes.

To gain insight into this silent disease, which is highly associated with high blood pressure and diabetes, we spoke to nephrologist Alejandro Fiorillo of Rafaela Noticias.

Kidneys: More Than Toxin Filters

The kidneys are highly complex organs that perform a variety of functions that are critical to the proper functioning of the body. In addition to filtering toxins and eliminating waste through urine, they will perform other equally important functions:

  • Production of red blood cells: The kidneys play a vital role in stimulating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, which are essential for the transport of oxygen in the body.
  • Regulates Phosphate and Calcium Metabolism: Maintains the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body, which is the key to bone health.
  • Controls blood pH: They regulate the acidity of the blood, which is essential for the proper functioning of cells and enzymes.
  • Fluid and Ionic Balance: Regulates the amount of fluid and electrolytes in the body to maintain homeostasis.
  • Hormone production and regulation: They secrete various hormones that play important roles in regulating blood pressure, red blood cell production, and immune system function, among other things.
most common kidney disease
  1. Chronic Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease or failure is defined as a progressive, permanent, and irreversible loss of glomerular filtration rate over a variable period of time. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease. The condition gradually worsens over the years and may remain asymptomatic in the early stages. It can also be caused by autoimmune diseases, birth defects, kidney damage, infections, kidney stones, arterial problems, and many other conditions.
  2. Kidney cancer: It is a malignant tumor that starts in this organ. It is usually asymptomatic in its initial stages, but as the disease progresses, blood in the urine, persistent pain on one side, loss of appetite, tiredness, and fever may occur.
  3. Kidney stones: Commonly known as kidney stones, they are solid blocks made of small crystals that can deposit in the urinary tract. These compounds form when the salts and minerals in the urine become too concentrated, promoting their crystallization. Pain and blood in the urine are some common symptoms, but nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms may also occur. Smaller stones almost always pass through the urethra on their own, but more severe cases may require certain medications to help break them down, or even surgery.
  4. Diabetic nephropathy: HIt refers to kidney complications that occur in people with severe type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Symptoms such as swollen extremities, increased urination, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and nausea may appear with this photo.
  5. Glomerulonephritis: EIt is a kidney disease in which the structure of the glomeruli (small round blood vessel clusters inside the kidney) is affected. There are two types of pictures of this pathology: primary (only the kidneys are affected) and secondary (occurs due to existing disease). The main symptoms are blood in the urine, foamy urine, and body swelling.
  6. Polycystic kidney: It is a progressive genetic pathology of the kidney. It is characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in these organs.
  7. Pyelonephritis: Pyelonephritis, or a kidney infection, is defined by the presence of bacteria in the urine. It is usually caused by bacteria, but can also be caused by fungi or viruses in special cases.
Kidney disease and its relationship to the cardiovascular system

Kidney disease not only affects the kidneys but also has a major impact on the cardiovascular system. “Major kidney disease is strongly associated with high blood pressure and diabetes, which in turn are the leading causes of cardiovascular disease such as myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure. Importantly, these diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, including in Argentina. main reason”.

Risk Factors and Prevention

“Awareness and prevention are critical to addressing kidney disease.”The main risk factors are the same as for cardiovascular disease: Arterial hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, stroke patients, sedentary lifestyles, and poor diet and hydration. Genetic makeup also plays a role, but lifestyle and environment can alter gene expression, underscoring the importance of healthy habits. “

Symptoms and Early Detection

“One of the main difficulties Kidney diseases are characterized in that, in the initial stages, they are asymptomatic, making early detection difficult. Symptoms usually occur when kidney function has already been severely affected. People with risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes must have regular blood and urine tests to monitor their kidney health and consult a specialist such as a nephrologist or general practitioner. Symptoms occur when only 15% or less of kidney function remains“.

available treatments

“When the kidneys stop working properly, there are three treatment options: dialysis and kidney transplantation. Dialysis, whether hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, partially replaces the fluid filtering and removal functions of the kidneys. Kidney transplantation, on the other hand, is a treatment approach. Effective treatment is available for many patients, but the limited availability of donated organs has resulted in rather long waiting lists.”

Finally, Dr. “Now is the time to give kidney disease the attention it deserves and understand the importance of its prevention. Kidney care should be a priority for those with risk factors. Early detection and regular monitoring are key to avoiding serious complications .Also, organ donation is becoming more and more important.” It is a vital act of generosity for those facing kidney failure and waiting for a transplant for a better quality of life. Raising awareness about kidney health is a shared responsibility that can change the lives of many.

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Kidney Disease – Dr. Alejandro Fiorillo – Nephrologist

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