Dr Chris on the link between paracetamol and heart disease
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Heart disease is a common but serious disease, responsible for nearly 500 deaths per day, according to the British Heart Foundation. Things such as high blood pressure and diabetes put you at higher risk of the condition. But fewer people are aware that chronic kidney disease – which affects roughly one in 10 — can cause the condition. Luckily, some simple dietary changes can help to massively reduce your risk of CKD.
Chronic kidney disease is when the kidneys no longer work as well as they should, which can cause damage to your heart.
“It’s a common condition often associated with getting older. It can affect anyone, but it’s more common in people who are black or of south Asian origin,” stated the NHS.
The job of your kidneys is to turn waste in your body into urine by filtering substances out of the blood.
But when you have chronic kidney disease, it can put a strain on your heart.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) explained: “When someone has CKD, their heart needs to pump harder to get blood to the kidneys.”
It added: “Change in blood pressure is also a CKD complication that can lead to heart disease.”
Although chronic kidney disease can’t always be preventable, you can make adequate changes to your lifestyle.
These changes, which include dietary changes, have been shown to “reduce the chances of getting the condition,” states the NHS.
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Eat less sodium and salt
A diet high in salt can disturb kidney function. As part of its filtering role, the kidneys remove water from the blood. A balance of sodium and potassium are needed to move the water from the blood to the kidneys.
Eating a high salt diet can disrupt this balance, and therefore disrupt the removal of water from the blood.
According to the charity Action On Salt, high salt diets cause a “higher blood pressure” which “puts strain on the kidneys and can lead to kidney disease”.
You could “use spices, herbs, and sodium-free seasoning in place of salt,” suggests the National Institute of Health.
It added another recommendation: “Buy fresh food often.
“Sodium (a part of salt) is added to many prepared or packaged foods you buy at the supermarket or at restaurants.”
Limit your protein
The NHS recommends a healthy balanced diet to reduce your risk of kidney disease. As part of this, they suggest “some beans or pulses, fish, eggs, or meat as a source of protein.”
However, emphasis is on the word ‘some’. When your body uses protein, it produces waste products, which your kidneys remove.
Eating more protein may make your kidneys work harder, the National Institute of Health said.
The health body recommends that you “eat small portions of protein foods” because of this.
Reducing your fat levels
It’s well-known that high levels of saturated fat can increase the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol can build up in your kidneys too – which can affect its function.
Davita stated: “Cholesterol plaque [hard buildups of cholesterol] can also clog the renal arteries and cut off blood flow to the kidneys, resulting in loss of kidney function.”
The buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is also linked directly to the onset of heart disease.
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