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Does High Cholesterol Affect Your Kidneys

Kidney Disease And Statins

Do STATINS Cause KIDNEY DAMAGE? The TRUTH About Statins [MUST WATCH] If High Cholesterol

Its already been established that people who have chronic kidney disease are more likely to end up having cardiovascular disease as well. This happens because these two conditions share a lot of causes, high cholesterol being just one of them.

In these situations, doctors may choose to prescribe statins, drugs that are often the go-to of medical specialist looking to keep high blood under control. Some of the most common statins that doctors prescribe are simvastatin, fluvastatin, and atorvastatin.

Statins may also have a number of side effects, causing muscle and joint pain, diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach, even headaches. Even so, its not uncommon for people with kidney disease to receive treatment that keeps cholesterol under control, seeing as how these two conditions can influence one another.

The Link Between Thyroid Disease And Cholesterol

  • High cholesterol is linked to hypothyroidism .
  • A sudden drop in cholesterol can be a warning sign of hyperthyroidism .
  • Treating thyroid disease can correct cholesterol levels.
  • Cholesterol drugs can affect thyroid disease and its treatments.

This article talks more about why thyroid disease and high cholesterol are linked, the problems that can cause, and how to manage both conditions at once.

What About Medications To Help Lower My Risk For Heart Disease

Medications are available for lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but these medications work best when lifestyle changes have already been made. There is evidence that certain medicines called statins can slow the process of both chronic kidney disease and heart disease. These drugs are used to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood, helping slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease.

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Who Is Affected By Diabetes

Diabetes is a very common condition. Approximately 151 million people around the world have diabetes. Experts think that this number may double within five years. When not properly managed, diabetes is a serious threat to a patients vision, heart, and kidneys. However, with medicine and lifestyle changes, diabetics can lead normal, healthy lives.

Should The Use Of Cholesterol

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Although LDL-C is widely used in estimating future CV risk in the general population, kidney function is not incorporated in current risk calculators despite the fact that reduced GFR confers increased CV risk. The prescription of statins using standard absolute risk algorithms may therefore result in many patients with renal impairment who would benefit from statins not receiving this therapy.

Among advanced-stage CKD patients, the magnitude of risk associated with LDL-C levels decreases with progression of the stage of CKD. For dialysis patients with the lowest level of LDL-C and total cholesterol, the all-cause and CV mortality remains high., Hence, the evidence argues against the use of LDL-C to identify patients requiring treatment, but rather suggests consideration of absolute risk for coronary events . As CKD itself is a risk factor for CV events, a reduced treatment threshold may be appropriate. The most recent KDIGO guidelines take this analysis into account in recommending the routine use of lipid lowering with a statin ± ezetimibe regimen in all people over the age of 50 with CKD.

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Being Overweight Or Obese

Carrying extra pounds or having obesity increases the risk for both high cholesterol and other heart diseases. Having a BMI in the overweight or obese range, or a waist circumference over 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women can raise the risk for high total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as low HDL cholesterol. Use a BMI calculator to determine your number using your height and weight.

Chronic Kidney Disease Diet

In general, a diet suitable for a person with high cholesterol includes many vegetables and fruits, but also whole grains, with the purpose of increasing phosphorus and potassium. Those who need to adopt a diet suitable for kidney health shouldnt consume foods rich in phosphorus and potassium, and may be required to eat more starch, fat, and sugar, to make sure that they get the required calorie intake.

A solution to help balance the two diets required for these two conditions is to opt for fish, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables that are low in potassium, but with highly antioxidant properties. Just by eating more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, you can ensure a decent level of heart protection. Opt for oily fish found in cold waters, such as herring, trout, tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

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What Are My Options For Treatment

Prevention and awareness are very important to everyone with diabetes:

  • Urinalysis : All diabetics should have a urine test at least once every year. This test looks for the presence of the protein albumin. This indicates possible kidney damage.
  • Blood Sugar Control: Keeping blood sugar levels well controlled helps maintain kidney health. In a recent study, diabetic patients that kept their blood sugar below 150 mg/dl greatly reduced the risk of kidney disease. Some diabetics can manage blood sugar with just oral medication. Others need insulin. Doctors who specialize in diabetes can prescribe insulin. The American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugars be kept between 90-130 mg/dl on an empty stomach. Blood sugar should be less than 180 mg/dl one hour after eating.
  • Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is extremely common in diabetics. It is a major cause of kidney disease. Additionally, kidney disease can make high blood pressure even higher. This creates a vicious cycle. Often, it takes multiple medications to control high blood pressure. This is especially true for diabetics, obese patients, and the elderly. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking blood pressure twice every year. Keeping blood pressure below 130/80 is also recommended. Patients who cannot control their blood pressure with diet and exercise alone are usually prescribed blood pressure reducing medicine. This is known as an ACE inhibitor or an ARB.

Cholesterol Drugs May Increase Risk Of Kidney Problems Study Finds

Kidney Disease And High Cholesterol. Improving It With Food Supplements & Avoiding Heart Disease

This article was published more than 8 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

High-potency statins Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor significantly reduce cholesterol levels.JB Reed/Bloomberg

Patients taking powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs may be putting their kidneys at risk, according to the results of a landmark Canadian study.

The researchers focused on “high-potency” statins Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor which are well known for their ability to significantly reduce cholesterol levels.

The study found that patients prescribed the high-strength statins faced a 34-per-cent higher risk of being hospitalized for acute kidney injury, compared to those taking the low-potency versions of these and other statin medications.

“Our findings put into question the common approach of using higher and higher doses to push cholesterol levels lower and lower,” said lead author Colin Dormuth, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.

He noted that, for any individual patient, the risk remains relatively low. For instance, the study suggests one additional patient out of every 1,700 treated with high-potency statins for 120 days would end up in hospital with acute kidney injury a condition that used to be called acute renal failure.

In total, they reviewed the medical records of more than 2 million patients to reach their conclusions, which were published Tuesday on the website of the British Medical Journal.

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What Is High Blood Pressure

Your heart pumps blood through tubes called your arteries and veins. This causes pressure inside of these tubes, which is called blood pressure. Checking your blood pressure tells you how hard your heart is working to pump your blood.

Blood pressure that is too high means your heart is working too hard to pump your blood. This can harm your body, including your kidneys.

Cardiovascular And Circulatory Systems

When you have too much LDL cholesterol in your body it can build up in your arteries, clogging them and making them less flexible. Hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Blood doesnt flow as well through stiff arteries, so your heart has to work harder to push blood through them. Over time, as plaque builds up in your arteries, you can develop heart disease.

Plaque buildup in coronary arteries can disrupt the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. This may cause chest pain called angina. Angina isnt a heart attack, but it is a temporary disruption of blood flow. Its a warning that youre at risk for a heart attack. A piece of plaque can eventually break off and form a clot or the artery may continue to become narrowed which can fully block blood flow to your heart, leading to a heart attack. If this process occurs in the arteries going to the brain or within the brain it can lead to a stroke.

Plaque can also block the flow of blood to arteries that supply blood to your intestinal tract, legs, and feet. This is called peripheral arterial disease .

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Heart Disease And Stroke

People living with diabetes have high blood sugar, and over time this can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart, leading to heart disease. It has been found that people with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. Also, the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have heart disease.

The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol deposits, which make the inside of arteries narrow and decrease blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack.

Decreased blood flow to the brain can also cause a stroke. Patients with diabetes are particularly at a significantly higher risk of stroke and have a higher mortality.

Those who have diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease, including:

  • High blood pressure: This increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls.
  • Too much low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Also, known as bad cholesterol, this can lead to the formation of plaque on damaged artery walls.
  • High triglycerides: This combined with a low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is thought to contribute to hardening of the arteries.

Obesity And Kidney Disease

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Excess body fat directly contributes to your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, the main causes of chronic kidney disease. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, diabetes contributes to the buildup of glucose in your blood, which acts as a poison, damaging the nephrons in the kidneys 1. High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels of your kidneys, preventing them from being able to effectively filter waste from your blood. Because obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure, excess body weight can negatively affect the efficiency of your kidneys.

  • Excess body fat directly contributes to your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, the main causes of chronic kidney disease.
  • According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, diabetes contributes to the buildup of glucose in your blood, which acts as a poison, damaging the nephrons in the kidneys 1.

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What Health Conditions Increase The Risk Of Heart Disease

High blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is a medical condition that happens when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and other blood vessels is too high. The high pressure, if not controlled, can affect your heart and other major organs of your body, including your kidneys and brain.

High blood pressure is often called a silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure. You can lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes or with medicine to reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack. Learn more about blood pressure.

Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver or found in certain foods. Your liver makes enough for your bodys needs, but we often get more cholesterol from the foods we eat.

If we take in more cholesterol than the body can use, the extra cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, including those of the heart. This leads to narrowing of the arteries and can decrease the blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body.

There are two main types of blood cholesterol: LDL cholesterol, which is considered to be bad cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup in your arteries, and HDL cholesterol, which is considered to be good cholesterol because higher levels provide some protection against heart disease.

How Does High Blood Pressure Cause Kidney Disease

Your kidneys are made of tiny blood vessels that help clean your blood. When you have high blood pressure, the blood flows through these blood vessels with a lot of force. This can harm these blood vessels and cause kidney disease. However, high blood pressure can also be a symptom of kidney disease. Kidneys help your body control your blood pressure. When high blood pressure damages your kidneys, they cannot control your blood pressure very well.

You will not be able to feel if high blood pressure has hurt your kidneys. The only way to know is to be tested. Learn more about the tests for kidney disease.

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Is This Damage Reversible

The damage caused to the kidneys by cardiovascular disease generally requires carefully balancing the requirements of the heart and the kidneys. This is done through dietary salt restriction, superb control of diabetes and through fine-tuning of the relevant medicines used to improve the heart function.Atherosclerotic renovascular disease can sometimes be treated with a balloon or a stent, very similar to how angina is treated. The process of atherosclerosis is usually considered to be a progressive condition. However, when a narrowing occurs, it is possible, in carefully selected cases, to intervene by performing an angiogram to open up the blood supply and restore blood flow to the kidney. This hopefully reduces the requirement for blood pressure tablets and perhaps slow the deterioration in the kidney function.The scientific evidence for intervening on renal artery narrowing is not particularly supportive. This does not mean that it is not helpful for some people, but it does mean that it will not be the right option for everyone.

Lipids As Progression Promoters

The Shocking TRUTH about Kidney Health & CHOLESTEROL

Studies in a variety of animal models have shown that hypercholesterolemia accelerates the rate of progression of kidney disease . A high-fat diet causes macrophage infiltration and foam cell formation in rats, leading to glomerulosclerosis .

In humans more than a decade ago, a relationship between serum cholesterol levels and GFR decline was shown in 31 patients with type 1 diabetes and established overt nephropathy . In those with a total cholesterol level > 7 mmol/L, the rate of decline in GFR was at least three times higher than in those with a level < 7 mmol/L. The power of serum cholesterol levels in predicting the progression of diabetic nephropathy in type 1 diabetes was confirmed by a Danish group in a study of 301 patients who had diabetes and overt nephropathy and were followed up for 7 yr .

A similar finding also was found in patients with type 2 diabetes and overt nephropathy. A post hoc analysis of the Reduction of Endpoints in NIDDM with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan study showed in a large group of patients with type 2 diabetes that both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol measured at baseline were independent risk factors for ESRD .

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Potential Effects And Risks Of High Cholesterol

The potential risks of high cholesterol are far-reaching. High cholesterol can affect your blood vessels by making them narrow or causing blockages. Because your blood vessels are present in all of your organ systems, high cholesterol can affect your body in a myriad of ways. Many of the issues high cholesterol causes can be potentially serious.

The potential effects and risks of high cholesterol include:

  • Narrowing of the arteries
  • Reduced blood flow
  • Transient ischemic attack sometimes called a mini-stroke
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Kidney stones

Statins In Early Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease

The data come primarily from the SHARP study as well as subgroup analyses of participants with CKD from statin trials conducted in the general population. The SHARP trial is the largest study of lipid-lowering agents in patients with CKD, involving > 9000 patients, randomized to placebo or a combination of low-dose simvastatin and ezetimibe, with a median follow-up of 4.9 years. CKD was defined as more than one previous measurement of serum or plasma creatinine of at least 150 mol/L in men or 130 mol/L in women, whether receiving dialysis or not. Overall, the study found that statinezetimibe therapy reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events by 17% , with no evidence of an increased risk of adverse events including myopathy. Six thousand two hundred and forty-seven of the participants in the study were not receiving dialysis at entry. In this population, statin therapy reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events by 22% , with no increase in the risk of adverse events.

In summary, statins may have an important role in primary prevention of CV events and mortality in people with early CKD. The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes clinical practice guideline for lipid management in CKD recommends commencement of treatment with a statin or statin/ezetimibe in adults aged 50 years, patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 not receiving dialysis, or with functioning kidney transplants.

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