Protecting Kidneys from the Wrath of Rheumatoid Arthritis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 14, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Rheumatoid arthritis can affect various organs.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis patients are at a risk of kidney disease.
  • Workout regularly to keep the kidneys functioning properly.
  • Make your salt intake limited to control blood pressure.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can have severe effects on your joints, causing stiffness, swelling and loss of function. But, it does not end here because RA can cause serious damage to other organs and systems of the body including lungs, heart and kidneys. Thus, besides being extra cautious about your bones it is important for you to brace yourself up for preventing other organs from the attack of RA. So, to offer you help in this life saving task, here we give you some important tips to protect your kidneys from the fury of RA.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Risks

The Relation Between Kidney Disease and RA

Several studies have shown that people suffering from RA are at a greater risk of kidney disease than their healthy counterparts. According to a study published in 2014 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, one in four people suffering from RA develops chronic kidney disease compared with one in five people in the general population.

Although it is quite well known that kidney disease is a risk factor of heart disease but, the link between kidney problems and RA is not fully understood yet. The conditions may occur independently or the two diseases may share a common autoimmune or inflammatory connection within the body.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Risks

Keeping Kidneys Healthy with RA

The best and the most effective way to keep your kidneys healthy with RA is to get the latter diagnosed as early as possible and get it treated with the right drugs. You can follow these tips.

  • Workout regularly to have the kidneys and other organs functioning normally
  • Eat a healthy diet, which is low in fat content
  • Make your salt intake limited, which can prevent high blood pressure and cause kidney damage
  • Keep a check on cholesterol level to decrease the risk of heart disease and related kidney damage


Warning Signs of Kidney Disease

Though there are no guidelines for checking kidney disease in RA patients but, a routine checkup of the kidney health is a must because some drugs used to treat RA have adverse effects on the kidneys.

The early signs of the kidney disease often go unnoticed because they are rarely noticeable. This creates a need for regular kidney function checkups.

With the progression of kidney disease, various symptoms show up. According to the National Kidney Foundation, these include: fatigue, concentration troubles, speech problems, muscle cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort and a change in the volume of urine produced.

Rheumatoid arthritis in itself is a serious problem. An additional trouble to any other organ can make the problem life threatening. Hence, protecting your kidneys becomes vital for your survival.

Image couretsy: Getty Images

Read more on Understand Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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