Ask the Doctor with Dr. Leslie Spry, MD, FACP
Dr. Spry reviews how your kidneys are impacted when you eat a diet high in fat and explains why exercise can protect your kidneys. Check out his new blog on The Huffington Post!
Q: How does eating a diet that is high in fat impact your kidneys?
A: When you eat a lot of fat and excess calories which are converted to fat and cholesterol by the body, it leads to hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). Another term that is used for this is "atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease". The arteries harden when plaque builds up in the arteries and results in narrowing and scarring of the vessels which in the kidney we call nephrosclerosis. As the vessel is narrowed, the organ receives less blood supply and ultimately leads to progressive failure of the kidney.
Q: Why is exercise essential to protect your kidneys?
A: Exercise has been shown to decrease blood pressure, reduce weight and improve the functioning of the heart. Exercise also improves control of diabetes and reduces blood fats and cholesterol. All of these have direct impact on the functioning of the kidney. In addition, studies have shown that kidney patients who exercise have better outcomes for dialysis and transplantation. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease.