If you have kidney disease, throw everything you know about traditional heart attack risk factors out the window

Volume 5    |    Issue 97

To determine the heart-attack risk for most people, doctors typically look at cholesterol levels, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, poor psychosocial conditions, lack of physical activity, high alcohol intake, and a high-risk diet. Those risks factors cover about 95% of the risks for heart attacks. But not if you have kidney disease.

Researchers in a new study say they have found other factors that are even more important. You see, people with end-stage kidney disease are at an exceptionally high risk of heart attacks. So the results of this study could tell you a lot about your heart health even if you don't have kidney disease.

The researchers started their study looking at troponins in kidney patients. Troponins are regulatory proteins your heart needs to stay healthy. These proteins are vital for your heart to contract.

Your doctor will typically order a troponin test if he suspects a heart attack, or if you have angina that's worsening. Typically, cardiac troponin levels are so low, most blood tests won't detect them. And having normal troponin levels 12 hours after chest pain starts means a heart attack is unlikely. So they are vital proteins for determining your heart attack risk. The higher your levels, the more likely you are to have a heart attack.

But the researchers in this new study found that high levels of cardiac troponin T don't just indicate your heart has sustained some damage. It also indicates your kidneys might be failing and you could have a deadly heart attack soon.

What's more, this study really showed us some vital information about how to care for your heart and kidneys. The researchers found that the biggest causes of heart damage and elevated cardiac troponin T are not cholesterol and the other factors I mentioned earlier. In fact, the biggest causes of heart damage in kidney patients are overhydration, inflammation, and poor nutrition.

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I've told you in the past that inflammation and poor nutrition are the usual causes of heart attacks. Even people who are "genetically predisposed" to heart disease can significantly lower their risk of having a heart attack by paying attention to these two factors. They are far more important than traditional risk factors. This particular study was on people with kidney disease, and the researchers found the same to be true for these high-risk patients.

If you don't have any reason to think you're at risk for heart disease, you probably don't need a lab test for troponins. Simply focus on prevention. Make sure you eat plenty of veggies, fruits, good fats (olive oil, grass-fed meats, etc.), nuts, and seeds. If you have kidney disease, your doctor is probably keeping an eye on your troponin levels, but don't assume anything. Ask your doctor about these proteins and how they affect your health. If your levels are high, your heart and possibly your kidneys are damaged and you need to take immediate action to heal. Talk to your doctor right away. Then follow the same routine for preventing heart problems.

Whether you have kidney disease or not, it's a good idea to take a heart formula, such as Circutol. This well-rounded cardio-supplement not only protects the heart, but also helps heal it. Based on this study, it's also vital you take something to lower inflammation, such as Reduloxin.

Finally, make sure you don't drink too much water on a regular basis. This is especially important for kidney patients. But it's good advice for everyone. I realize that most people over 50 struggle to stay hydrated enough. So don't stop drinking water. Drink enough water to stay hydrated, but don't overdo it. They used to say everyone should drink eight glasses a day. But that's too much for some and not enough for others. And don't rely on thirst. As you age, your thirst sensation declines.

The easiest way to know if you're dehydrated is to look in the bowl after you go to the bathroom. If your urine is dark and has a strong odor, you're not drinking enough. Your urine should be light yellow and have little odor. If it's always clear, you're probably drinking too much. If you have kidney disease, your doctor should check your hydration levels regularly. There are special tests they can use to exactly monitor your hydration levels.

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