The heart and kidneys may seem like completely separate body organs, but they are more interconnected than you may realize. In fact, people with kidney disease are at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

Heart of the matter

Due to the close link between these organs, if you have heart disease or other risk factors that put you at increased risk for kidney disease, you should have a physician test you for kidney disease by checking blood and urine samples.

"High blood pressure causes both kidney and heart disease." 

Some risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, being an ethnic minority, having a family history of kidney disease or being obese. As importantly, if you have one health issue, you should have yourself tested for the other, as well.

Flipping the script

You can combat the risk factors for kidney and heart disease by making a few lifestyle tweaks. Smoking can severely harm both your heart and kidneys, which is yet another reason to quit. Following a proper diet, exercising regularly and watching your weight can make a huge impact on your health.

A dash of salt

You should give the DASH diet a try, as long as there are no issues with elevated blood potassium after you have your blood tested. The DASH diet encourages low salt intake with increases in vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and has been shown to lower blood pressure and help maintain a healthy body weight. And if you have high blood pressure, get it under control. High blood pressure causes both kidney and heart disease. High blood pressure drugs can also be effective in treating both kidney and heart disease.