Can exercise do for your kidneys what it does for your heart?
A University of Delaware researcher is studying the potential to treat chronic kidney disease with exercise.
UD professor of kinesiology and physiology, Dave Edwards, believes exercise can do for kidney disease what it does for heart disease.
“When you exercise it increases blood flow through tissues and vessels. And that increase in blood flow causes some important vascular adaptations that, we think, result in a reduction of cardiovascular risk,” he said.
The leading cause of death among people with chronic kidney disease is cardiovascular disease, leading Edwards to believe that improving heart health through exercise can possibly improve kidney health as well.
“If you look at other areas like cardiac or pulmonary rehab, exercise training is well-integrated as part of routine care; that’s not the case with kidney disease,” postdoctoral researcher Danielle Kirkman said.
Edwards’ preliminary research found that patients with kidney disease have reported an overall improvement in their health following a prescribed exercise routine.
He’s planning to study that connection further with a grant he recently received from the National Institutes of Health.
He hopes his findings will help support the idea that exercise can be an appropriate clinical treatment for chronic kidney disease.