If you are having kidney
problems, related or unrelated to the stones, which causes your body to retain fluid, it can lead to or aggravate existing CHF. Your heart pumps your blood and maintains your blood pressure by the transference of excess fluid out of your bloodstream and into your kidneys for waste excretion. If this transference is impaired it can cause retention of water in the bloodstream which in turn causes the heart to work harder. This fluid may move into the tissues, causing edema, or swelling, especially in arms and legs. As the edema gets worse it becomes pitting edema, where impressions are left in the skin as depressions. Edematous skin may swell up so badly it begins to split open, causing lesions and ulcers, which will "weep" much more than they bleed, as your body is literally squeezing out the excess water. By this point the water retention has backed up to your bloodstream again, and the workload of the heart increases as it tries to pump all the excess fluid. Soon the congestion takes its toll, and the heart must rest or begin to permanently weaken. In either case as soon as the heart slows down it causes more fluid to build (which also raises blood pressure, sometimes dangerously) which just worsens the problem. With no way for the body to throw off the excess fluid the heart gradually weakens until it finally surrenders and stops. Note that CHF can take years to develop and become a problem, or it can strike suddenly. Any suspicion of CHF should be taken immediately to your doctor, who may start a diuretic
regimen such as Lasix
to help get rid of the excess fluid. Kidney stones should be removed as soon as possible, as they can cause perforations of the bladder if they become lodged in the urethra
, or massive urinary tract
infections if they lodge in the ureters which lead from the kidneys to the bladder.