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Kidney Health/Nephrology

Conditions Affecting The Kidneys

Your kidneys filter waste products along with excess water and other impurities from your blood. These waste products are stored in your bladder and later expelled through urine. Your kidneys also regulate pH, salt levels, and potassium, produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. Furthermore, your kidneys are responsible for activating a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium for building bones and regulating muscle function. Hence, maintaining kidney health is important for your overall wellbeing. About 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 20 show evidence of kidney disease. Some forms of kidney disease are progressive, meaning the disease gets worse over time. When your kidneys can no longer remove waste from blood, they fail.

There are several lifestyle methods you can utilize to ensure

your kidneys are healthy:

Keep active

Regular exercise can lower your risk of chronic kidney disease by reducing your blood pressure and boosting your heart health. Activities such walking, biking, running/jogging, and even dancing are great for your health!

Control your blood sugar

Your chances of developing kidney disease are higher if you have diabetes. When your body’s cells cannot use the glucose in your blood, your kidneys are forced to work more vigorously to filter your blood, which can eventually lead to life-threatening damage after years of continued exertion. Conversely, if you can control your blood sugar, you reduce the risk of damage. If the damage is caught early, your doctor can take steps to reduce or prevent further detrimental effects of kidney damage.

Monitor your blood pressure

High blood pressure alone can cause kidney damage; combine that with other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol, the impact on your body can be significant. If your blood pressure readings are consistently above 140/90, you may have high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about monitoring your blood pressure regularly, making changes to your lifestyle and possible taking medication.

Weight and healthy diet

Overweight and obesity are synonymous to an unhealthy diet. A healthy diet that’s low in sodium, processed meats, and canned or instant will reduce the risk of kidney damage. Focus on eating fresh ingredients that are naturally low in sodium, such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, amongst others.

Drink plenty of water

Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease. Aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. Exactly how much water you need depends largely on your health and lifestyle. Factors like climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether or not you’re pregnant or breastfeeding are important to consider when planning your daily water intake.

Don’t smoke

Smoking damages your blood vessels. This leads to slower blood flow throughout your body and to your kidneys. Smoking also increases your risk for cancer. If you stop smoking, your risk will drop. However, it’ll take many years to return to the risk level of a person who’s never smoked.