The kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy. The main job of your kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from your blood. Kidneys also help to control your blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep your bones healthy. Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.
1. Keep fit and active
Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
2. Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions and to keep control of blood sugar levels. Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early.
3. Monitor your blood pressure
Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, and Cardio-Vascular Diseases.
4. Eat healthily and keep your weight in check
Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients.
5. Maintain a healthy fluid intake
Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease, according to researchers in Australia and Canada. The findings, the researchers said, do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, which can cause side effects.
6. Do not smoke
Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
7. Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
Common drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. If you are dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, work with your doctor to find a way to control your pain without putting your kidneys at risk.
Get your kidney function checked if you have one or more of the following ‘high risk’ factors
- You have diabetes
- You have hypertension
- You are obese
- One of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease
- You are of African, Asian, or Aboriginal origin
Courtesy: National Kidney Foundation