March 14 – today – is World Kidney Day. And yes, you can not only keep your kidneys healthy, but also take steps to prevent kidney disease.
Fact is, the kidneys, like any other organ, become less efficient as we age. So it makes sense to ensure that we don’t overwork them, make them weak and invite kidney disease.
Can we prevent kidney disease?
All things considered, we can certainly do our best to prevent kidney disease. Here are some tips:
- If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at risk for hypertension and heart disease, kidney disease is likely. By keeping your blood sugar levels balanced, your cholesterol in check and your blood pressure controlled, you can prevent kidney disease. Take action:
Maintain a healthy diet
Don’t forget to take your medication on time
- Cut down on your salt intake.
- Excess salt in the diet raises your blood pressure while putting you at risk for kidney stones.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush toxins from the body. It also maintains your blood health, aids in digestion and balances your body temperature. Target for about one to one and a half liters of water daily.
- When you have to go answer nature’s call, go! Don’t hold back when you need to pee. If you do, you prevent your kidneys from doing their job and inviting trouble in the form of stored waste that ought to go out. So give in to the urge to keep your kidneys functioning smoothly.
- Diet control. We are what we eat. We take out what we put in. So if we eat junk, our body suffers and we make it hard for the kidneys. An unhealthy diet is the best way to damage the kidneys. Eating healthy can prevent kidney disease.
- Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol. Smoking is known to harm your lungs and reduce kidney function, besides impacting your heart health.
- Exercise. Maintain a healthy weight. If there is one thing that can keep you healthy, it is managing your weight. Ensuring you get enough physical activity not only burns calories, but keeps the extra weight off, balances blood sugar and keeps cholesterol levels in check.
- Think twice before you pop a pill without a prescription. Everything we consume has to be processed by the kidneys and taking medication based on hearsay can be harmful. If you have a health problem, consult your doctor for professional advice. This includes “safe” herbal medicines and health supplements. Little knowledge is dangerous.
Kidney disease can develop silently without obvious symptoms. Prevent kidney disease. Live healthy. Go for regular health checks so that any problem can be identified early and treated.
How to recognize the warning signs of kidney disease? Conditions like diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure, an unhealthy lifestyle, processed foods dominating the diet and excessive sugar consumption are precursors to kidney damage.
Watch out for the following:
- An unusual change in the frequency and amount of urination, changes in the color of your urine and difficulty going.
- Pain when you urinate
- Blood in your urine
- Swelling in the hands, feet, face and ankles when the kidneys are unable to flush out the fluids
- Continued exhaustion and weakness
- Dizziness and inability to focus
- Fever with chills
- Skin rash with itchiness
- Bad breath, with a metallic taste in the mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Back pain
While the above symptoms can belong to different conditions, it is best to get medical help when they show up. Prevent kidney disease by looking after your health.
Read more information about kidneys
Thanks a lot for this post. I didn’t know March 13th was the World Kidney Day, so that’s info no 1 which I got from this very informative article. But this is special to me on a personal note as well. I lost my aunt ( athai ) to a failed kidney ( that’s despite the transplantation) 14 years back, and ever since the word kidney has brought only tough memories. Knowing more and more about it will actually help us see some light and clear our foggy knowledge of the issues involved. Thanks for this, again !
Thanks for visiting, Sreeja. My Mother developed reduced kidney function thanks to the medications she took for another problem and had to follow a renal diet for years. So this is personal for me, too. Hugs!
Really enjoyed reading this informative article. Don’t eat too spicy and don’t consume too much sugar then you’re less likely for kidney disease.
Hi Bharat. Thanks for dropping by. You are right. More than the spicy, it is the oily and fried that is more likely to cause problems. Long ago, when we used to wait at the hospital to see the consultant, my Mom and I would entertain ourselves with the slideshow that played in a loop on the screen in the waiting room. One of the shocking things we learned is – a brain-dead person can be alive…but a person with zero kidney function is truly dead.
Very informative and so pertinent!! We lost a close relative to Kidney Failure and the trauma still haunts us!! Thanks for sharing, Vidya!
Thanks for the awareness on this day, Vidya!
Drinking Water is the least thing I do…. I know I should do that more. Thanks for sharing Vidya… was very informative…
So many diseases can be prevented with proper diet. Thanks for helping to raise awareness!
Kidneys definitely need to be taken care of, as does general health, especially as we age. Thanks for these important tips.
MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Lots of Crochet Stitches
I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disorder, i never knew about stage 1 or 2. I’m wondering why not? my internist has been doing blood tests for over 10 years and she always ignored the smaller yet higher levels of my kidney functions saying “it’s probably due to meds.” another dr. a gastrointerologist who is very thorough refused to believe this and had me tested for many things, thus the diagnosis. I have seen a nephrologist and will go back in 6 months. Does my internist share some responsibility? I never knew and now I am at stage 3? that’ scary for me. are there people at level 1 and 2? is it age? I am 57. thanks so much.
Sorry to hear about your experience, Lauren. My Mother went through something similar – it all began with medications for her lung fibrosis, which eventually damaged her kidneys and in spite of regular blood work and scans, it was only years later that they began treating her for kidney disease. The sad thing is, specialists seldom look beyond their specialty. And most of the time, we have had to ask questions to be more informed. Sadder still when we do not know what questions to ask. I am glad you are seeing a nephrologist, but it might be a good idea to keep in touch with your other doctors. Sometimes they work as a team.
Hugs. Praying for your recovery!