5 Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
More than 26 million Americans already have a kidney disease.
The problem is most are not aware, because there are no signs of kidney disease until it has progressed. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for preventing kidney problems. The good news is there are some actions you can take to improve the chances of keeping those kidneys happy (we’ll get to that in a minute)!
Why Worry About Your Kidneys?
The kidneys act like your body’s personal garbage collectors. Every day, these two bean-shaped organs, which sit just below your rib cage on either side of your spine, filter about 55 gallons of blood daily to sift out about two quarts of waste products and excess water.
When your kidneys are damaged, waste products and fluid can build up in your body. That can cause swelling in your ankles, nausea, weakness, poor sleep, and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the damage can get worse and your kidneys may eventually stop working. That’s serious, and it can be life-threatening.
However, kidney disease usually doesn’t make you feel sick until the problem becomes serious and irreversible. This is the perfect time to learn more about how to keep your kidneys happy and healthy, and how to catch problems early.
5 Ways to Keep Your Kidney’s Healthy
Don’t wait to take the first step to keep your kidneys healthy. Here are 5 ways to keep them happy and healthy. Also, talk to your health care provider about your kidneys, and ask if you should be tested for kidney disease.
Drink plenty of fluids: 48 to 64 ounces of water daily helps the kidneys work well. This is also the best way to prevent kidney stones.
Don’t smoke: Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys, which may reduce their function. Smoking also raises the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
Eat healthy: Low fat foods cut your risk of high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Exercise can also help keep your blood pressure and sugar levels under control.
If you take over-the counter painkillers: Taking ibuprofen and naproxen daily for everyday pain or joint swelling can cause harm to the kidneys if taken too often over a long period. Talk to your doctor about checking your kidney function.
Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar: If you have high blood pressure or high blood sugar, then have your kidney function monitored on a regular basis.
Dangers of Kidney Disease
About 1 in 10 adults nationwide, or about 20 million people, have at least some signs of kidney damage. There are different types of kidney disease. Most strike both kidneys at the same time, harming the tiny filters and reducing their filtering ability. Damage to these filters happen quickly, often because of injury or poisoning.
Chronic kidney disease can strike people of any race, but African Americans are especially at risk. African Americans also tend to have high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, the 2 leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors for kidney disease include heart disease and a family history of kidney failure—a severe form of kidney disease.
If you have these risk factors, it’s important to be screened for kidney disease