Every year, we make different new year resolutions regarding workout, career goals, etc. However, they turn out to be promises that we gave ourselves and didn't get fulfilled. Besides this, it is also important to keep your health in check. Maintaining kidney health is as important as taking care of other organs and body parts of the body. Optimum kidney health ensures that the body can filter waste properly and produce hormones that ensure its smooth functioning. If not taken care properly, one can get affected with several kidney diseases. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Bishwaranjan Mohanty, M.D (Medicine), D.M (Nephrology), Consultant Nephrology & Transplant Physician at NephroPlus Dialysis center at Jyothi Hospital, Orissa, about taking care of kidneys. Read further to know about some tips.
How to keep kidney healthy?
Basically, kidneys help in filtering out waste products and liquids from the blood. They also regulate pH, salt, and potassium levels in your body. For such functions, it is essential to keep your kidney healthy. From controlling blood sugar to weight management, one has to make efforts in order to improve kidney health. As per Dr. Mohanty, here are 8 tips to keep your kidney healthy:
1. Follow the golden rule of hydration
We all know drinking water is important for your health. However, drinking excess water is also not good for your body. It can be a huge risk if you have kidney failure. As told by the doctors, it is advisable to take about 8 glass a day. Focus on drinking enough so that your urine is light yellow or colourless. This will help in keeping your kidney healthy and flushing out the toxins.
2. Eat healthy diet for (kidney) health
Diabetes and high blood pressure are one of the major causes of kidney diseases. Therefore one should consume healthy, low-sodium, low-cholesterol foods that help control these health conditions and are best options for kidney health. Moreover, obese people are also at a higher risk of damaging their kidneys as it leads to heart and kidney diseases. A healthy diet and workout routine can help in overcoming obesity. You should not take kidney damaging foods as it helps in reducing the risk of kidney disease. You should prefer having healthy food items and fruits and vegetables such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and others.
3. Keep yourself fit
Along with a fixed diet plan, it is also important to have a physical workout balance for kidney health. Exercising also helps in avoiding many kidney disease risk factors. Regular exercise or even some physical activity such as running, swimming, dancing, etc will help you in maintaining an optimum weight and preventing health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Your sweat will be a big contribution for good kidney health and many other body parts.
4. Be a filter for your kidneys
Kidneys are responsible for removing harmful substances from the blood, including smoke and alcohol. Therefore, it is beneficial to give them rest by avoiding all the dangerous substances like tobacco and alcohol. They also filter prescription and over-the-counter medicines, so never take more than what is prescribed and avoid medicines you don’t require. Smoking damages your body’s blood vessels. This results in slower blood flow throughout your body and to your kidneys. It can even lead to kidney cancer.
5. Consider your personal kidney profile
Sometimes, the causes of triggers might not be from your side but may happen because if your kidneys naturally. Some people are actually more prone to kidney disease, and they need to be more attention and care. Except these above mentioned risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and smoking, reasons like age and family history also matter when it comes to kidney health. Therefore, always consider your personal kidney profile to avoid advancement of any kidney disease.
6. Schedule a kidney check-up
According to Dr. Mohanty, "Kidney disease is known as the “silent killer” because patients can lose 90% of kidney function before symptoms appear. The best defence is sometimes a great offense, and if you’re one of the 26 million who unknowingly suffer from kidney disease, early intervention may just save your life." So, it is also important to schedule a kidney checkup with your doctor from time to time, especially if you are experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease.
7. Control blood sugar
People who are suffering from diabetes, or a condition that causes high blood sugar, may also need to reduce the risk of kidney disease one way or the other. When your body’s cells can’t use the glucose or sugar in your blood, the kidneys have to make an added effort to filter it out of the body. If this process continues for a long time, it can result in life-threatening damage. However, if you can control your blood sugar, you reduce the risk of kidney damage too. So, controlling blood sugar is another very useful tips to keep kidneys healthy. Also, if the damage is caught early, your doctor can give appropriate treatment to prevent further damage.
8. Check and control blood pressure
The last kidney care tip for 2021 is that you also need to keep a check and control your blood pressure levels. Along with blood sugar, blood pressure also plays a major role in keeping your kidneys healthy. A lot of people who have high blood pressure do not even know that they have high blood pressure. Therefore, you need to check your blood pressure as it is a vital part of your general body checkup. This rule applies especially on people who are overweight or aged. Directly or indirectly, high blood pressure can also damage your kidneys. You can control blood pressure levels by maintaining a healthy diet, physical workout, and other lifestyle modifications/medicines advised by your doctor.
Types of kidney disease
There are many types of kidney diseases. The major ones are:
1. Chronic kidney disease
The most common form of kidney disease is chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease is difficult to treat as it takes a lot of time in recovery. It is mainly caused by high blood pressure. Your kidneys are responsible for regulating the blood, so high blood pressure can prove to be extremely dangerous for your kidneys. It can lead to increased pressure on glomeruli that is responsible for the main functioning of your kidneys. If this happens, kidneys will not be able to perform their function properly and you’ll have to go on dialysis. Dialysis helps in filtering fluid and wastes out of your blood, but can just be beneficial for a short period of time. In fact, diabetes can also put you in such a situation.
2. Kidney stones
Another very common kidney disease is kidney stones. Kidneys act as a detoxifier and filters impurities from the blood, removing the waste items and maintaining the fluids balanced in the body. However, sometimes the kidneys are not able to excrete the toxins and waste matter due to several reasons. This happens because crystals or stones start forming, which are commonly known as kidney stones. These stones in the kidney come out in the ureter. So, on that abdomen side you have pain coming every 30 minutes to one hour frequency causing severe pain and cramps. Even consuming high fat foods can be responsible for kidney stones.
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli, that plays a major role in the functioning of your kidneys. It mainly helps in filtering your blood. Glomerulonephritis can be caused by infections, drugs, congenital abnormalities, and autoimmune diseases. You may see recovery on your own or it may even ask for prescribed medication.
These were some general kidney care tips by Dr. Bishwaranjan that you can follow in the upcoming year 2021. While it is important to follow all these points mentioned above we need to remember to get our kidney checked if we suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and obesity or if you have a history of chronic kidney diseases.
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