How to Care for Your Kidneys
Our Personal Filter System
Healthy kidneys are essential! They might only be the size of a fist, but they perform a big job. They filter waste and help us produce crucial hormones. We just can't survive without them. That's why we all need to take special care to protect and maintain these vital organs.
Being active makes you feel better! Physical activity boosts your mood and reduces your chances of getting seriously ill. The USDA recommends that adults 18-64 get at least least two and a half hours a week of moderate activity.1
Most people know that they need to eat healthily. That doesn’t make it any easier! If you’re struggling to create healthy eating habits, reach out to a Registered Dietician, like Jessianna Saville and Jen Hernandez RDN, CSR, LD. Registered Dieticians will look at your specific health needs and create a plan to help you achieve your ideal healthy weight.
Smoking is a tough habit to break but worth it in the long run. According to Medical News Today, 1 out of 2 smokers will die from smoking-related illness2. Davita Kidney Care explains that those who already have kidney problems are at an even higher risk because it “increases blood pressure, reduces blood flow and narrows blood vessels to the kidney, and thickens renal arteries3.”
Control Alcohol Intake
For most people, having a drink now and then is usually not a problem, but overuse can lead to dependency, dehydration, and high blood pressure. For people with kidney problems, alcohol can be especially dangerous. NKF explains, “Alcohol causes changes in the function of the kidneys and makes them less able to filter the blood…[and it] can disrupt hormones that affect kidney function4.
Get Uncontrolled Blood Sugar Under Control
Uncontrolled blood sugar often causes kidney damage. According to the NKF article, Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease, with uncontrolled blood sugar, “the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly5.” Over time, this may result in severe damage to the kidneys.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to a wide variety of problems. On top of causing kidney damage- due to stress on the renal arteries- high blood pressure can cause heart attack/failure, strokes, and more. Speak with your doctor about managing your blood pressure before it is too late.
Know Your Family History
Health issues can get passed from one generation to the next and point towards potential health problems in your future. Knowing your family history and discussing it with your healthcare professional is an easy preventative measure for your future.
Have Regular Check Ups
No one is invincible. When it comes to personal health, don’t take chances.
1 How Much Physical Activity is Needed? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/resources/physical-activity-amount.
2 Seymour, T. (2017, July 27). Why is smoking bad for you? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10566.php#cardiovascular-system.
3 Smoking and chronic kidney disease CKD. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.davita.com/education/ckd-life/lifestyle-changes/smoking-and-chronic-kidney-disease.
4 Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Kidneys. (2017, March 3). Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/news/kidneyCare/winter10/AlcoholAffects.
5 Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease. (2017, February 3). Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/diabetes.