"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Kidney Health Quick Start Guide

We all need to protect our hearts and minds. But how often do you concentrate on protecting your kidneys? The health of those two bean-shaped organs is simple to grasp, especially until chronic kidney disease — an irreversible lack of kidney function — has already developed and signs of trouble usually are not apparent. And with 37 million people within the United States scuffling with the condition, and hundreds of thousands more liable to developing it, it's vital to concentrate to your kidneys now, while you may protect them.

Role of the kidneys

The kidneys – situated on either side of the spine, just under your rib cage – perform many vital functions. They route the blood through a fancy filtering system that removes toxins. Retain fluid, salt, or other minerals needed by the body; and send waste (urine) to the bladder for elimination from the body.

These remarkable organs also help regulate your blood pressure, convert vitamin D into its energetic form, and release hormones needed to regulate blood pressure and produce red blood cells.

Chronic kidney disease

Unhealthy lifestyle habits, chronic diseases, and genetic conditions can damage the kidneys and reduce their ability to perform many functions.


If kidney disease is caught early, certain medications can slow its progression. “For a few years, we only had a set of medicine to stop the progression of kidney disease. Those drugs targeted blood pressure and cardiovascular function. More recently, recent drugs that truly treat diabetes have been developed, called SGLT2 inhibitors, to assist prevent kidney damage, even in people without diabetes,” says Dr. Buonentri.

Protect your kidneys now.

There are many things you may do now to maintain your kidneys healthy.

Control diabetes. Diabetes is the leading reason behind chronic kidney disease, possibly because exposure to high blood sugar damages the small blood vessels within the kidney. “If you have diabetes, the best things you can do are control your blood sugar levels and lose weight,” says Dr. Buonentri.

Reduce hypertension. High blood pressure is a serious contributor to the progression of kidney disease. “High blood pressure can damage the kidney's filters and small blood vessels,” says Dr. Buonentri.

Limit salt. Salt may cause your body to retain an excessive amount of fluid and lift blood pressure (in some people). The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting salt intake to lower than 2,300 milligrams per day. Avoid salty restaurants and processed foods. Look for low-salt foods on the food market. And don't add salt to your food. Use other spices as an alternative. And so long as your kidney function is tremendous, you need to use a salt substitute. says Dr. Bonaventure.

Limit oxalate-rich foods. Spinach, almonds, cashews, and rhubarb are all loaded with oxalates, a chemical that may cause kidney stones and deposits that sometimes result in kidney disease. “You don't have to avoid these foods, but eat them in moderation. Don't eat a big plate of spinach every night,” says Dr. Buonentri.

Watch your protein intake. High protein within the food regimen forces the kidneys to work extra time. Can it harm them? “Some observational studies suggest that long-term high-protein diets can cause kidney disease. But that's hotly debated,” says Dr. Buonentri. “Why take a chance? Limit protein to the recommended grams per day, which is determined by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36.”

Limit alcohol intake. Do not have a couple of drink per day. Regularly drinking an excessive amount of alcohol increases the danger of hypertension, contributes to weight gain, and makes the kidneys work harder. Overall, this may double the danger of kidney disease.

Lose weight if you might want to. “Obesity forces the kidneys to work harder than necessary. This can eventually cause the kidney filters to break down,” says Dr. Buonentri.

Stop smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels, including those that offer oxygen and nutrients to the kidneys. Smoking can even make medications that treat hypertension less effective.

regular exercise. Aerobic exercise — the type that forces your heart and lungs to work hard, akin to brisk walking — helps keep blood vessels healthy, flexible, and in a position to dilate and contract well. Aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week.

Stay hydrated. Getting loads of fluids every day – from water or watery foods like fruit and soup – helps the kidneys flush toxins from the body. You need about 4 to 6 cups of fluid per day to remain hydrated.

Limit these painkillers. High doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), akin to ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), can damage the kidneys and worsen existing kidney disease. Follow the dosage instructions fastidiously.

Get an annual kidney function test. “You should have a blood test and urinalysis once a year to check kidney function,” says Dr. Buonentri. “Urinalysis allows us to check for protein in the urine, which reflects the early stages of kidney disease. And the earlier we catch it, the more likely we are to slow the progression of kidney disease.” can and might offer you higher and longer quality of life.”

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