What You Can Do to Help Prevent Kidney Disease


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March is National Kidney Month, so here are some ways you can optimize your kidney health and prevent kidney disease overall.

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What You Can Do to Help Prevent Kidney Disease

  1. 1. What You Can Do to Help Prevent Kidney Disease
  2. 2. March is National Kidney Month and, because our kidneys have an important job, it’s important to do what we can to take care of them. Knowing the signs and symptoms of kidney disease is important, but what about preventative measures we can take to avoid kidney disease?
  3. 3. The kidneys are twin, fist-size organs located at the bottom of the rib cage on either side of the spine. They perform several functions, the most important of which is filtering waste products, excess water and other impurities out of the blood. Image: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/overviewguide/kidney-cancer--adult--renal-cell- carcinoma-overview-what-is-kidney-cancer
  4. 4. These waste products are stored in the bladder and later leave the body as urine. • The kidneys’ main function is removing waste from your blood through urine. • Kidneys are essential to having a healthy body. Image: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/yourkidneys/images/Kidney-detail.jpg
  5. 5. Here are some key tips for promoting kidney health:
  6. 6. 1> Control blood sugar High blood-sugar levels damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys as well as the rest of the body.
  7. 7. 2> Control blood pressure Reduce salt intake, quit smoking.
  8. 8. 3> Be careful with over-the-counter drugs • Follow dosage instructions for over-the-counter medications. • Taking too much aspirin or ibuprofen can cause kidney damage. • If normal doses of these medications are not effective at controlling pain, see a doctor.
  9. 9. 4> Get tested • Ask your doctor about a blood test for kidney problems. • Kidney problems don’t usually cause symptoms until they have progressed considerably. • A basic metabolic panel, or BMP, can detect issues early, when they are easier to treat. • If you are diabetic or have heart disease, high blood pressure, or another kidney disease risk factor, you should be tested annually.
  10. 10. 5> Drink plenty of water Dehydration can cause kidney damage. In addition, drinking water leads to frequent urination, which can help expel kidney stones before they grow large enough to cause severe pain as they pass through. Image: http://medimyth.blogspot.in/2012/10/wake-up-in- morning-drink-water-in-empty.htm
  11. 11. 6> Limit certain foods Different chemicals can contribute to kidney stones, including excessive sodium, animal protein, citric acid, found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits, and oxalate, a chemical found in rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, sweet potatoes, tea and chocolate.
  12. 12. 7> Ask about calcium • Consult a doctor before taking a calcium supplement. • They have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones, though reducing intake of oxalic acid and increasing citric acid in the diet are more important to reducing the incidence of kidney stones than reducing calcium stones.
  13. 13. If you have a loved one with kidney disease, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for additional support at home to help manage this and/or other conditions, you can contact our local team anytime, 24/7. You can also check out the National Kidney Foundation Website for additional information and some great resources.
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