How To Avoid Kidney Disease & Kidney Failure
This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, I almost died 6 years ago due to end stage renal disease (ESRD). I had no idea I had kidney disease largely because I wasn’t getting routine physical exams. Testing for kidney function is as simple as having blood work done.
Unfortunately, the incidence of kidney failure is on the rise due to a highly processed American diet, too much sodium, and too much sugar. And if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure and/or diabetes, your risk of kidney failure rises significantly!
Anyone can get kidney disease, but some things can make it more likely to happen to you. In fact, 1 in 3 adults in the United States are at risk for getting kidney disease.
Diabetes and high blood pressure aren’t the only things that can cause kidney disease. Other common risk factors for kidney disease include:
•Heart (cardiovascular) disease
•Having a family member who had kidney disease
•Being African-American, Asian, Native American or Hispanic
•Being over age 60
If you are at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor how often you should be tested.
If you catch and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to prevent it from getting worse!
Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.
𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣 𝗙𝗜𝗧 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗬 𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗩𝗘
Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
The concept “on the move for kidney health” is a worldwide collective march involving the public, celebrities and professionals moving across a public area by walking, running and cycling. Why not join them – by whatever means you prefer! Check out the events section of the WKD website for more information.
𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣 𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗦 𝗢𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗢𝗗 𝗦𝗨𝗚𝗔𝗥 𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗟
About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions.
Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels with the help of doctors or pharmacists, who are always happy to help.
𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗜𝗧𝗢𝗥 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗢𝗗 𝗣𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗦𝗨𝗥𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗚𝗨𝗟𝗔𝗥𝗟𝗬 𝗔𝗧 𝗛𝗢𝗠𝗘
Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage.
The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered prehypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardiovascular Diseases.
𝗘𝗔𝗧 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗧𝗛𝗬 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗪𝗘𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗜𝗡 𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗖𝗞
This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease.
Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients. For more information on nutrition and kidney friendly cooking, talk to your doctor.
𝗗𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗞 𝗔 𝗟𝗢𝗧 𝗢𝗙 𝗪𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗥!
Kidneys love water. Nephrologists will often say a wet kidney is a happy kidney. Dehydration will destroy kidneys over time. If you drink alcohol regularly, run marathons, or exercise vigorously, it is even more important you stay well hydrated.
Although clinical studies have not reached an agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other fluids we should consume daily to maintain good health, traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. I would aim for at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease, according to researchers in Australia and Canada. The findings, the researchers said, do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, which can cause side effects, but they do provide evidence that moderately increased water intake, around two litres daily, may reduce the risk of decline in kidney function. It’s important to keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy and breast feeding. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.
𝗗𝗢 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗦𝗠𝗢𝗞𝗘!
Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
𝗗𝗢𝗡’𝗧 𝗧𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗥-𝗧𝗛𝗘-𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗣𝗜𝗟𝗟𝗦 𝗢𝗡 𝗔 𝗥𝗘𝗚𝗨𝗟𝗔𝗥 𝗕𝗔𝗦𝗜𝗦
Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.
Such medications probably do not pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only, but if you are dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, work with your doctor to find a way to control your pain without putting your kidneys at risk.
Get your kidney function checked if you have one or more of the ‘high risk’ factors
• you have diabetes
• you have hypertension (high blood pressure)
• you are obese (use an online BMI calculator)
• one of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease
• you are of African, Asian, or Aboriginal origin
I can tell you from experience that kidney failure is nothing to take lightly. Once you’ve damaged your kidneys, they generally won’t recover. If your kidney function gets bad enough, you’ll require dialysis 3 times per week for 3-4 hours! Dialysis sucks and will negatively affect your life.
Furthermore, statistics show the average life expectancy on dialysis is less than 3 years and hasn’t changed in over 20 years. While some people have lived on dialysis for 20 years or longer, it’s very uncommon and takes an incredible amount of dietary and lifestyle diligence to live on dialysis.
Please take my advice and follow the recommendations listed above. More importantly, make sure you’re getting an annual physical because catching kidney failure or any disease early is crucial to preventing irreversible damage to your body.
𝗣𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗘 𝗧𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗖𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗢𝗙 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗕𝗢𝗗𝗬…
𝗜𝗧’𝗦 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗢𝗡𝗟𝗬 𝗢𝗡𝗘 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗛𝗔𝗩𝗘!
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