How to Prevent Kidney Disease?
The kidneys regulate the water and mineral balance in your body, they filter out waste products from the blood and help remove them from the body. Even if you have good health, over the years, kidney function begins to deteriorate. In addition, some people suffer from kidney diseases, which often result from other health problems, such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, or from side effects of medications. Regardless of whether you are in excellent health or suffer from any diseases, you should definitely take care of your kidneys so that they remain healthy.
What can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
- Keep your body hydrated, which is one of the most important measures for kidney health. With a lack of water, the ability of the kidneys to filter blood can deteriorate, and over time, regular dehydration of the body can even lead to damage to the kidneys. Water helps the kidneys remove sodium, urea, toxins, and other waste products from the body. A sufficient amount of fluid will significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Increase your daily water intake to about 2 liters (about eight and a half glasses of 250 milliliters) to maintain normal kidney function. You can drink even more water in hot weather and in summer if you do not have air conditioning. Some people require more or less water, depending on factors such as the local climate, level of physical activity, and regular intake of certain drugs. Talk to your doctor about your daily fluid intake;
- Exercise regularly and maintain optimal body weight. The risk of developing kidney disease increases with overweight or a sedentary lifestyle. This is because regular exercise and maintaining a healthy physical condition lower blood pressure and help prevent diabetes and heart disease, which reduces the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. If you are overweight, consult your doctor about how to lose it and discuss with it the use of restrictive diets and exercise. Be sure to check with your doctor if you can begin to exercise, especially if you have not done it before. When exercising, drink more water to prevent dehydration;
- Stop smoking. You probably know that smoking harms the lungs, heart, and mouth, but keep in mind that it also negatively affects other organs. Smoking increases blood pressure, which can lead to chronic kidney disease, and increases the risk of kidney cancer. Nicotine damages blood vessels. Damage to blood vessels can lead to the poor blood supply to the kidneys, which reduces their performance. If you are a smoker, consult your doctor about how to quit this bad habit. If you do not smoke, abstain from smoking further. Ask your doctor about the harmful effects of smoking on the human body, including the negative effects on the kidneys;
- Learn to recognize common symptoms of kidney disease. Typically, these symptoms gradually develop over time. Often an erroneous diagnosis is made since each of these symptoms can be observed with other health problems. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more pronounced. Call your doctor right away if the following symptoms appear: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness and fatigue, trouble sleeping, changes in urination frequency, mental impairment, muscle cramps, swelling of the feet and ankles, persistent itching, chest pain, labored breathing, high blood pressure and blood pressure which is difficult to control;
- Get tested for kidney disease. Many people do not suspect that they have sick kidneys. Discuss with your doctor the risk factors that contribute to kidney disease and how to reduce your risk. High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol significantly increase your risk of developing kidney disease. If your family has had cases of chronic kidney disease and / or you are over 50, you should undergo regular medical examinations. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, schedule a urine test to check for any signs of blood, infection, or protein, and determine the urea nitrogen in your blood. The doctor may also prescribe a blood test for creatinine, which will determine the level of serum creatinine and identify a possible kidney disease. The normal creatinine content is 0.84-1.21 milligrams per deciliter. If you have a disease that increases your risk of kidney disease, every time you see your doctor, you’ll be sure to take your blood pressure and have a urinalysis done to monitor your kidneys.
- Eat right. To begin with, you should carefully consider your daily diet. Some foods contain high amounts of sodium and other compounds that adversely affect your kidneys and increase blood pressure, which can lead to kidney disease over time. Limit the use of processed foods and processed foods. These foods are bad for your kidneys and overall health. The most healthy foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and low-fat or fully fat-free dairy products;
- Reduce your salt intake. One of the easiest ways to improve your diet is to eat less salt. Your kidneys are constantly working to maintain a normal level of sodium in the body. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause kidney disease over time. Use no more than 5-6 grams (about one teaspoon) of salt per day. Try a special diet to lower your blood pressure (DASH diet), which can help you lower your sodium levels. Try to buy and eat those foods that contain less sodium. They are tasty and at the same time are more useful for your body;
- Limit or stop drinking alcohol altogether. Alcohol is a toxin that the kidneys filter out of the blood. Too frequent or excessive consumption of alcohol leads to an additional burden on your kidneys and reduces their performance. Use no more than one serving (about 30 ml of strong drink, 120 ml of wine or 240 ml of beer) for women and two servings for men per day. When drinking alcohol, drink more water so that your body does not experience a lack of fluid. After each serving of alcohol, drink a glass of water. This way you can avoid dehydration and limit your drinking.
Proper use of medicines and food supplements
- Limit your use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Use medications only when necessary and as recommended by your doctor. Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin can cause kidney damage. It has been shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can lead to kidney disease. To relieve pain in muscles and joints, instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, use ointments and lotions, as well as warm compresses. When used correctly, these products are safe and not harmful to the kidneys. If you suffer from chronic pain or arthritis, consult your doctor about other ways to relieve pain that are harmless to the kidneys;
- If you have digestive problems, take calcium carbonate. Drugs that contain aluminum, magnesium, and / or magnesium citrate can cause hypermagnesemia (elevated serum magnesium) and electrolyte imbalance in chronic kidney diseases. The kidneys have to constantly maintain electrolyte balance in the body. Aluminum and magnesium impede the normal functioning of the kidneys. Instead of drugs with aluminum and magnesium, take drugs with calcium carbonate – they do not upset the electrolyte balance of the body;
- Take multivitamins that do not include vitamin A. Healthy kidneys are required for the normal removal of vitamin A from the body. Kidney problems make it difficult to filter and remove vitamin A from the body. Although it is not known exactly which dose of vitamin A is capable of disrupting the functioning of the kidneys, this vitamin may be toxic to the body. If possible, do not use it with food additives. Do not take vitamins in the form of effervescent tablets, as they contain a lot of salt (up to one gram in each tablet). Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which can lead to kidney damage over time;
- Take safe medicines for allergies and colds. Not everyone knows that antiallergic and cold medications can affect the kidneys. If you care about the health of your kidneys, consult your doctor about these drugs, regardless of whether they are prescription or non-prescription. If you are taking medications to treat your kidneys, they may interact negatively with some other medicines (including over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements). If you have high blood pressure, do not take decongestants, as this may cause kidney problems. Many cold and cough remedies contain large amounts of aspirin, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase blood pressure, which negatively affects the health of the kidneys. Most antihistamines, aerosols, and eye drops are harmless, including eye drops, which include sodium cromoglycate. To get rid of nasal congestion, use a humidifier. Add menthol or eucalyptus extract and inhale the vapor. To relieve a sore throat, drink homemade syrup with honey and lemon. If you have kidney problems, do not take drugs with cetirizine. In renal failure or chronic kidney disease, cetirizine is slowly eliminated from the body. This leads to increased stress on the kidneys;
- Before taking any herbal preparations, consult your doctor. You should tell your doctor about all the medicines you regularly take. The doctor should know not only about the medicines you take but also about vitamins and herbal supplements, as well as about your diet. Many plant extracts and nutritional supplements contain ingredients that can adversely affect the kidneys. As a rule, vitamins and nutritional supplements are controlled much less strictly than medicines, and their composition can vary within wider limits. The ingredients in vitamins and nutritional supplements may be harmful or may harm the kidneys when interacting with other medicines you take. Tell your doctor about all herbal extracts, nutritional supplements, and vitamins that you are already taking or are about to take.