Tips for Healthy Kidneys

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Kidney disease is diagnosed three times more often than twenty years ago, and the numbers keep climbing. Around 53% of cases are in those 65 and above. Last week’s blog was on catching the signs of kidney disease early. This week’s blog will focus on tips to help keep your kidneys healthy.

1. Reducing Your Sodium Intake

When you have too much sodium in your body, proteins are more likely to come out in urine which is damaging to kidneys. Furthermore, there is a known link between blood pressure and sodium. With higher blood pressure, the more damage which can occur to already existing kidney disease. Cut your sodium down by preparing meals without salt, choosing foods advertised as ‘low sodium’, and keeping track of the amount of sodium you are consuming on a daily basis. Talk to your doctor about your sodium goals, but a good rule of thumb is eating no more than 2,300 mg per day.

2. Choosing the Right Proteins

Proteins are an essential part of every healthy diet, however, there are some studies which suggest that excessive eating of proteins can cause strain on kidneys. As long as you’re eating a well balanced diet, you likely don’t have to worry about over consumption of proteins unless you already have a kidney condition. As for the type of protein, choosing lean proteins like fish, poultry, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy can help out your body in a number of ways. Your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can improve, which will also lower your risk of kidney disease.

3. Exercise

Keeping your whole body healthy lowers your risk for diseases across the board, including your kidneys. As mentioned previously, having well maintained cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure will lower your risk of getting kidney disease.

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption and Quit Smoking

Alcohol raises the risk for a number of diseases, including kidney disease. The amount of alcohol that one’s body can tolerate substantially differs between individuals depending on sex, age, weight, and genetic factors. A good rule of thumb is that those who are over 65 should limit themselves to about 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 drink for women. Drinks are considered to be a 12 ounce bottle of beer, or 5 ounces of wine. As for smoking, there is good evidence to suggest that smoking can increase the risk of kidney disease, especially in those with diabetes.

The good news is that many cases, kidney disease is preventable. Following these tips will not only lower your risk for kidney disease, but help improve your overall health.