Kidneys are vital organs of our body, as they control the body’s fluid levels and remove waste and excess water through urination. The process is necessary so that stability and balance can be maintained. An abnormal kidney structure might lead to serious and life-threatening issues.
In fact, research shows that 1 in 7 US adults are affected by chronic kidney disease – approximately 37 million Americans. The other cause for concern is that kidney disease may present no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. Often termed a “silent killer”, stats reveal that 1 in 9 Americans are unaware that they have kidney disease because they don’t feel unwell. The good news is that a person can avoid chronic or long-term kidney disease by making a few lifestyle changes.
Below are some effective ways that will help to keep your kidneys in good condition:
Avoid frequent medication
Some common drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can be harmful to kidneys if taken regularly. To avoid kidney damage due to frequent medication, individuals with reduced kidney function should talk to their physician regarding alternatives to pain management.
Maintain a balanced diet
Your kidneys break down the food that you consume. Excessive intake of certain types of food such as dairy, fat, sugar, and salt can affect the kidneys negatively. As time passes, a bad diet will lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and other conditions that adversely affect the kidneys. Include foods high in fiber such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables in your diet to keep the kidneys functioning smoothly.
Get yourself screened and checked regularly
Get your kidneys checked periodically via EC scan if you think your kidneys are at risk. An EC scan or EC renal scan, also known as DTPA scan (Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate), is a medical process that helps access the functionality and drainage pattern of the kidneys by injecting a radiotracer. It is done by a nuclear medicine technologist who uses a gamma camera to scan the kidney area. The images captured by the camera help to diagnose the kidney structure and other functional abnormalities.
Keep blood pressure in control
High blood pressure can lead to kidney damage and can also lead to other chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. If you are young and suffering from high blood pressure, consult your doctor immediately. In such cases, they are likely to recommend lifestyle changes.
Limit alcohol intake
Occasional and measured alcohol intake doesn’t have severe effects. However, heavy drinking can double the risk of kidney disease. Make sure to consult your healthcare provider to ensure that it’s safe to drink alcohol, even if it’s within the limit.
Water helps get essential nutrients to your kidneys and moves waste to your bladder to be passed through urine. The adequate water intake is about 2 liters per day. Studies have shown that increased water intake can reduce kidney stone recurrence.
Smoking slows the blood flow to our organs. Such a slowdown can impair kidney function. It also increases the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and lung cancer. Needless to say, smoking has many other negative effects and should be avoided.
Staying active helps maintain ideal body weight, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and keeps blood pressure in check. While adequate exercise is healthy, an excessive amount can also lead to kidney damage. Make sure to keep the balance. Start slow and increase the intensity accordingly. Make sure to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated while exercising. If you have any heart issues, consult your doctor for a suggested routine.
The best thing you can do to keep your kidneys safe is to take care of your body to prevent disease. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, and keep your weight in control. Get your EC scan and other tests done if any critical situation arises. These practices go beyond proper kidney functioning and enhance overall health..
Always remember, healthy kidneys equals a healthy body. Stay safe, stay healthy!