Kidneys are the filtration system of our body and very critical for our survival, however, they are often neglected and in a lot of cases, kidney diseases go undetected for a long period of time until they become very advanced requiring immediate medical attention. Some of the risk factors that can cause kidney disorders include diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a family history of kidney disorders. People aged 60 years or above also have a high risk of developing kidney disorders.
Most kidney disorders are not detected until they reach an alarming stage; however, a urine test or a blood test can indicate the functioning of the kidneys and could indicate kidney disorders. It is advisable to get regular check-ups done to detect kidney disorders early on and prevent them from intensifying. That said, it is important to prevent oneself from the basic causes of kidney disorders – diabetes, blood pressure, and heart diseases. Some of the effective ways to prevent kidney disorders are:
Follow a healthy diet
A large number of kidney disorders are caused because of unhealthy food choices such as oily food, junk food, fast-food, carbonated drinks, processed food, caffeine, sugary items, etc. Instead, focus on eating foods that are healthy for the whole body and especially the kidneys. Healthy food options include fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy food, etc. You should aim to reduce your intake of salt and added sugar. On an average day, a normal person’s intake of sugar should be less than 10 percent of the total calories and sodium intake should be less than 2,000 milligrams. Also, avoid foods that are high in trans fat, saturated fats, and cholesterol.
Indulge in at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity
Just a healthy diet does not guarantee healthy kidneys, it is also important to burn the calories taken from food daily to avoid build-up of fat. Exercise is essential to keep the body agile and functioning properly. A daily routine of exercise is essential for the health of blood vessels in the body. One can also start exercising for lesser time initially and then gradually increase. Simple healthy habits such as taking the stairs instead of the elevators also go a long way in preventing kidney disorders.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excessive body weight is a huge risk factor for diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn are the two most critical triggers for kidney disorders. Moreover, extra weight creates pressure on the kidneys to work harder and filter excessive waste above the normal level. Hence, it is important to maintain healthy body weight and stay fit. On a general scale, a BMI – Body Mass Index – of above 25 is considered to be alarming and indicates overweight.
Get enough sleep
On an average, 7-8 hours of sleep is essential for a human body to stay fit and function properly. Lack of proper sleep is a major risk factor for diabetes and high blood pressure – both of which are prime causes of kidney disorders.
Smoking is very harmful to the body and one must quit smoking to prevent kidney disorders. Smoking reduces the blood flow to major organs of the body including the kidneys, making their functioning hard. Also, smoking can impact the medications used to cure high blood pressure, causing uncontrolled blood pressure which ultimately worsens kidney disorders. More so, smoking causes higher levels of albumin and creatinine in their urine. Higher levels of albumin and lower excretion of creatinine from the body, is an indication of early kidney disorders and must be prevented.
Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol can disturb the normal process of the kidneys, making them less able to filter blood. Also, alcohol restricts the kidneys to maintain the right amount of water in the body by dehydrating the body. Excessive alcohol also affects the blood pressure, causing a shoot in the blood pressure which in turn harms the kidneys. Moreover, alcohol intake is known to adversely impact high blood pressure medications, creating an increased risk of kidney disorders.
Stress is a very common term today but often a silent killer in the generation. Stress and the reaction to it can adversely impact the health of the kidneys. Stress or hypertension is prime triggers for high blood pressure, which is a major factor affecting kidney health. Stress also affects the blood circulation and hampers the heart’s health – another risk area for the kidneys. Hence, it is critical to reduce stress in life to prevent kidney disorders. Indulging in hobbies, meditating, exercising, practicing yoga, etc. are several ways in which you can deal with acute stress. Moreover, you can also consult your doctor on ways to tackle the problem.
Apart from these important factors, it is also essential to keep certain things in mind while aiming to prevent kidney disorders. These include maintaining a positive outlook, setting time aside to relax, sharing feelings, and listening to music to calm the body and improvise its functioning. Moreover, it is critical to get tested regularly and consult your doctor on ways to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and heart health in check, so that kidney disorders can be prevented rigorously.