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National Kidney Month

Posted by Ethanngo1636781 on 16 Mar, 2017

Kidneys are important organs that carry out a number of critical functions in the body. They extract waste from blood and help to maintain normal blood pressure. Kidneys also help in balancing body fluids and are vital to the production of urine. These bean-shaped organs are of utmost significance, but unfortunately, many people discount the need to keep them healthy. Some people aren’t aware that many of their everyday habits pose a serious threat to the health of their kidneys. It is for this reason that March is set apart as National Kidney Month, where many health care providers endeavor to raise awareness about kidneys, and promote ways people can take great care of these crucial organs.

TIPS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDNEYS

1. Watch what you eat
Many diseases and conditions that affect kidneys are often caused by unhealthy lifestyles. One such dangerous lifestyle habit is having a poor diet. For the sake of your kidneys, consume only healthy, wholesome and nutritious foods. Eat generous amounts of vegetables and fruits, and stick to whole grains as a source of carbohydrates. It’s also important to consume proteins in healthy amounts, which can be sourced from legumes and lean meats. Steer clear of fast foods that contain colossal amounts of salts and fats, which can both greatly damage the wellbeing of your kidneys.

2. Check your blood pressure
One of the common causes of kidney damage is extremely high blood pressure. A function of the kidneys is to maintain blood pressure at normal levels. Sometimes, you may overburden your kidneys as they try to establish balance in your blood pressure. This is because high blood pressure is often caused by poor lifestyle habits, especially poor dietary habits. 

A big concern is that high blood pressure simply creeps into your life and can’t be felt until a critical state is reached. For this reason, a habit should be made of getting your blood pressure checked regularly. If you find your blood pressure is too high or too low, consult with your primary healthcare provider as soon as possible. They may prescribe medicines or activities to help return the pressure to normal. Getting your pressure checked will not require much of your time or money, but it can save your kidneys from untold damage. 

3. Drink plenty of water
Kidneys simply don’t function well when dehydrated. It is important to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, and no less. When you find yourself in situations where you sweat a lot, take in more water than usual. When the weather is hot, or when you travel to a place with higher temperatures than in your home country, it’s crucial to increase your intake of water. The same goes for when you finish a workout session. Replenish your body with the water it loses in the form of sweat, and it can go a long way in keeping your kidneys healthy. 

4. Exercise
One cannot overemphasize just how much lifestyle affects the health of kidneys. If you take good care of your whole body, your kidneys are in a better position to remain healthy. Regular exercise promotes healthy kidneys. Exercising will not only ensure that you maintain a healthy weight, which is exceedingly important for the correct functioning of your kidneys, but it will keep your blood pressure in check as well. However, be careful to only carry out exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level. Overexerting your body can do you more harm than good. Start with exercises that you can comfortably handle, and steadily increase their intensity as your body becomes accustomed to the exercises.

5. Be careful with supplements and non-prescription drugs
Be wary of the supplements and herbs that you take. Sometimes, supplements are cleverly labeled as being able to work wonders for your health, however they can do great harm to your kidneys. It is imperative that you check with your professional healthcare provider before taking any herbal remedies or supplements. The same goes for non-prescription drugs, especially painkillers. It is easy to fall into the habit of taking a painkiller every time you suffer from some kind of discomfort. They are generally ok for occasional use, but if you suffer from a chronic and painful condition, you will need to find another way to alleviate the pain. Regular use of seemingly harmless painkillers can do significant damage to your kidneys.

6. Avoid Alcohol
Cut down or completely do away with alcohol consumption in order to keep kidneys in their best working condition. It’s equally important to kick the habit of smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels, which greatly contributes to high blood pressure. Even worse, smoking is linked with causing kidney cancer. Excessive drinking and smoking are not good for your general wellbeing, and especially for the health of your kidneys. 

7. Get regular screening
Go for kidney screening as often as you have the opportunity. This is especially important for those who are at risk of developing kidney disease, due to genetic exposure or other factors. The earlier any kidney condition is discovered, the easier it will be to manage or treat it. 

Urgent Clinics Medical Care offers tests to help you assess your kidney function. Visit any Urgent Clinics Medical Care location for a comprehensive metabolic panel testing in Pearland, Champions, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Join in the campaign and share the message of healthy lifestyle choices for healthy kidneys on your social media accounts
 

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