Overview of kidney disease
The most common causes for kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Both these diseases restrict the blood flow to the kidneys and prevent them from performing their normal function. Often, kidney diseases go unnoticed until the kidneys have been damaged to the extent that is irreversible or very difficult to manage, and the patients may experience kidney failure, which needs the patient to undergo multiple sessions of kidney dialysis and sometimes, renal transplant if it is necessary. Here are a few ways for people with diabetes, hypertension or a family history of kidney disease to keep their kidneys healthy and keep kidney diseases at bay, because as the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Here are the healthy ways by which you can prevent kidney disease:
Exercise is one of the most important components that everybody should include in their daily lives. Exercise helps prevent a large number of diseases and keeps the body healthy. In diabetics and patients with hypertension, exercise helps to keep blood sugar under control and helps control blood pressure. Also, it helps keep these patients’ weight in check, because obesity is again a risk factor for kidney disease. It also helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Being overweight increases the risk for healthy people to develop hypertension and diabetes, thus affecting kidney health.
Watch on diet
Individuals prone to kidney disease should keep a watch on their diet. It is important to include fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. Cutting on salt intake and eating packaged food should be avoided. Some foods that are good for kidney health include fresh orange and grape juice, watermelon, apples, bananas, cucumber, stawberry, berries, papaya, potatoes, pumpkin and sprouts. Maintaining a healthy fluid intake is also very important for kidney health. It is usually recommended for men to drink 3 liters of water a day and women drink around 2.2 liters a day. Consuming enough water helps kidneys clear sodium, urea and other toxins from the body and keep the kidneys functioning well.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol not only does damage to the liver but also affects kidney functioning, so is it with excessive smoking, it affects the lungs but also has a harmful effect on kidneys. So, it is best to quit both these habits, especially if you’re suffering from hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases.
People suffering from arthritis or other painful conditions may be used to taking over-the-counter painkillers on a regular basis, but they should abstain against taking these medicines on a daily basis as these medications affect the kidneys directly.
Kidney diseases are hereditary, and they can be passed down from one generation to another. If your parents or other relatives suffered from kidney disease, it is important to meet a doctor and seek his/her advice on steps to take to prevent kidney disease. It is a good practice to screen for kidney diseases at regular intervals to know the health condition of your kidneys. As aforementioned, the kidney disease may go unnoticed due to the absence of any symptoms. If the kidney screening tests reveal chronic kidney disease, the patient may be advised kidney dialysis which is conducted for about 4 hours a day, thrice a week.