While heart and brain health are commonly addressed, kidney health is often overlooked. Not only can kidney health help keep your urinary tract in good condition, but it can help fight off several chronic diseases that can significantly impact your overall health. With just a few conscious decisions each day, you can drastically improve your kidney health. Below, let’s take a closer look at the keys to keeping your kidneys healthy.
High Activity Level
Staying active is great for overall health, but regular exercise can also help prevent kidney damage. Studies have found that routine exercise can drastically reduce your chance of chronic kidney disease. Be sure to find a fun activity that keeps you motivated, so you stick with your routine.
Maintain Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has been linked to kidney disease and can compound the symptoms associated with diabetes and high cholesterol. It is commonly recommended to keep your blood pressure reading around 120/80. If your reading starts to get closer to 139/89, you may want to consider some lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure to a safer level. Increased exercise and a better diet can help maintain stable and safe blood pressure readings.
Having plenty of water in your system is excellent for your kidneys. Increased hydration can help remove toxins from the body, allowing your kidneys to take it a little easier while processing waste. Aim for about two liters of water every day. Increased hydration can also help prevent kidney stones and can significantly help improve kidney health in people with a history of developing kidney stones.
Limit Over-the-Counter Medication
Some over-the-counter medications can do more harm than good. Many anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen and ibuprofen, can inflict some severe damage to your kidneys. The occasional medicine won’t harm you, but if you regularly take medication for chronic arthritis or headaches, be aware of the damage your painkiller could be causing. If you currently have kidney disease, use caution when taking over-the-counter medications, and always ask your urologist for suggestions if you are unsure.
Smoking is terrible for overall health for many reasons but is especially troublesome for the kidneys. When you smoke, your body’s blood vessels constrict and become damaged. Less blood flow through your body means less blood can reach your kidneys. Smoking has also been connected with an increased risk for kidney cancer, among other types of cancer, heart disease and numerous other serious health conditions.
Common Kidney Disease
The kidneys are frequently overlooked for overall health but are a vital part of your body’s urinary tract. Failure to take care of your kidneys could result in common kidney disease, which a urologist should treat. Some of the most common kidney diseases and conditions include:
- Kidney Stones – Kidney stones are common in both men and women and result from hardened minerals that are too big to pass through the body’s urinary tract. Although kidney stones are extremely painful and passing a stone is unpleasant, there are rarely severe health issues related to kidney stones. Maintaining healthy kidneys is a great way to reduce your chance of developing kidney stones.
- Glomerulonephritis – This disease occurs when the glomeruli structure inside the kidney becomes inflamed. Although it is possible to recover from this painful condition, immunosuppressive medications are commonly needed to heal completely from inflammation.
- Urinary Tract Infections – Although urinary tract infections are prevalent, they are also easily avoided. UTIs occur when bacteria are allowed to enter the urinary system. Drinking water and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to prevent a UTI. Most infections are easily treated, but prolonged untreated infections can lead to long-term kidney damage.
- Chronic Disease – Chronic kidney disease covers a range of possible illnesses that impact your kidneys. While the condition is dangerous on its own, it can create additional health problems. Chronic kidney disease can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and reduced kidney function over time.
Who Can Help?
Luckily, if you are experiencing difficulty with your kidneys, the Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers team can help. With ideal clinic locations at Archbold Medical Center and Bryan Hospital, you’re sure to find a urologist to help diagnose and treat your symptoms. Maintaining optimum kidney health is not only crucial to your urinary tract but essential for overall health. If you are suffering from common kidney diseases or conditions, be sure to reach out to a member of our team today to schedule an appointment at 419-633-7482.
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