Maintaining strong, healthy kidneys is not something many people think about, but it is the basis for the overall health and proper functioning of everyone’s urologic systems. What’s the secret?
Keeping your kidneys healthy simply requires the same sensible approaches that keep the entire body healthy. Follow these 10 principles to boost your general health and ensure your kidneys are functioning properly.
1. Control your weight. Excessive weight also contributes to heart disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes and a range of other medical problems.
2. Maintain a healthy diet. Keep up a good diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber, but limited in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates
3. Exercise frequently. Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of aerobic, heart-healthy exercise three days a week, augmented by some type of resistance exercise twice per week to maintain lean body mass.
4. Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Uncontrolled hypertension is one of the main causes of kidney destruction. Controlling blood pressure includes regular monitoring, periodic check-ups with your doctor, and staying on prescribed medications even if you feel fine.
5. Keep diabetes in check. If left untreated, diabetes can ravage your body and lead to destruction of your eyesight, kidneys and other organ systems.
6. Stress less! The hormonal changes produced by excessive stress can have damaging effects on many parts of the body over time.
7. Monitor cholesterol levels. Monitoring and controlling cholesterol and overall fat levels in the blood not only contributes to kidney health, it also is vital to having a healthy heart.
8. Get regular check-ups. You should see a doctor for frequent check-ups and be aware of unusual symptoms. Treatment of unusual symptoms that could be indicators of serious problems – such as blood in the urine – are vital to early, effective treatment.
9. Beware of medication use. Avoid excess aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Ask your doctor about the effects on your kidney function prior to starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medication.
10. Stop smoking. Smokers incur a number of serious health problems. Remember, it’s never too late to quit, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking.
Remember: a strong, healthy body means better kidneys. Take these small steps towards better health, and all of your organs will thank you!