World Kidney Day Expert Recommended Tips To Keep Your Kidneys Safe
World Kidney Day, observed annually on March 9th, is an initiative to raise public awareness about the value of healthy kidneys and to reduce the incidence and effects of kidney disease and related health issues around the world.
Through their endocrine functions, the kidneys maintain the body’s acid-base balance, fluid, electrolyte, and haemoglobin levels in addition to filtering blood and removing waste. Studies reveal that kidney disease happens in two ways – acute kidney injury, and chronic kidney injury. Acute kidney injury occurs over a period of days to weeks and is caused by dehydration from excessive vomiting or diarrhoea, is drug-induced secondary to painkillers and certain antibiotics, by inflammation in the kidneys, by infections localised to the kidneys or systemic infections, by urinary tract obstruction due to stones, or by an enlarged prostate gland. Chronic kidney disease, which lasts weeks to months, is usually caused by diabetes, hypertension, chronic inflammation in the kidneys, recurrent kidney infection, and hereditary kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease and Alport’s syndrome.
Experts advise that people who have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity or a family history of kidney disease, are over the age of 50, and are of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal or Asian origin are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Dr Hari Prasad of Kauvery Hospitals, Electronic City in Bengaluru shares eight golden rules to help keep your kidneys safe and healthy.
1. Be Active And Fit: Regular physical activity such as walking, running, cycling and even dancing is beneficial to your overall health. This helps to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health, both of which are essential for maintaining kidney health and lowering your risk of chronic kidney disease.
2. Control Blood Sugars: Diabetic patients who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels might develop kidney problems. These patients’ kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter the blood, which can cause irreversible kidney damage over time.
3. Control Blood Pressure: Chronic kidney damage can be caused by both high blood pressure and diabetes. To keep your blood pressure under control, make lifestyle changes such as limiting your salt intake, exercising regularly, and practising relaxation techniques. Also consult your doctor about the need for medication.
4. Maintain An Ideal Body Weight: Obese people are more likely to suffer from kidney and heart diseases, as well as other illnesses. Kidney damage is less likely with a healthy diet low in sodium, processed foods and red meat. Add whole grains, fresh produce, and fruits to the diet.
5. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are working outdoors and in summer. Drinking water regularly keeps you hydrated and helps your kidneys to remove excess sodium and waste products from your body.
6. Quit Smoking: Smoking tobacco damages the blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis. As a result, blood flow through the kidneys is reduced, increasing the risk of kidney disease.
7. Do Not Take Over-The-Counter (OTC) Pills: Especially avoid painkillers that belong to the class of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Mefenamic acid, Diclofenac and Aceclofenac. These medications can damage your kidneys if taken regularly.
8. Get Tested: People who fall under the risk category should get themselves checked at regular intervals.
Also Read: This gene puts you at increased kidney disease risk