Medical Perspectives | Others

October 30, 2020



One of the most essential functions of the kidney is cleansing the body of the toxins and excess water from the blood. It also controls the levels of minerals and molecules in your bloodstream, particularly sodium and potassium, as well as the salt and water to keep blood pressure at steady rates.

 

Should kidneys suffer, many health problems can arise, including cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, high blood pressure, weak bones, nerve damage, and even death. Keeping your kidney healthy should be a conscious effort, as a preventive measure for disease or illness.

 

Some signs of possible kidney trouble include urination problems [reduced amount or increasing need to urinate], swelling of legs, ankles and feet, and unexplained shortness of breath.

 

There are several guidelines or recommended steps to keep kidneys healthy and away from trouble. One simple but complete set of kidney health rules is from the National Kidney Foundation, with their “Six-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health”.

  • Step 1: Know These Facts [about kidney functions and possible problems]
  • Step 2: Assess Your Risk using 4 main risk factors [diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and family history of kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure]
  • Step 3: Recognize Symptoms
    • Fatigue, weakness
    • Difficult, painful urination
    • Foamy urine
    • Pink, dark urine (blood in urine)
    • Increased thirst
    • Increased need to urinate (especially at night)
    • Puffy eyes
    • Swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles, feet
  • Step 4: Get Tested with 4 simple, life-saving tests
    • Blood Pressure
    • Protein in Urine
    • Creatinine in Blood
    • Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
  • Step 5: Stay healthy by doing the following
    • Exercise regularly
    • Control weight
    • Follow a balanced diet
    • Quit smoking
    • Drink only in moderation
    • Stay hydrated
    • Monitor cholesterol levels
    • Get an annual physical
    • Know your family medical history
  • Step 6: Learn More by accessing credible online resources and/or consulting the proper medical professional on further concerns and questions.

 

The World Kidney Day organization has its own cautionary guide in their “8 Golden Rules”:

  • Keep fit and active
  • Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
  • Monitor your blood pressure
  • Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
  • Maintain a healthy fluid intake
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
  • Get your kidney function checked if you have diabetes, hypertension, family history of kidney disease, and are obese

 

The old maxim an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure makes sense when it comes to staying healthy and achieving wellness. Heed the wise words of caution and care, and keep your kidneys and your body healthy and happy.

 

 

[1] Worldkidneyday.org [n.d.] Your Amazing Kidneys. Retrieved from https://www.worldkidneyday.org/facts/your-kidneys/

 

[2] National Kidney Foundation. [n.d.] Six-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/sixstepshealthprimer

 

[3] National Kidney Foundation. [n.d.] Six-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/sixstepshealthprimer

 

[4] Healthline Editorial Team. [2019, May]. Everything You Need to Know About Kidney Failure. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/kidney-failure

 

[5] National Kidney Foundation. [n.d.] Six-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/sixstepshealthprimer

 

[6] Worldkidneyday.org [n.d.] 8 Golden Rules. Retrieved from https://www.worldkidneyday.org/facts/take-care-of-your-kidneys/8-golden-rules/

 

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