Nourishing Kidney Health

  • 5.03.2024

Kidney disease is the fastest-growing noncommunicable disease in the U.S. It’s often referred to as a silent killer since there are usually no signs or symptoms until the late stages of the disease. Kidney disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and even death. Prevention and early detection are important to avoid major health complications. Keep your kidneys healthy and happy by following the tips below.

Stay Hydrated

One of the kidney’s primary functions is to flush out toxins and waste from your body. To do this, the body needs to be properly hydrated. Men ages 19+ should drink around 3.7 liters of fluids daily, and women ages 19+ should aim to drink 2.7 liters. Pay attention to your body’s signals and drink more water if you’re more active or feel dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration may include feeling thirsty, dizzy, lightheaded, dark or strong-smelling urine, or a dry mouth.

Maintain a healthy diet 

Eating excess food high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus can damage your kidneys over time. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat any food that contains these things, but rather that you should eat them in moderation. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals, and limit your intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and excessive salt.

Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels

High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease. At your annual wellness exam, your provider will measure both blood pressure and blood sugar. If either of these is outside a healthy range, your provider will develop a care plan to help you get back to a healthy range. Your care plan may include exercise, lifestyle modification, medication, or regular checkups to prevent complications.

Exercise regularly 

Regular physical activity benefits many aspects of your health and can help prevent kidney disease. You should aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes cardiovascular health, and reduces your risk of conditions like hypertension and diabetes, which are linked to kidney disease. Examples of moderate aerobic activity include brisk walking, water aerobics, bike riding, tennis, hiking, pushing a lawn mower, and dancing.

Regular checkups

At an annual wellness exam, your provider will test your kidney function for signs of kidney damage. Regular checkups allow for early detection of kidney disease. If kidney disease is caught early, complications can be minimized with appropriate treatment. Be proactive in seeking medical attention if you experience symptoms such as changes in urine, swelling, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, ask your provider about our Kidney Wellness Program.