How to Maintain Kidney Health

Posted by Annie Keough on April 6, 2022


Following National Kidney Month, take the opportunity to spread awareness of kidney diseases and practices to maintain kidney health. In honor of the prior month, take some time to learn the importance of healthy kidneys to your overall well-being.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 9 in 10 people aren’t aware that they have chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

What Do Your Kidneys Do for You?

Kidneys play a main role in filtering waste and extra fluids in the body. They act as a chemical regulator to keep a steady balance of minerals, water, and salts in the blood. Kidneys also create hormones that help make red blood cells, control blood pressure, and activate Vitamin D to keep bones healthy and strong.

Keeping your kidneys healthy contributes to your general well-being by allowing healthy bodily functions. Without the clean blood that the kidneys produce, your body would not function properly.

How to Maintain Kidney Health

Cut out processed foods. When you eat processed or unhealthy foods, your kidneys take the brunt of it. They process the food and drink that you consume, and a continued unhealthy diet of a lot of fats, salt, and sugar can make it difficult for them to function. Try slowly adding in healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to achieve a more balanced diet.

Take care of your body. Along with a healthy diet, kidneys thrive with healthy habits. Drinking alcohol in excess (more than 4 drinks in under 2 hours) can dehydrate your kidneys, leading to stress and potentially causing more serious issues like high blood pressure and liver disease. Smoking can also negatively impact your kidneys by increasing the risk of kidney cancer and blood vessel damage, which slows the blood flow to your kidneys. Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure and improve heart health, two important factors in preventing kidney disease.

Recognize symptoms. Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation, offers these 10 signs that you may have kidney disease:

  1. You are suffering from fatigue or having trouble concentrating
  2. You have trouble sleeping
  3. Your skin is dry and itchy
  4. You are urinating more often than usual
  5. Your urine appears foamy
  6. Your eyes are constantly puffy
  7. Your feet and ankles are swollen
  8. You have a loss of appetite
  9. You experience muscle cramps

Read more about recognizing these symptoms here.

Get tested. The most preventative way of maintaining kidney health is to get tested annually. Whether you have a high-risk family history of kidney disease, recognize some symptoms from above, or simply want to be safe, talking to your doctor and getting tested can be life-saving. Specific tests you may want to ask a physician about include a protein in urine test, a blood pressure test, and a Glomerular Filtration Rate test.


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Both Life and Elevate offer daily wellness content in the form of articles, videos, and recipes to encourage users to live a healthy and kidney-friendly lifestyle. Wellzesta honors nationally recognized monthly awareness celebrations to keep users up-to-date about each dimension of wellness.

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