General Health and Nutrition Guidelines to Protect Your Kidneys

Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:48 am

General Health and Nutrition Guidelines
to Protect Your Kidneys

Kidney failure is a silent disease that develops slowly. Many people may not be aware of this condition till thy have progressed to kidney failure: particularly, those with Diabetes and Hypertension.
Kidneys perform many vital functions that include removal of wastes in keeping us healthy. Kidney failure may lead to several diseases, such as anemia, bone disease, skin rashes, and heart problems. It manifests itself by several symptoms and signs: fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath, to name some.
The following tips are suggested to keep your kidneys healthy and functioning well and reduce the risks of kidney failure:
• Perform medical check-ups and consult with your doctor regularly, as early diagnosis of kidney failure would help its treatment and will delay the progression of the disease. Comply with your doctor’s instructions regarding the medications.
• Check your blood sugar and keep it within normal ranges as high levels of blood sugar increase the risk of kidney failure.
• Check your blood pressure regularly and keep it within normal ranges (below 130/80 mm/Hg). High blood pressure leads to kidney failure.
• Exercise regularly; brisk walking for 30-45 minutes a day is easily achievable and can be performed anywhere. Exercise improves your blood circulation and reduces the risk of kidney failure.
• Avoid smoking (active or passive) and make your home, car, and work place smoke-free.
• Keep your blood cholesterol and other lipids within normal as high levels of lipids in the blood may narrow your arteries and block them, leading to kidney failure. Limit your intake of foods rich in cholesterol, such as full cream dairy products, animal fat, creamy desserts, butter, organ meats, sausages, and processed meats in addition to ghee, palm oil and coconut oil.
• Eat healthy meals that are well-balanced, low-fat, and nutritious and follow the ‘My Plate’ method in selecting your meals. Replace full cream dairy products with low fat or non-fat and white bread with whole grain bread and cereals.

• Be salt-cautious and reduce your intake of salt and salty foods, including olives, pickles, dressings, and processed foods.
• Keep your body weight within the normal ranges (BMI between 19 and 25). Being overweight is a risk factor for kidney failure. The best way for losing excess weight is by following a low-calorie, well-balanced diet, and by performing regular exercises.
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water to reduce your risk of infection, as infection increases the risks for kidney failure.
• Hydrate your body by drinking sufficient amounts of water (8-10 cups per day).Dehydration may lead to kidney failure, kidney stones, and infection. Drink water to flush out the wastes.
• Notify your doctor if you experience fever, pain in your flanks, a change in the smell or color of your urine, or its appearance: cloudy, foamy, or bloody, or if you experience a burning sensation while urinating.
• Avoid using over-the-counter painkillers without consulting your doctor, and avoid taking any herbal medications as these may injure your kidneys.

The Saudi Diabetes & Endocrine Association (SDEA) wishes you all the best and encourages you to care and protect your kidneys for a better quality of life.

“Take Charge and Do Your Part “

Protect your kidneys

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