March is Kidney Health Month. Be Kind to Yours.
February 28, 2023
Most of us probably don’t think about our kidneys very much, but they’re so important, nature gave us two of them. It’s National Kidney Month and the perfect time to give these hard-working organs the respect they deserve. Here are a few tips on how to keep yours healthy for life.
In This Healthy Insight:
- Stay active and monitor your blood pressure
- Watch your blood sugar
- Eat healthy
- Drink water
- Stop smoking
- Go easy on over-the-counter pills
- Cut back on alcohol
- Have your kidney function checked as recommended
- Supplements for Kidney Health
Stay active and monitor your blood pressure
When you keep yourself in shape by working out regularly, you reduce your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney problems.
Watch your blood sugar
Did you know about 50% of people with diabetes will develop kidney damage? It’s important to always keep your blood sugar levels balanced and have regular check-ups with your health care provider.
You’ve heard it millions of time, but it’s particularly important for your kidneys since eating healthy, fresh foods is easier on them. Fast foods and prepared foods are overly-processed and contain a lot of sodium, preservatives and other chemicals harmful to your kidneys.
Although the debate on water consumption is ongoing, in general, it is recommended you drink 4-8 glasses of water daily. This helps clear sodium and toxins from the body, lowering your risk for kidney disease. You can tell if you’re getting enough by the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow or clear, you’re drinking enough water. If it’s dark yellow, you need more water.
Smoking increases the risk of kidney disease by nearly 50%. It’s bad for your blood flow, including the flow to your kidneys.
Go easy on over-the-counter pills
Just because a painkiller’s on the shelf of your local drug store, doesn’t mean it’s safe to take every day. Common anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are known to damage kidneys when taken regularly. Work with your doctor for other ways to manage pain.
Cut back on alcohol
Women should have no more than one drink a day, men two. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits.
Have your kidney function checked as recommended
Your health care professional can test to see how well your kidneys are functioning by checking to see if a blood protein called albumin is present. Albumin is not supposed to be there, and the earlier you know about any potential problems, the better.
Supplements for Kidney Health
At some point, and after discussion with your healthcare provider, you may want to consider supplements for kidney health for a couple of reasons.
- A diet specifically geared to kidney health may decrease the types of vitamins and minerals you may be consuming, so you could be deficient in certain nutrients.
- Some medicines may change the way your body absorbs vitamins and minerals.
- When your kidneys are not properly functioning, waste product can build up and change how your body uses nutrients.
- Some vitamins are lost during kidney treatments.
Some possible kidney supplements to consider might include: B-Complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Iron, and Calcium.
Make today the day you start taking care of your often-neglected kidneys. You’ll feel better for it! If you are looking for some extra support, check out some of our best supplements here.