You and Your Kidneys (We Ain’t Talking Beans)

Salt intake

I don’t often scrutinize my kidney-health but the older I get the more tuned in I am to this particular body part. Plus World Kidney Day will be held on March 10 this year so I figure any part of me that merits its own celebratory day of the year deserves a bit more of my attention (and probably yours, too).

The fact is, if you track the health of your kidneys you are doing the rest of your body a world of good. Talking to your healthcare provider is a good way to start. He/she can establish what your correct blood pressure is and a blood test will allow you to check for diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. Not only that but your HCP can put you on the right track to a healthy diet.

Number one on the list, or close to it, should be cutting back on the salt. You should aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. And as long as I’m on my soapbox, remember to choose foods that are healthy for your heart like fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. Limit your alcohol consumption and above all, be more physically active.

Serious Business

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that for most people, “the blood pressure target is less than 140/90 mm Hg.” This can delay or prevent kidney failure. You’ve probably heard the term before, but kidney diseases are silent killers, so it goes without saying that death will certainly affect your quality of life. That said, there are several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease, according to the organization:

Keep fit and active: Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Keep regular control of your blood sugar level: Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels with the help of doctors or pharmacists, who are always happy to help.

Monitor your blood pressure: Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered pre-hypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly.

Eat healthy and watch your weight: The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food.

The great folks at Savannah Twelve Oaks can help you get on the right track concerning your diet and overall health.

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Salt and Pepper Shakers by Sean is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.