What can you do for your
kidneys?

Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely
affect your quality of life. There are however several
easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney
disease.

Keep fit and active
Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and
therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney
Disease.

The concept “on the move for kidney health” is a
worldwide collective march involving the public,
celebrities and professionals moving across a
public area by walking, running and cycling. Why
not join them – by whatever means you prefer!
Check out the events section of the WKD website
for more information.

Keep regular control of your blood
sugar level
About half of people who have diabetes develop
kidney damage, so it is important for people with
diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney
functions.

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
prehypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and
dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should
discuss the risks with your doctor and montior your
blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure
is especially likely to cause kidney damage when
associated with other factors like diabetes, high
cholesterol and Cardio- Vascular Diseases.

Eat healthy and keep your weight in
check

This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and
other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney
Disease.

Reduce your salt intake. 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. It will be easier
to control your intake if you prepare the food
yourself with fresh ingredients. For more informatio
on nutrition and kidney friendly cooking, talk to your
doctor.

Maintain a healthy fluid intake
Although clinical studies have not reached an
agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other
fluids we should consume daily to maintain good
health, traditional wisdom has long suggested
drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per
day.

Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear
sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in
turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of
developing chronic kidney disease, according to
researchers in Australia and Canada. 

The findings,
the researchers said, do not advocate “aggressive
fluid loading”, which can cause side effects, but
they do provide evidence that moderately increased
water intake, around two litres daily, may reduce the
risk of decline in kidney function. It’s important to
keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for
any individual depends on many factors including
gender, exercise, climate, health conditions,
pregnancy and breast feeding. 

In addition, people
who have already had a kidney stone are advised to
drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk
of forming a new stone.

Do not smoke
Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys.
When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs
their ability to function properly. Smoking also
increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50
percent.

Do not take over-the-counter pills
on a regular basis
Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammator
drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney
damage and disease if taken regularly.

Such medications probably do not pose significant
danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you
use them for emergencies only, but if you are
dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back
pain, work with your doctor to find a way to control
your pain without putting your kidneys at risk.

Get your kidney function checked if
you have one or more of the ‘high
risk’ factors

you have diabetes

you have hypertension

you are obese

one of your parents or other family members
suffers from kidney disease
you are of African, Asian, or Aboriginal origin