• Brittany Sparks, RD

5 Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Kidney’s Healthy


1. Stay Hydrated

Severe dehydration can cause lack of blood flow to your kidneys and can cause acute kidney failure.

It is important to make sure you are staying hydrated. Most individuals should aim for around 1.5 liters of fluid per day. However, if you are exercising, pregnant or breast feeding or you are in hot and humid weather you will need extra fluids. Certain diseases or health conditions may need you to limit your fluid intake as well. So talk to your physician or registered dietitian on how much fluids you should be aiming for per day.

Did you know?

One of the main functions of the kidneys is to filter excess water and wastes from your body. Around 180 liters of fluid are filtered daily by the kidneys. With a typical healthy adult only 1 to 2 liters per day of this filtered fluid is removed from the body as urine.

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Many studies show that eating a diet that contains a high intake of fruits and vegetables may help to prevent kidney disease.

The Dash diet in particular has been associated with a lower risk of rapid kidney decline among those with high blood pressure. The Dash diet consists of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, lower intake of total and saturated fats, cholesterol, and less sugar sweetened products.

3. Manage Your Health and Know Your Risk Factors

Did you know that diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease? When your blood sugars or blood pressure is out of control it puts stress on your kidneys and causes damage. About 1/3 of diabetic patients will develop kidney disease. It is important that if you have diabetes you should have your kidneys checked yearly. Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure well regulated can help prevent kidney damage. Both diabetes and high blood pressure can be managed with dietary changes, talk with a registered dietitian today to take better control of your health.

4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol can offer some health benefits if consumed in moderation. Having too much alcohol can damage your kidneys, heart and other organs. Studies have shown that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with kidney impairment.

Stick to the recommend amount of alcohol per day of 1 drink per day for women and for men over the age of 65 and 2 drinks per day for men under the age of 65, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020.

As a reminder, 1 drink is considered: 12 fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

In 2014 nearly 600 million people worldwide were considered obese. Obesity increases the risk factors for kidney disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure and also has a direct impact on the development of chronic kidney disease.

Luckily this is one thing that you can manage by eating well and exercising. Maintaining a healthy weight can dramatically help you in reducing the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Work with a health care practitioner such as a registered dietitian or physician to help you reach your healthy and happy weight.

References

Tyson CC. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern in special populations. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2012; 14:388-396.

Foster MC. Lifestyle factors and indices of kidney function in the Framingham Heart Study. Am J Nephrol. 2015;41:267-274.

Csaba PK. Obesity and Kidney Disease: Hidden Consequences of the Epidemic. J of Renal Nutrition. 2017;27:75-77.

Alessandra Buja. Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption a Risk Factor for Kidney Function Decline? A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. J of Renal Nutrition. 2014;24:224-235.

Shu Ning Wai. Dietary Patterns and Clinical Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease: The CKD.QLD Nutrition Study. J of Renal Nutrition. December 8th,2016; Online Article.


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