World Kidney Day!
Acting as a natural filter for our blood and exterminator of waste product in our body via urine, our kidneys are an often-undervalued organ in our body.
With most organs, we can gauge that something’s wrong with symptoms like sharp pains, nausea or specific issues that can be pinpointed to a specific condition. However, the biggest problem with kidney disease is that in its early stage, it’s practically undetectable.
It may only be diagnosed if you take a blood test for another reason which also flags a problem with your kidneys, or until it reaches a more advanced stage. Medicinenet.com report that you can experience symptoms such as: chronic fatigue, swollen ankles, feet, or hands, shortness of breath, or blood in urine.
We firmly believe education and prevention now should be given rather than treatment later which is why we’ve provided 7 steps to take for healthy kidneys.
1. Hydration is Key
There’s no surprise that ensuring your body is hydrated keeps you healthy but specifically it does wonders for the kidneys. According to Healthline.com drinking anywhere from 1.5 to 2 litres a day clears the sodium and toxins from your kidneys, lowering your chance of chronic kidney disease.
2. Regular Light Exercise
It can be difficult to stick to a regular exercise routine for some, especially for those who have had kidney issues previously or treatments such as Dialysis. Regular, but light, exercise lowers your blood pressure which is massively beneficial as high blood pressure can cause our arteries in the kidneys to narrow, leading to potential kidney damage and failure.
3. Lower your salt intake
High amounts of salt in our bloodstream is among the greatest risks of developing kidney disease according to a study conducted by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals (NNUH). It increases blood pressure and strains delicate blood vessels that lead to our kidneys.
The NNUH put together various methods for us to reduce our salt intake including:
- Use little to no salt in cooking
- Choose more fresh/frozen meat, fish, and vegetables over processed foods.
- Choose tinned foods labelled with “No added salt” or “reduced salt”
- Replace salt with spices, garlic, herbs, vinegar and pepper
4. Mediterranean Meals
According to PubMed.com, a key method to regulate our blood pressure and eliminate inflammation is introducing the Mediterranean Diet. This is declared to be the optimal eating pattern to avoid chronic kidney disease as well as for those who have suffered from kidney issues in the past as it helps to control metabolic acidosis, improves functions of the arteries, and improves our levels of healthy blood fats.
5. Quit Smoking and don’t resort to Vaping
Smoking causes massive issues to our blood vessels, decreasing the blood flow to the kidneys causing them to perform at sub-optimal levels as well as increase our blood pressure and chances of kidney cancer.
Some ex-smokers choose to vape instead as it doesn’t induce tobacco smoke to the body, however the nicotine is still incredibly addictive and causes issues to our digestive system and kidneys with additive chemicals in vaping solutions.
6.Be Mindful of Medication
When experiencing a bad migraine or agonising pain elsewhere, the first thing to go to is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, do not overdo the stated dosage as this type of medicine is known to cause kidney damage and disease when taken regularly, according to kidneyresearchuk.org.
7. Control your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes may develop kidney damage down the line due to the body’s cells unable to use the glucose in the blood. The National Institute of Health claims that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease as 1 in 3 adults with diabetes has kidney disease.
This is known as Diabetic Nephropathy and can develop over years. Diabetes UK state that for those who are diabetic, two kidney tests should be considered in your annual review:
Urine (ACR) – tests the albumin : creatinine ratio which indicates proteins leaking into the urine
Blood Test (eGFR) – estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate measures how your kidneys are working by measuring a waste product in the blood known as creatinine.
Where can I get regular kidney testing?
Randox Health’s biggest objective is to prevent disease by providing customers with the power and knowledge to manage their health through testing, attacking risks once spotted, and ultimately defending your future which is why we screen kidney health in our full-body MOT, the Everyman | Everywoman which gives you a complete image of your health, reporting up to 150 results across your vital organs, hormone health, digestive health and much more.
We test for 3 different substances in your blood that in high levels can detect kidney disease:
- eGFR (estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate)
This testing is included in our Full Body MOT, the Everyman | Everywoman Health Check.