Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Take Care of Your Kidneys

Photo by julien Tromeur

Kidney disease affects about 10% of the global population and about 1 in 7 Americans. In addition, 1 out of 3 US adults are at risk for kidney disease. As the early stages of chronic kidney disease are aysmptomatic, most people don’t even know that they have it. March is National Kidney Month so a good time to talk about these 2 fist-sized bean-shaped organs.

What do kidneys do?

  • Filters wastes and toxins from the blood
  • Regulates fluid levels in the body
  • Activates Vitamin D which is needed for healthy bone
  • Helps in production of red blood cells
  • Keeps minerals in balance
  • Regulates blood pressure

Who is at risk for kidney disease

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Age >65 years

Work on a kidney healthy lifestyle

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Drink plenty of water-about 48-64 oz a day, this will also help to prevent kidney stones
  • Aim to stay active for about 30 minutes a day
  • Get some good quality sleep-about 7-8 hours/night
  • Get your risk factors in control-quit smoking, take your medications, and work with your doctor to get chronic diseases controlled