7 Secrets to Kidney Health
Prevention & Treatment A nephrologist gives you expert advice on living a kidney-safe lifestyle.
Kidney health can be tricky, since kidney disease often has no visible symptoms. Even if you’re not sure you’re at risk, here are some good preventative measures that will also benefit your overall health.
1. Hydrate, but don’t overdo it
No studies have proven that drinking more than four to six glasses of fluids a day is necessary under most circumstances.
2. Eat healthily
Most kidney problems arise from other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. So follow healthy, moderate eating habits to avoid these issues.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help stave off weight gain and high blood pressure. Ease into it. Overdoing it can cause dehydration and muscle breakdown and strain your kidneys.
4. Use caution with supplements
Excessive intake of certain vitamin supplements and herbal extracts can harm your kidneys. Talk to your doctor.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking can increase the risk of high blood pressure and kidney cancer.
6. Don’t overdo over-the-counter medications
Common medications including ibuprofen and naproxen (NSAIDs) can damage kidneys if taken over a prolonged period. If you have healthy kidneys and take NSAIDs occasionally, it’s probably safe. But if you take them regularly for chronic pain or arthritis, talk to your doctor about monitoring your kidney function or finding alternatives.
7. If you’re at risk, get regular screening
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your physician should screen for kidney dysfunction as part of your routine care.
The most important thing you can do for your kidneys is to take care of your body. Eat healthily, exercise regularly and control your weight.