Wellness Wednesday – Kidney Health with Nurse Lauren
Hi there, Nurse Lauren here with your Wellness Wednesday tips! March is National Kidney Month, so let’s chat about how to keep your kidneys healthy and why it is important to do so. Let’s start out with some back to the basics facts. Your kidney has many important functions including filtering all of the blood in the body to remove toxins and waste, regulating blood pressure and blood chemicals, keeping bones healthy, and activated the production of red blood cells. In order to ensure overall good health you must have properly functioning kidneys. Chronic Kidney Disease, known as CKD, is when kidneys are damaged and not able to filter blood effectively. CKD can progress over months or years as the kidney loses its ability to function.
What are the risk factors of CKD? Family history, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all risk factors that could lead to chronic kidney disease. There are no symptoms during the early stages of CKD, so if some of these risk factors apply to you, talk to your doctor about getting tested for CKD. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative promotes kidney health and provides strategies to prevent or control these risk factors.
Important statistics to know: kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States of America, approximately 30 million adults are effected by CKD but many of these cases are undiagnosed. Worldwide Chronic Kidney Disease affects around 195 million women resulting in almost 600,000 deaths per year. Remember that you will not necessarily feel sick at beginning stages of CKD. The only way to determine if you have this disease in through blood and urine tests. Having kidney disease increases your chances of heart disease and stroke. To learn more about preventing heart disease, read my February Heart Month Wellness Wednesday posts.
How can I keep my kidneys healthy? Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol, quit smoking, increase physical activity, limit sodium in your diet, watch your cholesterol levels, and if you have diabetes, try to keep your sugar levels under control.
Tomorrow, March 8 is World Kidney Day, a worldwide campaign to promote awareness of the importance of kidney health. This year’s theme focuses on Kidneys and Women’s Health. This theme highlights the estimate that CKD is more prevalent is women than men. This is Nurse Lauren, contributor of NursesNOW, signing off with your Wellness Wednesday tips. Follow these steps to keep your kidneys healthy and get screened for CKD if any of the risk factors apply to you.