Kidneys are essential organs in the human body that rid the blood of excess waste, toxins, and fluids as well as regulate salt levels and blood pressure. The failure of these organs is a critical health concern, especially considering the times in Ghana when the expensive cost of dialysis continues to create devastating circumstances for several patients who cannot afford the treatment.
Many factors can contribute to kidney or renal failure. These include severe dehydration, injuries that lead to kidney trauma, infections, blood loss, high blood pressure, elevated sugar levels, overuse of over-the-counter medications, and some autoimmune disorders, among others.
Fortunately, there are certain lifestyle modifications that when adopted can minimize these risk factors and significantly improve kidney health. Find some of them below:
Like most organs and nearly every process that occurs within the body, the kidneys also need water to be able to perform their function of filtering out toxins and waste products. Proper daily hydration with at least 8 glasses of water will go a long way to making them strong and healthy. If you are someone who can go hours without a single drop of water, this is your clarion call to kick the habit.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Include vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet to help nourish and protect your kidneys. It is also important to reduce the intake of salty foods, sugary drinks, and processed or canned foods.
Quitting Smoking and Drinking
These habits have several social and health consequences and one of them is that they are injurious to the kidneys. Blood vessels, including those in the kidneys, become damaged with excessive smoking and drinking, contributing to their ultimate failure.
Avoiding Overuse of NSAIDs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and diclofenac, among others, although can be useful in relieving pain and reducing inflammation, are not free of repercussions, especially when they are used for a prolonged period. They can impede blood flow to the kidneys, potentially causing dysfunction of the organs. Consult a doctor before using them regularly.
Engaging in physical activity to keep the body healthy simply has a tall list of benefits, and reducing blood pressure as well as maintaining strong kidneys constitute those advantages. Exercise regularly to keep a healthy weight as excess weight can put a strain on the kidneys and cause problems for them. The activity could be running, walking, swimming, cycling, or even dancing.
Safeguarding Against Infections
Infections such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can lead to renal failure especially if they are not promptly and rightly dealt with. Make it a habit to practice good personal hygiene and seek immediate medical attention if you suspect to have picked up an infection.
Monitoring Blood Pressure
As mentioned before, high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for kidney problems especially when other complications like high cholesterol levels and diabetes are thrown into the equation. A healthy blood pressure reads 120/80. It is important to be mindful and keep regular tabs to spot any abnormal elevation and in instances where this happens, seek medical help as medication may be necessary. Also, practice the habits already outlined to augment any medical intervention.
In conclusion, inculcating some simple every day habits can have an enormous impact on kidney health and save you from significant damage, physically and financially. Take proactive steps today to secure your health because now more than ever, it truly is wealth.