World Kidney Day is observed on March 12 across the world. The day is meant to raise awareness about the health of kidneys and what you can do to prevent kidney disease. Kidneys are fist-sized organs which are located at the bottom of your rib cage, on both sides of your spine. They perform several functions, most importantly, filtering waste products, excess water and other impurities from the blood. Kidneys also perform the function of regulating pH, salt and potassium levels in your body. Kidneys are responsible for controlling production of red blood cells and producing hormones which regulate blood pressure.
World Kidney Day: Tips to keep your kidneys healthy
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is one habit which can affect your health in many ways. It is the top most common cause of cancer. Speaking of kidneys, smoking can damage blood vessels. This can lead to slow blood flow throughout your body and your kidneys. If you want healthy kidneys, make efforts to quit smoking instantly.
2. Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese can put you at the risk of numerous diseases, including damage to kidneys. If you are overweight, then you are also at risk of diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. Lose weight by consuming comparatively fewer calories and exercise regularly. For reducing risk of kidney damage, you need to consume a diet with less sodium. Stay away from processed, packaged, frozen and junk foods. Your diet should primarily include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains.
3. Stay active and exercise regularly
This is one lifestyle activity which will not help you stay fit, it will also help in reducing risk of chronic kidney disease. Regular exercise helps in regulating blood pressure and boosts heart health. Both these functions are important for preventing damage to the kidneys. Apart from an hour or exercise daily, which includes both cardio and strength training, you also need to stay active throughout the day for being fit and healthy.
4. Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly
Healthy blood pressure reading is 120/80. If you have high blood pressure, then it can put you at risk of kidney damage. A healthy lifestyle with no smoking and alcohol can help in keeping your blood pressure under control.
For healthy kidneys, it is also important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. People with diabetes are prone to risks of kidney damage. When your body cells are unable to use glucose in the blood, it forces kidneys to work harder for filtering your blood. This overexertion can lead to kidney damage. Diabetes management and blood sugar regulation are thus important to keep your kidneys healthy.
5. Drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for the health of your kidneys. Drink sufficient water every day. It will help you with your weight loss goals and will also improve your skin and hair quality. Drinking sufficient water can help in clearing sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also reduces the risk of kidney stones and chronic kidney diseases. Try to drink one and a half to two litres of water every day.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Guwahati Times does not claim responsibility for this information.