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4 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Kidney Disease

4 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Kidney Disease

About 37 million people live with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States, according to the American Kidney Fund, and nearly a million have kidney failure. Data also indicate the rate is growing — not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

There’s no cure for CKD; severe kidney disease eventually requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Fortunately, you can make a few changes to support kidney health and reduce your risk of CKD.

The team at Houston Kidney Specialists Center uses the most advanced treatment options to help patients manage kidney disease, along with guidance and therapies to help prevent kidney damage

In this post, learn four steps you can take today to lower your risk of kidney disease.

1. Quit smoking

The impact smoking has on your lungs is obvious. What a lot of people might not know is smoking also affects your kidneys. That’s because the same chemicals that damage your lungs damage your blood vessels too. That damage interferes with circulation.

Your kidneys rely on a steady supply of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to maintain normal function. When you smoke, blood vessel damage impairs circulation and deprives your kidneys of the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

2. Eat healthy

One of the best (and easiest) things you can do to maintain healthy kidneys is to watch what you eat. Limit foods high in sodium (salt), sugars, and unhealthy fats, and skip processed foods and fast food that may contain ingredients harmful to kidney health.

Instead, fill up on fruits and vegetables that contain plenty of nutrients and antioxidants important for kidney health. Add in whole grains and lean or vegetable-based proteins. These healthy changes benefit your kidneys and your other organs.

3. Limit alcohol

The primary job of your kidneys is to filter your blood, removing impurities and toxins — including alcohol. When you drink, your kidneys must work harder to eliminate alcohol from your blood.

While an occasional drink might not cause harm, excessive drinking or even regular drinking can have a negative impact on kidney health. To protect your kidneys, limit alcohol consumption or avoid alcohol altogether. 

Although some guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes there’s no truly safe level of alcohol consumption.

4. Manage underlying medical problems

Diabetes and high blood pressure can both cause kidney disease; in fact, hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney failure. If you have either of these chronic diseases, it’s important to manage them effectively.

Following a healthy eating plan, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and learning to manage stress can all help. But it’s also important to see your doctor for regular checkups and to take any medications prescribed to keep diabetes or high blood pressure under control.

Be kind to your kidneys

There’s no cure for CKD, so doing all you can to protect your kidneys is essential.

To learn more about kidney disease prevention or how we can help you manage existing kidney disease, request an appointment online or over the phone today with Houston Kidney Specialists Center in Houston and Cypress, Texas.

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