Protect Your Kidneys This National Kidney Month
March is National Kidney Month, a time to remind us of the importance of our kidneys and how we can protect them from damage. Kidneys are vital organs that filter toxins from the bloodstream, flush excess fluids, regulate blood pressure, produce hormones, and create an active form of vitamin D for strong, healthy bones. As the National Kidney Foundation estimates, one in seven American adults are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), yet many are unaware they have it until the advanced stages due to its “silent killer” nature.
To reduce your risk of CKD, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle changes and practice preventive measures. First and foremost, you should maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and limit your intake of sodium, alcohol, and tobacco products. Additionally, controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure levels can help protect your kidneys. If you have diabetes or any risk factors for CKD, such as heart disease or a family history of the disease, make sure to get regular check-ups and follow up with your doctor.
When it comes to diet, the National Kidney Foundation recommends eating whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. In particular, dark leafy greens, berries, olive oil, fatty fishes, cranberries, and sweet potatoes are beneficial for your kidneys. Avoiding foods high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus can also help prevent unnecessary kidney problems.
Finally, taking medicine as prescribed and limiting the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help protect your kidneys. It’s important to remember that kidney damage usually cannot be reversed, but early detection and treatment can help prevent further damage and allow you to live a full life. This National Kidney Month, let’s raise awareness and reduce the progression and impact of kidney disease.
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