Health Care Lifestyle

How Does Your Lifestyle Impact Your Kidneys?

man drinks water to stay health

You fill your days with activities and people you enjoy. Whether it’s dinner with friends, taking your dog for a walk or playing with your kids, the way you fill your day says a lot about what’s important to you. Healthy choices help you stay strong physically, mentally and emotionally.

While you may not always think of your kidney health, these powerhouse organs play an important role in your overall health and wellbeing. They help:

  • Balance minerals including sodium, phosphorus and potassium
  • Control blood pressure
  • Filter waste and toxins from the blood
  • Promote production of red blood cells
  • Regulate the body’s fluid levels
  • Support bone health by activating Vitamin D
Dr. Max Parrott with a patient

Primary care physician, Maxwell Parrott, MD, says that maintaining regular health checkups with a primary care physician is key to identifying kidney issues before they get worse.

“If diagnosed early, chronic kidney disease can be managed proactively avoiding future medical issues such as requiring dialysis,” said Dr. Parrott. Fortunately, individuals can take steps to both keep their kidneys and other conditions at bay.

Protect Your Kidney Health, Boost Your Whole Health

Given the hard work your kidneys do for you, it’s important to help protect them. Keep these important tips in mind to boost your kidney health and improve your whole health.

Control Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is bad for your body. It can lead to serious heart disease, and it also stresses your kidneys. Work with your doctor to manage your blood pressure and have it checked regularly.

Manage Diabetes

High blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys. Regularly check blood glucose levels and work to maintain the proper levels outlined by your doctor.

Take Medications as Directed

Some medicines can impact your kidney health. Be sure to read labels carefully and take only medicine as directed.

Enjoy a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy diet that includes lots of delicious veggies, fruits, whole grain and lean protein is good for the soul — and your kidneys. Regular activity also helps regulate your blood pressure and sugar levels, making it easier for your kidneys to do their job. Limiting the amount of animal protein you consume can also help prevent kidney stones.

Cut Back on Salt

A diet high in sodium makes kidneys work harder than they should to filter it out of your bloodstream. Check food labels and take the saltshaker off the table at mealtimes. Use herbs, spices and heart-healthy oils instead to season food.

Drink More Water and Less Alcohol

Water can keep your body hydrated and help kidneys flush toxins from your blood. Too much of a good thing, though, makes your body work harder than it should. A good rule of thumb is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

While you’re focused on drinking water, work on cutting down on your alcohol intake, too. Your kidneys work overtime to rid your body of alcohol, so help make their job easier by reducing the toxins you drink in the first place.

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease

The signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be somewhat subtle and oftentimes overlap with other medical conditions, said Dr. Parrott. Patients who have other medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are at high risk for developing chronic kidney disease. These patients should be seen on a regular basis for laboratory studies which can indicate early chronic kidney disease before any symptoms are apparent. Patients should also be aware of a family history of kidney disorders and should be seen by a primary care physician regularly for evaluation of renal function before the onset of any symptoms.

Partner for Your Health

Your doctor can help you protect your kidneys and promote your whole health. An annual check-up allows you to talk with your doctor about any health questions and concerns and allows your physician to run important tests that check your kidney health. If you need a primary care physician, we can help. To find an AdventHealth primary care provider near you, visit

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