You fill your days with activities and people you enjoy. Whether it’s dinner with friends, hitting the gym, meditating to relax 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 well-being.
“Kidneys perform critical functions that keep your body healthy, like filtering water and waste from your bloodstream,” said Hak Lee, MD, of AdventHealth Medical Group Urology at Calhoun. “When your kidneys are working, everything in your body runs smoothly.”
Our kidneys 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
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.
High blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys. Regularly check blood glucose levels and work to maintain 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.
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. Limit alcohol to one drink a day for women or two a day for men — or even less. 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.
Partner for Your Health
“Kidney disease symptoms and other kidney-related issues can be vague and difficult to detect,” said Dr. Lee. “If you suspect you’re having kidney issues, it’s important to get checked out right away.”
Your doctor can help you protect your kidneys and promote your whole health. An annual check-up gives you the opportunity 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. Find an AdventHealth primary care provider.