How do you prevent kidney damage?
Your kidneys are indispensable organs. Yet many people do not know exactly what they do for you and how to keep them healthy! What is the function of your kidneys? What does kidney damage mean to a person and how do you keep your kidneys healthy? In this blog, we will discuss the answers to these questions.
What are your kidneys doing?
Your kidneys filter your blood. They ensure that water and waste products are separated from your blood and go to the bladder, after which you pass them out as urine. They also regulate the moisture and salt content of your body, your blood pressure and the number of red blood cells you have. In short, they ensure that your body stays healthy and that everything works as it should.
If your kidneys are damaged for any reason, they will no longer function properly as a filter. They can then no longer properly remove the waste from your blood so that your body is slowly poisoned. Of course, you want to prevent that, but how? And how do you recognize when your kidneys are damaged?
How does kidney damage occur?
Kidney damage can have all kinds of causes or a combination of several causes. Many of the possible problems cannot be prevented or resolved: hereditary predisposition, kidney disease, age and certain medications can cause kidney damage. Fortunately, there are also a number of causes of kidney damage that you can prevent or remedy. These are described below.
How do you prevent kidney damage?
- Prevent high blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause of kidney damage. If you have high blood pressure, your blood flows faster through your kidneys and so they have to work harder to filter your blood. At some point, your kidneys will be overloaded and damaged. So try to prevent high blood pressure by living a healthy life or, in severe cases, by taking medicines for high blood pressure.
- Do not eat too much salt
Eating salt is one of the causes of high blood pressure. In addition, salt can make medicines for high blood pressure less effective, causing your kidneys to deteriorate more quickly. So don’t eat too much salt.
- Quit smoking
Smoking is bad for almost all your organs. You already knew that cigarettes are bad for your lungs, but your kidneys are also damaged. So try to quit smoking to prevent kidney damage or to prevent further damage to your kidneys.
- Prevent obesity diabetes
Obesity is also an important cause of kidney damage. Your heart has to work harder when you’re overweight, making it bigger and increasing your blood volume. This gives you a higher blood pressure. Furthermore, obesity can contribute to diabetes, which in turn contributes to kidney damage.
How do you recognize kidney damage?
Unfortunately, the complaints of kidney damage are not always straightforward. Moreover, you will only suffer from these complaints when your kidneys are already damaged and when it is actually already too late. A third problem is that the complaints can differ per person. For example, you can suffer from anemia, muscle cramps, a reduced resistance, fertility problems, nausea or muscle cramps.
The moment you start experiencing these complaints, the kidney damage is already chronic and it is actually already too late. Prevention is therefore better (and easier) than cure.
How do I keep my kidneys healthy?
In short: the best way to keep your kidneys healthy and prevent kidney damage is healthy living. Do not smoke, eat too much salt and try to avoid obesity.
Even then, however, it can happen that you suffer from kidney damage. Unfortunately, there is not always something to do about this: according to the Kidney Foundation, about 10% of the Dutch suffer from chronic kidney damage. Are you a risk group? Have your kidneys examined once a year.