When it comes to vital organs, hearts get all the love. But kidneys do an amazing number of complex jobs, like removing wastes and extra fluid from your blood, regulating blood pressure, helping to make red blood cells, and controlling vital hormones and minerals.
The best way to heart your kidneys is to heart yourself. Lifestyle and dietary choices have a big impact on kidney health. Some simple tips to start:
The best way to fight kidney disease is to find it before trouble starts. Kidney disease is much more common than most people know, with 30 million people affected in the U.S. The good news is that it can be slowed or even stopped if it’s caught early.
Even better news: kidney disease is generally preventable. Roughly 80 percent of all chronic kidney disease cases come from high blood pressure and diabetes. If you have these medical problems or think you do, get checked. It only takes two simple tests at your primary care doctor’s office.
Some other risk factors to look out for: heart disease, obesity, and a family history of kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Certain groups of people are at higher risk, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people aged 60 or older.
Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers—all need to know about the importance of taking care of their kidneys. Telling them is a way of taking care of them. When it comes to kidney disease, an ounce of prevention can mean a TON of cure. So, put your heart into kidney health!
Call the NKF Cares Helpline to find out more about your kidneys at (855) 653-2273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: For information on applying for disability with chronic kidney disease, click here.