March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of kidney health and encourage people to take steps to prevent kidney disease.
The kidneys are vital organs that filter waste and excess fluids from the blood, regulate blood pressure, and produce hormones that help to maintain healthy bones and red blood cells. Unfortunately, millions of people around the world suffer from kidney disease, and many are not even aware of it until it has reached an advanced stage.
Kidney health is vital for aging seniors.
Kidney disease affects nearly 37 million Americans, and the majority of those affected are seniors. This makes kidney health particularly important for aging seniors as they are more susceptible to kidney-related diseases and conditions.
The kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste and excess fluids from the body, maintaining the balance of electrolytes, and regulating blood pressure. As we age, the kidneys may become less efficient at performing these functions, leading to a higher risk of kidney disease, which can have a severe impact on overall health.
Maintaining good kidney health is essential for aging seniors because healthy kidneys can help prevent other health problems, including heart disease and stroke. In fact, kidney issues are frequently regarded as an indicator of other underlying health conditions. By maintaining good kidney health, seniors can reduce their risk of developing other health issues that can decrease their quality of life.
Here’s a few steps you can take to maintain healthy kidneys:
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help the kidneys flush out waste and toxins. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain kidney function. Avoid excessive amounts of protein and high sodium processed foods, which can be hard on the kidneys.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control, which can help prevent kidney damage and disease.
- Manage chronic conditions: Over time chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys. Work with your doctor to manage these conditions and keep them under control.
- Avoid over-the-counter pain medications: Avoid ibuprofen and naproxen which can be hard on the kidneys if taken in large amounts or for long periods of time. Talk to your doctor about alternative pain management strategies if you have chronic pain.
By taking these steps, you can help maintain healthy kidneys and prevent kidney disease and other conditions that may follow. If you have concerns about your kidney health, talk to your doctor to develop a personalized plan for maintaining kidney function as you age.