Your kidneys are one of the hardest working organs in your body. They filter out toxins, help regulate your blood pressure and the amount of fluid in your body, and play a role in managing your hormone levels. This is all deserving of some TLC.
Here are some ways to show your kidneys some love.
By knowing the full scope of what your kidneys do for you, you're better equipped to make better decisions when it comes to your health.
Start by exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, and avoiding things that are nephrotoxic (toxic to the kidneys). Other good lifestyle choices include reducing sodium in your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, working to control stress, and quitting smoking.
Staying on top of your kidney health can make a huge difference to your kidneys and you. If you suspect there's something not quite right with your health, get it checked out. Sometimes, other underlying medical conditions can make your kidneys work harder than they should. Untreated hypertension or diabetes can worsen your kidney disease -- if you’re diagnosed with these conditions, follow your doctor's orders.
Also, make sure to schedule an annual physical. During these exams your doctor can run bloodwork and address any abnormalities.
Medications are filtered through your liver or kidneys. Some, like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), can cause injury when taken in excess. Medications that contain sodium phosphate, like Tums, can also cause kidney damage. So make sure you don’t consume more than any recommended dose.
Loving your kidneys means showing yourself some love as well. Get plenty of rest, find ways to relax and blow off steam and follow up on any new symptoms you may have.
You can spread some love to other people who are going through dialysis too, by letting them know you care. It will do your heart and kidneys a world of good.