Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs that filter the blood and eliminate wastes and extra fluid from your body. They also regulate fluid balance and keep electrolytes at their proper levels.
Kidney disease is an increasingly common condition as you age, but it can be prevented and managed with proper management. Living a healthy lifestyle will reduce your risk for kidney disease as you age.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a relatively common disorder that affects one in seven Australian adults. Though it may not cause any symptoms at first, chronic high blood pressure can damage blood vessels and eventually lead to kidney disease.
Kidneys are essential organs in the body, filtering and transporting waste away. High blood pressure can damage these vital organs, leading to kidney failure as well as other serious health complications.
There are several ways to reduce your risk of kidney disease as you age, but the most effective method is controlling blood pressure. Your doctor can assist in this endeavor by suggesting lifestyle changes and prescribing medications tailored specifically for you.
In addition to controlling your blood pressure, it is also important to eat a nutritious diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Doing this may help protect against heart disease – which is the leading cause of kidney disease – as well as kidney failure.
Exercising regularly is also essential for improving your health. Exercise has been known to lower blood pressure and keep you feeling fit and trim.
If your family history of hypertension runs in your veins, talk to your doctor about taking medications to help lower your blood pressure. These may include diuretics which remove extra sodium from the body or ACE inhibitors which block production of a chemical that causes arteries to narrow and tighten.
Your doctor may suggest other measures to control your blood pressure, such as losing weight if you are overweight and abstaining from smoking and consuming alcohol.
Maintaining healthy blood pressure requires daily commitment, and it’s easy to let your health slip away if you don’t take action. That is why it is so important to monitor your pulse and receive annual screenings for this vital indicator.
Regularly checking your blood pressure is the best way to determine if you have high blood pressure and how it can be managed. Doing this will keep you healthier now and in the future.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by your body and used to build cells. It can also be found in various foods.
Maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol in your bloodstream is essential for keeping your heart and vessels working efficiently. Unfortunately, too much can cause serious issues with your health.
One way to determine if your cholesterol is excessive is a blood test called a lipid profile. The results will show whether your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels are normal or excessive.
A lipid profile will assess your total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, as well as triglyceride levels. A lipid profile is the best way to monitor your risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Maintaining healthy lipid blood tests is recommended to stay informed on your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly are beneficial for maintaining optimal wellbeing.
If your lipids are high, you may require medications that can lower them. Doing so could reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Before taking any medication, make sure to consult with your doctor first to make sure it won’t interfere with the functioning of your kidneys. Some drugs can cause fluid to be drained from the kidneys, making them work harder.
Other drugs, such as ACE inhibitors, may affect how your kidneys filter calcium and other chemicals from the bloodstream. This could impede their natural capacity for function and lead to further complications.
A high-protein, low-fat diet consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats can help regulate cholesterol levels. Furthermore, these foods reduce the risk of heart disease.
Another diet change that can help control cholesterol is eating less saturated and trans fat, which are found in fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy products. Fast food restaurants and processed snacks also contain plenty of these fats, so if you’re trying to shed pounds, incorporate more fresh produce like fruits and vegetables as well as other low-fat items into your meals.
A high-fiber diet consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables can also aid in the reduction of cholesterol. Furthermore, increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake – which has been demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on the heart – may be beneficial as well.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can have devastating effects on people of all ages, with young and old alike. Chronic drinking causes kidney damage that impairs your ability to filter wastes and toxins from the blood, damaging organs like the lungs, heart, and other parts of the body – placing you at greater risk for conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Kidneys are essential organs in the human body, filtering excess liquid out and controlling electrolyte concentrations such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and phosphorus in the blood. Furthermore, they help keep a balance of acids and bases within the body through an intricate network of glands and tissues which work to maintain hydration, temperature regulation and overall wellbeing.
Consuming alcohol dehydrates your body, making it harder for your kidneys to filter toxins and extra fluid from your blood. It may also raise your blood pressure, making it more susceptible to damage to kidneys over time.
Additionally, your age and gender can have an effect on how alcohol consumption impacts your kidneys; women in particular are more prone to kidney dysfunction than men.
However, drinking alcohol doesn’t have to be harmful for you. It can be part of a healthier lifestyle that includes exercising regularly, eating nutritiously and abstaining from smoking.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that adults limit their alcohol consumption to no more than one alcoholic beverage a day, with most adults having no more than three drinks daily for women and seven per week for men.
Unfortunately, many Americans drink too much – more than they should. A recent report indicates that two out of every three American adults consume alcohol at least occasionally and 30% report being excessive drinkers including binge drinkers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 148,000 Americans die annually from excessive alcohol use, with these numbers rising steadily since 2015. A study looking at national and state mortality data from 2015 to 2019 found 12.9% of deaths among adults aged 20 to 64 were attributable to excessive drinking; this percentage being higher among men than women, though it varied by state.
With age, your kidneys become less efficient at filtering blood to maintain healthy levels of potassium, phosphorus and sodium. This increases your risk for kidney disease as well as other serious illnesses like hypertension. If your kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant will be necessary.
There are ways to lower your risk of kidney disease as you age. The most important thing is having regular health checks (blood test, urine test and blood pressure check) from your doctor every two years. Additionally, changing up your diet may help improve kidney function as well.
To improve kidney health, opt for a diet that’s packed with nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Cut back on foods with excessive sugar, fat and salt as well. Additionally, be sure to consume enough fiber each day so you feel full longer.
Eating low-sodium foods such as lean meat, fish and poultry is essential for improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, limit processed food consumption and sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce their detrimental effects on the heart.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about medication that can help manage it. These include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. These medicines work by altering how your body produces hormones and thus lower your pulse rate.
These medications can slow the progression of kidney disease and prevent kidney failure, potentially increasing your life expectancy.
Diabetics are at an even higher risk for kidney disease. To help manage their condition, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s advice regarding insulin injections, medication, diet and exercise – whether that means doing as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Furthermore, a diet high in whole grains and legumes may reduce your risk for kidney disease. Eating brown rice, whole wheat bread and beans for instance can lower blood levels of phosphate and potassium – essential minerals for kidney health – that contribute to renal dysfunction.
Although diet may play a role in some kidney diseases, it won’t prevent them all. However, eating healthier can help you live longer and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions that could lead to kidney disease.