Kidney disease is becoming an increasing health concern in India due to lifestyle factors like lack of adequate restful sleep, smoking and alcohol consumption as well as obesity, all of which contribute significantly.
An active lifestyle can lower your risk of kidney disease (CKD) while simultaneously making you feel healthier. It also can prevent or manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure which may contribute to CKD.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is an increasingly prevalent health condition that can severely impact kidneys and other parts of your body. It occurs when your arteries narrow or stiffen, creating resistance for blood to travel through them freely.
Kidneys filter about one-half cup of blood each minute, filtering out waste products and excess fluid to produce urine and regulating your body’s fluid, salts and hormone levels.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage the arteries that supply your kidneys with blood, impairing their ability to function optimally and providing less blood than necessary for flushing away toxins and waste products from your system.
Renovascular hypertension, or high blood pressure caused by kidney disease, can often be managed using the same medications used to treat hypertension among those with healthy kidneys. Other treatments for renovascular hypertension may include surgery or angioplasty which widen blood vessels in the kidneys to lower blood pressure.
But even moderate elevation in blood pressure remains a significant risk factor for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), because hypertension increases kidney failure risk in its victims.
As well as taking medication to lower your blood pressure, you can also lower it through healthy lifestyle practices such as limiting sugary snacks and junk food consumption, eating a well-balanced diet without excess sodium intake, managing stress effectively and engaging in regular physical exercise.
Kidneys play an integral role in our bodies by filtering waste out, managing blood pressure and maintaining fluid balance. Comprised of hundreds of thousands of tiny structures called nephrons, kidneys play an essential part in keeping us alive and well.
Diabetes can damage these nephrons over time, eventually leading to kidney disease. This process is known as diabetic nephropathy and often takes years before any symptoms appear of kidney damage.
An active, healthy lifestyle is vital to lowering your risk of kidney disease if you are diabetic, including maintaining a nutritious diet, regular physical activity and keeping both blood sugar and blood pressure under control.
People living with diabetes frequently develop high blood pressure, which can damage kidney vessels and worsen diabetes and kidney disease. Left untreated, this could further progress and worsen both conditions.
High blood pressure is one of the primary causes of kidney disease, yet it can be managed effectively through diet and lifestyle modifications, along with proper control. Your physician may suggest medications such as ACE inhibitors or ARBs as ways of helping manage it more effectively.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends restricting sodium, decreasing red meat consumption, and prioritizing fresh vegetables when creating a kidney-friendly diet plan. If necessary, consult with a registered dietitian on creating one tailored specifically to you.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also key for warding off diabetes and high blood pressure, and also increasing your chances of kidney disease. Being overweight or obese increases both risks.
Walking, bicycling or swimming on a regular basis is crucial in order to prevent diabetes and kidney disease. According to the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations, 150 minutes of physical activity each week should be dedicated towards keeping those at risk healthy.
Change can be hard, but any effort and time spent working toward improving your health will reap great dividends in return. Simply stick with your new habits until they become part of your daily routine.
Some diseases, like sickle cell anemia, are inherited and it’s important to know if any gene variants exist within your family which could increase your risk for kidney disease.
People possess around 27,000 to 30,000 genes, each composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The order and sequence of these bases tell your body how to produce specific proteins.
DNA is organized into long strands known as chromosomes. A person typically possesses 46 of these, each containing 23 copies of one gene from both parents.
Genetic linkage allows researchers to discover which genes are responsible for certain traits or diseases by linking together genes on each chromosome to other parts of DNA in an efficient manner. This allows for easier research.
Humans carry approximately 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or variations in DNA sequence, that can be passed from person to person. SNPs occur when one of four major types of bases — A, T, G or C — changes from its normal position in DNA strand.
SNPs, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), are sometimes known as mutations as they result in changes to genes; however, in other studies such as one conducted on APOL1 kidney disease risk variants the authors discovered that some SNPs can both have beneficial and harmful effects on human bodies.
Future developments could see us using genetic information to devise risk scores for specific conditions, like kidney disease. Such scores would enable people and healthcare professionals alike to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of preventive strategies more easily.
Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for kidney disease. People who are obese tend to have conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure that put strain on the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys that filter waste out of your system. These conditions can damage those small vessels in turn compromising kidney health and ultimately leading to its disease progression.
Weightier bodies also force your kidneys to work harder at filtering out extra water and chemicals from your blood, increasing your risk for kidney disease by straining blood vessels further and leading to their rupture or damage.
To lower your risk of obesity and kidney disease, it is essential that you manage diabetes and blood pressure properly. For those who are overweight, make sure they exercise regularly while following a nutritious diet.
Reduce salt in your diet to help lower blood pressure. Many processed foods, like fast food and canned vegetables, contain an abundance of salt; thus cutting back is key for good health.
The American Dietetic Association advises limiting your daily sodium consumption to less than 2,000 milligrams – roughly equivalent to two teaspoons of salt.
An appropriate kidney diet must include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while being low in saturated fat and cholesterol content.
Holding to healthy body weight levels while managing blood pressure and sugar are proven ways to substantially lower your risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD), says Maruschak. Controlling these factors is integral in order to avoid developing this serious illness.
Your kidneys are fist-sized organs responsible for filtering out waste products, excess water and other impurities from your blood, controlling salt and potassium levels in your body and helping manage blood pressure. They also produce hormones which regulate red blood cell production.
An active lifestyle can lower your risk of kidney disease by controlling high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as managing any conditions which could be contributing to it.
If you have diabetes, ensure that your blood sugar is being properly managed without taking medications that could damage your kidneys. If you are overweight and unfit, get active to lose weight and become healthy again.
If your cholesterol levels are elevated, take steps to lower them through diet and medication as necessary. A blood cholesterol test is also useful in tracking progress and monitoring conditions.
As with anything, too much alcohol should be avoided to protect both your kidneys and heart from possible harm.
Your kidneys are an integral component of good health, so it is vital that they receive proper care. You can do this by eating healthily, exercising regularly and getting regular blood, urine and blood pressure tests to monitor their status.
Discuss with your physician ways you can lower the risk of kidney disease, including leading a healthy lifestyle and monitoring blood pressure and blood sugar.
Recent years have seen many seniors aged 65 or older being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), yet a recent study suggests this might not necessarily be due to any actual illness but instead caused by normal age-related slowdown of bodily function.