37 million people in the US alone suffer from chronic kidney disease.While genetic factors certainly play a major role in this, there are plenty of steps we can all take to reduce its likelihood. If you have a history of kidney disease in your family, it’s a good idea to get your kidney health checked by a doctor to find out where you stand. If you’re looking to be proactive about your kidney health, take a closer look at these areas.
There’s a reason why this is part of every health and wellness article ever written. Your body requires water to transport nutrients and filter out waste. That being said, it is possible to drink too much water, especially if you already have severe kidney issues such as kidney failure. Aim for 8-13 cups a day and listen to your body. The color of your urine is also a good way to determine if your water intake is where it should be. Your urine should be light yellow, never dark or brownish.
Don’t Smoke or Vape
If you need yet another reason to avoid these two horrible habits, here it is. Smoking damages your body's blood vessels, leading to slower blood flow to your kidneys and reduced kidney function. It also puts you at increased risk for kidney cancer.
Go Easy on Over-the-Counter Meds
While occasional use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation is fine, making a habit of taking these over-the counter pills can do a number on your kidneys. Talk to your doctor if you feel you need these for pain relief on a regular basis.
Alcohol reduces the ability of the kidneys to filter blood and balance electrolytes and fluids, disrupting the body’s natural processes. Regular alcohol use can also lead to high blood pressure, which often leads to kidney disease.
While kidney disease may seem disturbingly prevalent, the good news is that many of the steps you can take to avoid it are already part of living a healthy life. Keep these four principles in mind, and you’ll not only reduce your likelihood of developing kidney disease, but also steer clear of many other chronic conditions.