Your kidneys are essential to your body because they regulate water, produce hormones, remove waste products and assist in balancing the body’s minerals. High blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure can increase the risk of kidney disease. Even if you do not have any of those risk factors, it is still very important to take care of these organs.
There are a few things you can do to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible at every stage of life:
Eat healthy foods – Most kidney issues are developed through other medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Developing healthy eating habits to maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure will help keep your kidneys in optimal condition.
Regularly Exercise – Exercising on a regular basis can also help control your weight and blood pressure, two important factors in preventing kidney disease.
Quit smoking – When the kidneys do not have regular blood flow, they cannot function properly. Smoking decrease blood flow in the kidneys by damaging blood vessels, and increases the risk of high blood pressure and kidney cancer.
Be cautious with supplements and over-the-counter medications – Ibuprofen and naproxen are common non-prescription painkillers that can cause kidney damage if taken regularly over a long period. Taking disproportionate amounts of specific vitamins and herbal remedies can also be harmful to your kidneys.
If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, consult with your nephrologist to get regular kidney function screenings.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
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