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World Kidney Day: A Nephrologist Shares 9 Tips To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

On World Kidney Day, FIT spoke with a nephrologist to understand how we can take better care of our kidney health.

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Kidney diseases are a silent killer, says Dr Kunal Raj Gandhi, Consultant, Nephrology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.

Millions of people in India live with chronic kidney diseases and thousands pass away due to it every single year.

On 14 March, which is observed as World Kidney Day, Dr Gandhi gives us 6 basic tips everyone should follow to take better care of our kidney health.

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes, which can harm your kidneys.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. Activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling are excellent choices.

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2. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for kidney function as it helps flush out toxins and waste products from the body.

Drink at least 2-2.5 litres of water per day. Choose water as your primary source of hydration and limit sugary beverages.

3. Manage Blood Sugar Levels

It may seem unrelated, but uncontrolled blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on your kidneys over time.

If you have diabetes, it's crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and keep them within the target range recommended by your healthcare provider.

4. Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels in the kidneys. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and follow a low-sodium diet. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. Take prescribed medications to manage hypertension effectively.

According to the National Institute of Health, diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

5. Know Your Family History

A family history of kidney diseases can increase your susceptibility to similar conditions.

Discuss your family history with your healthcare provider and undergo regular screenings. Keep track of any changes in urinary habits and report them promptly.

6. Quit Smoking

Smoking narrows blood vessels, compromising blood flow to the kidneys. This impairs their ability to filter waste effectively, increasing the risk of kidney damage and disease.

The toxins in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate filtration system of the kidneys, leading to decreased efficiency in waste removal.

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7. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a diuretic, causing increased urine production and subsequent dehydration. Prolonged dehydration strains the kidneys and impairs their ability to regulate fluid balance.

Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease, impairing the liver's ability to metabolise toxins.

This puts additional stress on the kidneys.

8. Urinate Timely

Respond promptly to the body's urge to urinate to avoid strain on the kidneys and urinary tract. Holding in urine for extended periods increases pressure on the bladder and kidneys, potentially causing urinary retention, discomfort, and increasing the risk of bladder infections and urinary tract disorders.

9. Be Mindful of Painkiller Use

Frequent and excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can impair kidney function by reducing blood flow and interfering with the kidneys' ability to filter waste.

It's essential to use these medications as directed and seek medical advice if prolonged pain relief is necessary.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Kidney   World Kidney Day 

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