Fight Kidney Disease With Lifestyle Changes
By Brandi Goodman
Kidney disease affects more than 31 million people in the U.S. It is the ninth leading cause of death. With National National Kidney Month in March, now is as good a time as any to start looking at how to make a difference. Lifestyle changes are necessary for anyone hoping to fight the disease and make a difference in the efficiency of their kidneys.
Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
People with diabetes have a likely chance of developing kidney disease. Forty-four percent of new kidney failure cases are caused by diabetes. For this reason, it is imperative that you work toward reducing your risk of diabetes first. Start by eating more fruits and vegetables. Foods high in fiber are an excellent choice. Fresh options are better than canned. Drinking more water and getting plenty of exercise will also help combat both diseases.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
The second-highest risk factor for kidney failure is high blood pressure. While diabetes can cause this symptom, many other things can as well. Working to lower your blood pressure in general can be a huge help in fighting for healthier kidneys. Getting enough exercise is a great solution. Go for a walk. Swim. Dance. Any activity that gets you up and moving will help to relieve stress, release endorphins, and lower blood pressure. It is also wise to cut back on caffeine and avoid drinking alcohol, as these can raise blood pressure significantly.
Cigarette smoke greatly increases the risk for kidney cancer. It also causes damage to the overall cardiovascular system. This reduces blood flow to the kidneys and prevents them operating to their full abilities. Over time, it will cause significant damage to the kidneys and other systems of the body. Stopping smoking is one of your best chances at fighting kidney disease and keeping your organs functioning at optimal levels.
Avoid Sugar and Sodium
Sugar and sodium cause some of the most significant damage to the kidneys. People who consume foods filled with these ingredients are much more likely to develop kidney disease at some point in their lives. Skip the sugar and sodium in your diet and replace it with healthy alternatives. Use other seasonings to add taste to foods or flavor healthy desserts with honey or organic maple syrup instead of pure sugar. Drinking lots of water to flush out the kidneys and eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is also necessary.
National Kidney Month allows you to get some perspective on just how serious this disease can be. With millions affected, ways to combat it should be on everyone's mind. Make lifestyle changes gradually that will make a huge impact over time on your kidneys and the rest of your body.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.