The kidneys are complex and amazing organs that perform many essential tasks to keep us healthy.
The main function of the kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from the blood. The kidneys also help control blood pressure, produce red blood cells and keep bones healthy.
Each is about the size of a fist and is located deep in the abdomen, below the rib cage.
The kidneys control the levels of many minerals and molecules in the bloodstream, including sodium and potassium, helping to control blood acidity. Every day the kidneys carefully control the salt and water in our body so that blood pressure remains balanced.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Our kidneys produce urine; remove waste and extra fluid from our blood; they control our body's chemical balance; help control blood pressure; they help keep bones healthy and help produce red blood cells.
PROTECT AND KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY
- Stay active. Physical activity helps you maintain an ideal body weight, lower blood pressure, and the risk of chronic kidney disease.
- Eat healthy. In addition to the positive impact on ideal body weight, healthy eating lowers blood pressure, prevents diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease. Reduce your salt intake and stick to 5-6 grams daily (about a teaspoon), not forgetting that this already includes the salt present in food. To reduce your salt intake, try to limit the amount of processed foods and don't add salt to foods. It will be easier to control your salt intake if you prepare meals with fresh ingredients.
- Check and control your blood sugar. About half of people who have diabetes are unaware that they have the disease. Therefore, it is important to check your blood sugar level regularly. Also, about half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage. Check kidney function periodically with blood and urine tests.
- Check and control your blood pressure. Hypertension can damage the kidneys, especially if there are other associated diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or cardiovascular disease. The risk can be reduced with good blood pressure control. The normal blood pressure level for an adult is 120/80mmHg. Hypertension is diagnosed if, when measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure reading on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure reading on both days is ≥90 mmHg.
- Drink liquids properly. The proper level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors, including exercise, climate, health condition, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Normally, approximately 2 litres per day should be drunk for a healthy person in a mild climate. Adjustment of fluid intake may be necessary in the presence of kidney, heart, or liver disease.
- Do not smoke. Smoking decreases blood flow to the kidneys. The less blood that reaches the kidneys, the less able it is to function. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%.
- Do not use over-the-counter medication. Some over-the-counter medications (eg ibuprofen), if taken systematically, can damage the kidneys.
- Check your kidney function regularly if you have one of these risk factors: diabetes; hypertension; obesity and family history of kidney disease.
11th March 2021
11, March 2021