According to National Kidney and Transplant Institute, kidney diseases are already the 7th leading cause of death among the Filipinos. One Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million population per year.
Unlike many diseases, kidney disease has no symptoms until it is in its late stage. Treating this disease is expensive which not all people could afford. Even if you could, kidney organ donors in our country are scarce. That is why prevention is still best at this present times. Get tested. Don’t wait to get sick before you decide to live healthy. This National Kidney Month, learn the 5 ways to keep your kidneys healthy and reduce the risk of developing kidney disease:
1. Water intake. Water is inexpensive and sometimes even free, and it’s calorie-free. It keeps you hydrated, normalizes the function of your organs and flushes out the toxins in your body. Although water intake depends on the built and activity level of each person as well as geographical location and temperature, clinical studies show that an average of 11-15 glasses or 3 liters of water intake per day is advised.
2. Diet. It can be hard to change your eating habits but choosing your food intake will definitely improve your health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and high-fiber food. Avoid salty food because it retains water thus preventing our kidneys from filtering food. The excess water in your body also increases blood pressure which may lead to heart or kidney disease. Simple as it may seem but it’s deadly.
You should also watch out for sodium content from the food you eat. Sodium is a mineral which is naturally found in food or added during manufacturing. The allowable sodium consumption for each person, per day, is 575 mg or around a teaspoon. To stay away from this, you must avoid eating processed or preserved food or putting too much salt in your home-cooked meals. When buying food from the grocery, always check the label.
3. Control Your Weight. Staying in your ideal weight lowers the risk of certain illnesses like heart, diabetes, cancer and kidney disease. Excess weight keeps you from having an active lifestyle and losing weight can be difficult for many. Sometimes, you feel that you have done everything but still not getting any results. Maybe you are not doing the right thing.
If you are obese and want to lose weight, eat a high-protein breakfast, avoid sweets, carbs and processed food, drink water 30 minutes before meals, drink coffee or tea, eat fruits, exercise and have a good night sleep, every night.
4. Avoid pain reliever. Taking over-the-counter medicine for simple body aches could do more harm than good. If you are experiencing joint or muscle pains, just use creams instead of tablets. Being too dependent on pain relievers can be fatal for prolonged use. Kidneys are the primary target for improper use of painkillers. So, better check with your doctor first and do not self-medicate.
5. Do not smoke. Are you familiar with the line, “Smoking is dangerous to your health”? We see this on tv and print ads, probably hear it over the radio or even read it on cigarette packaging. Smoking increases your blood pressure and slows down the flow of blood in your body which may affect your kidneys. So if you don’t smoke, you also lower your risk of death from lung cancer and other diseases.
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