This week is Kidney Health Week.
Our kidneys are essential in filtering our blood to remove wastes and to produce urine. Without removing these, our blood would become toxic and be extremely dangerous to our health. When our kidneys are working well, they help to control our blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep our bones strong and healthy.
Risk factors for poor kidney health:
- Age: adults over 60 years old are at higher risk of developing kidney disease.
- Having other health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or previously experiencing a stroke.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Family history of kidney issues.
- Personal history of smoking.
- Of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.
So how do we keep our kidneys healthy?
- Maintain a healthy body weight: your diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and some lean meats (such as fish or chicken). Limit the amount of food which contains high amounts of fat (especially saturated fats), salt and sugar in your diet.
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s as simple as getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier to walk more. Exercise helps to maintain weight, reduces the risk of many diseases (including kidney disease) and can improve your mental health. 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week is plenty to maintain health.
- Drink plenty of water: aim to drink around 6 glasses per day.
- Limit smoking, alcohol intake and soft drink.
- Have fun! Stay happy and healthy mentally by taking time to do things you enjoy, to boost your mood and reduce stress.
How can we check if they are healthy?
- If you have any or multiple risk factors, see your GP for advice.
- Stay on the lookout for symptoms of poor kidney function such as high blood pressure, frequently urinating, blood in your urine, pain around your kidneys (commonly back pain), headaches and more.
- If you notice any symptoms, visit your GP so they can assess you kidney health.
Find more of our health tips here.
Book an appointment with here or call us on 9651 5559.
Kidney Health Australia. 2017. Fact sheet: All about chronic kidney disease (CKD). https://kidney.org.au/resources/factsheets-and-photosheets/all-about-chronic-kidney-disease-factsheet
Kidney Health Australia. 2017. Fact sheet: How to look after your kidneys. https://kidney.org.au/resources/healthy-kidneys-resource-library