Kidneys: Keys to Healthy Aging

All the time we hear about heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes to be the leading causes of death and other health problems. What we fail to realize is that kidney disease can be equally fatal and can lead to other chronic diseases as well.

How kidney disorders can lead to other chronic diseases? To answer this question it is important to understand the function of the kidneys. The major role of the kidney is to filter waste and toxins from the blood.

However, if the kidneys fail to perform this function effectively it results in poor health conditions and even death. In conditions like kidney failure the chemical balance of the body is disrupted because there is too much accumulation of waste and toxins in the blood. This results in diabetes and hypertension, which later leads to stroke and heart disease. The poor quality of blood also weakens the immune system and the risk of cancer and other diseases is increased.

Other functions of kidneys include production of enzymes called rennin that help regulate blood pressure. They help keep the bones strong by helping with the absorption of calcium. They are also responsible for the production of protein erythropoietin that controls the production of red blood cells.

Your Kidneys: Keys to Healthy Aging

So for healthy aging, maintaining kidney health is a must. There are some measures you can take that can help you promote kidney health. It is important to take note of the factors that can trigger kidney disease, they are obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.

How can Nutrients help Improve Kidney Health?

Kidney health is closely related with healthy eating habits. Poor diet and unhealthy eating habits can have a negative impact on our kidneys. Avoid consuming refined and processed foods, choose healthy options like fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods rich in antioxidants not only protect you against diseases like cancer but also promote kidney health.

Increasing your intake of potassium and limiting your consumption of alcohol can result in healthy kidneys. Also limit the intake of fats and high glycemic carbs found in pasta, sugar, white bread and sweets as these foods can cause inflammation. Quit smoking as it may also trigger kidney disease, also avoid secondhand smoke.

To promote kidney heath include nutrients like vitamin D3, anthocyanins (plant flavanoids found in blueberries, cranberries, eggplant, pomegranate and red wine), omega 3 fatty acids( found in fish) and resveratrol(found in red grapes).

You can also get these nutrients in the form of food supplements, other supplements that can promote kidney health are magnesium glycinate, GABA and melatonin.

However, it is suggested to consult your Nephrologist before taking any of these supplements.

Do not forget to keep yourself hydrated for efficient working of the kidneys. Adequate amount of water can also aid other biological functions.

Who is at a risk of developing kidney disease?

People with high blood pressure and diabetes are more at a risk of developing kidney disease. Heart disease can also contribute to the risk of kidney disease. Other factors that increase your chances of developing the disease are family history, age and ethnicity. Hispanics, Native Americans and African American are more at a risk of developing kidney disease.

Are there any tests for detecting Kidney disease?

There are no symptoms that can indicate kidney disease. Usually kidney disease gets diagnosed at the time when they nearly stop functioning. There are two types of tests that can be performed to detect kidney disease, one is through blood test also called GFR and the other is through urine test in which albumin is tested. Earlier detection would enable you to start your treatment at an early stage as a result your kidneys will live healthier and longer.

Can exercise support kidney health?

Studies reveal that taking aerobic exercise such as walk for at least 30 minutes can help prevent kidney disease. Taking regular exercise can also lower the triggers causing kidney disease such as blood pressure; it can prevent diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.

Observing health promoting activities not only help you to improve kidney health but also improve the quality of your life. So to optimize your kidney health, eat healthy foods, take regular exercise, drink adequate amount of water, quit smoking and stay away from stress.