Last week was World Kidney Day!
And in fact, the whole month of March is kidney month – so there’s no excuse to brush up on some key kidney facts to make sure you’re as healthy as you can be.
It’s important to sometimes slow down and make sure our bodies are doing well – and so take advantage of this kidney day to show some love to these important pair of organs!
So first thing’s first – check out this info graphic from the American Kidney Fund on 5 quick facts about our kidneys.
One of the things that really stand out is how more often than not- there are no symptoms of kidney problems until the damage is done!
So what can we do to check in on our kidneys? The National Kidney Foundation has these 5 handy steps!
- Get Tested! Ask your doctor for an ACR urine test or a GFR blood test annually if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, are over age 60, or have a family history of kidney failure. Get screened for free through the National Kidney Foundation’s KEEP Healthy program by visiting www.kidney.org/KEEPHealthy.
- Reduce NSAIDs. Over the counter pain medicines, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), may alleviate your aches and pains, but they can harm the kidneys, especially if you already have kidney disease. Reduce your regular use of NSAIDs and never go over the recommended dosage.
- Cut the Processed Foods. Processed foods can be significant sources of sodium, nitrates and phosphates, and have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease. Avoid them as much as you can!
- Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise will keep the bones, muscles, blood vessels, heart and of course kidneys healthy. Getting active for at least 30 minutes a day can also help you control blood pressure and lower blood sugar, which is key to kidney health.
- Control Blood Pressure and Diabetes. High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease and kidney failure. Managing high blood pressure and control of blood sugar levels can slow the progression of kidney disease.
And lastly – one more list for you! In honor of National Kidney month – and especially for World Kidney Day today – the National Kidney Foundation is offering the following activities to promote kidney health and awareness:
Free Screenings: On World Kidney Day and throughout the Month of March, the NKF is offering free screenings to those most at risk for kidney disease – anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure. Locations and information can be found here.
‘Are You at Risk’ Kidney Quiz: Early detection can make a huge difference in preventing kidney disease so it’s important to know if you’re at risk. Take the online kidney quiz!
Live Twitter Chat with Dr. Joseph Vassalotti: The National Kidney Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, will be hosting an interactive kidney Q&A on Thursday, March 14, from 12-2 pm ET. Ask your questions at www.twitter.com/nkf using the hash-tag #WorldKidneyDayNKF