Q:

How do you keep your kidneys healthy?

A:

Quick Answer

To maintain kidney health, the National Kidney Disease Education Program recommends avoiding sodium and saturated fat, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising frequently, and maintaining a healthy weight. Diabetics should be careful to avoid excess sugars and people should keep blood pressure levels below 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury.

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Full Answer

People should also limit alcohol consumption, control cholesterol levels and quit smoking entirely. Many of the steps recommended to improve kidney health also help to lower a person's risk of developing several additional chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. NKDEP explains that the kidneys can benefit from the use of some prescription blood pressure medications, such as angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. It is important to have blood work and urine testing done to test for kidney disease because the disease is capable of developing and progressing without symptoms. Blood testing measures compounds that indicate the kidneys' filtration strength and can detect early kidney failure. Unhealthy kidneys may also produce a protein called albumin, which can be detected through routine urine testing. NDKEP urges people who have a family history of kidney disease or who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease to discuss kidney testing with their doctor.

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