Natural aging has an effect on many of our vital organs, and this includes our kidneys. While we might not spend too much time thinking about our kidneys, they are essential for filtering waste and extra water out of the blood. If your kidneys are not fully healthy, you can be vulnerable to a number of serious health problems. That’s why in honor of March being National Kidney Month, we at Abraham Family Medicine are here to explain the importance of maintaining good kidney health.
Kidneys do a great deal to keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly. Most notably, the kidneys are primarily responsible for regulating fluid levels and filtering toxins out of the blood. But in addition to this, the kidneys help activate vitamin D in the body to promote healthy bones and also keep the minerals in our blood in balance. Lastly, our kidneys play a large role in the production of red blood cells.
Aging alone can affect the kidneys, but kidney disease is most often the result of diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. Although other, less common diseases including hepatitis can also have negative effects on the kidneys. Kidney disease can lead to nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, diminished bone health, and other serious conditions. If left untreated, advanced kidney disease can even lead to kidney failure, which requires a patient begin dialysis treatment or undergo a kidney transplant.
No different than other areas of the body, the earlier a kidney issue is detected, the better chance a patient has to successfully treat it. The fact that early kidney disease can often occur without a patient noticing any symptoms makes it especially important to have regular check-ups and diagnostic exams at Abraham Family Medicine. Depending on a patient’s specific condition, treatment may involve simple changes to your diet or medications that help address high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for kidney disease.
Even if you don’t have issues with your kidneys, there is plenty you can do to promote good kidney health and prevent potential problems before they occur. We recommend getting regular exercise, staying hydrated and going easy on processed foods. For more information on kidney health or to schedule an appointment with us, please contact Abraham Family Medicine today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more health tips and updates.