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Taking Steps to Prevent Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is when your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood properly. It can develop at any time, but is more common in those over the age of 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38% of adults 65 or older are affected by kidney disease.

What Causes Kidney Disease?

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of Kidney Disease. If you have either condition, talk to your doctor about managing your blood sugar and blood pressure in order to prevent developing kidney disease. 

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of kidney disease are difficult to detect in the early stages. Seeing your doctor for an annual physical is one of the best ways to identify the condition. More advanced kidney disease symptoms may include vomiting, urinating more often than normal, swelling of the ankles, feeling tired or short of breath all the time, sleeping poorly, or not feeling like eating.  

Preventing Kidney Disease

Your best defense against diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease is a healthy lifestyle The basic components of a healthy lifestyle include;   

  • Eat healthy

Build a healthy diet around fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, protein (from tofu, beans, and quinoa, etc.), and whole grains. 

  • Stay active

Just thirty minutes a day of physical activity can make a big difference to your overall health and well-being. It’s a good idea to match your activity to your needs and abilities, and always talk to your doctor before starting an activity program. 

  • Reduce stress

Developing healthy ways to handle stress can improve your health. Physical activity, relaxation exercises, or meditation are examples of healthy ways to react to stress. 

  • Reduce alcohol

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that people over age 65 have no more than seven drinks a week and no more than three drinks on any one day. Depending on your health status or medications you take, you may need to drink less, or not at all. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

  • Don’t smoke

It’s never too late to stop smoking. Quitting at any age will improve your health. As soon as you stop smoking your body begins to recover.

  • Have an annual physical

Seeing your doctor each year for an annual physical makes it easier for your doctor to spot problems early, when they are easier to treat. Your doctor can also recommend screening tests you may need to prevent future medical problems. 

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