World Kidney Day 2022: Here’s how you can protect your kidneys from being damaged

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Photo source: Fripik

World Kidney Day 2022 is being celebrated on 10 March

Highlights

  • World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys.
  • Kidney is an essential part of the body that filters blood and helps to excrete wastes like urine.
  • Drinking water and exercising regularly are essential for good kidney health

The kidneys are two organs located in the lower back, one on each side of the spine. They are about the size of a clenched fist. The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney and contains a special structure called the glomerulus, through which blood circulates. One kidney contains about one million nephrons. Kidneys have many functions that are vital for your well-being. Their main functions and a description of each are listed below.

Kidney functions

Remove excess water: The kidneys filter excess water, which the body does not need, in the form of urine. This water comes from the liquid that you drink and the food you eat. The kidneys have the ability to condense or thin your urine according to your body’s needs. As they produce urine, it is sent to the bladder through a tube called the ureter. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Waste product removal: Examples of urea and creatinine waste products that are found in everyone. Forms urea and creatinine because the body breaks down food into energy and performs its regular bodily functions. Harmful if waste products are not removed by the kidneys. A build up of these toxins in the body can be fatal due to kidney failure.

Recover Necessary Chemicals: The kidneys work to balance the body’s chemicals (electrolytes and minerals). Two examples of electrolytes are sodium and potassium. An example of a mineral would be calcium. The kidneys store the necessary chemicals in the body and maintain a proper balance as excess chemicals enter the urine.

Blood pressure control: The kidneys help the body maintain normal blood pressure by controlling the excretion of sodium and water. The kidneys also make a special hormone called renin which helps in controlling blood pressure.

Helps in the production of red blood cells: – Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin. This hormone helps the bone marrow to make red blood cells.

Help maintain a balance of calcium and vitamins: The kidneys maintain a balance of calcium, phosphate and vitamin D in the body. These three bones play a major role in the formation and formation of bones.

Advice for having healthy kidneys

1. Regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic kidney disease. It can also reduce high blood pressure while improving heart health, both of which are important for preventing kidney damage. One does not have to run a marathon to win the prize of exercise. Walking, running, cycling, even dancing are great for one’s health.

2. Diabetes mellitus: It is rapidly becoming the most common cause of chronic kidney failure in India and around the world. Over the years, diabetes causes changes in the blood vessels in the kidneys (and throughout the body). Thickening and hardening of the kidney arteries, glomeruli and tubules causes kidney failure. However, if one can control their blood sugar, the risk of harm can be reduced. Also, if the damage is detected early, the doctor can take steps to reduce the damage further. A simple blood test (serum creatinine) and a urine test (for protein) will determine if your kidneys are working normally.

3. High blood pressure can cause kidney damage. The health effects can be significant if high blood pressure is accompanied by other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol. A healthy blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg. Lifestyle and dietary changes can help lower one’s blood pressure. If blood pressure readings are consistently high, high blood pressure is diagnosed. Therefore, it is advisable for such people to consult a doctor about regular blood pressure monitoring when making changes in their daily life.

4. Obese people are at risk of multiple health complications that are harmful to the kidneys. These include diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of kidney damage. Concentrating on eating fresh ingredients (which are naturally low-sodium, such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and more) instead of reducing canned foods and carbohydrate intake can go a long way in reducing or preventing the occurrence of these diseases. .

5. There is no miracle behind the golden advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, but it is an ideal routine because it encourages you to stay hydrated. This is especially true for tropical climates, its hot summers and those who work under the sun. One should aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day. Climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding is important to consider when planning your daily water intake. People who have had kidney stones before should drink at least 3 liters of water a day to prevent future stone deposits.

6. Smoking damages the blood vessels of the body. This leads to slower blood flow throughout the body and also in your kidneys. Smoking also increases your risk of kidney cancer. If you quit smoking, your risk will be reduced. However, it may take some time for a person who has never smoked to return to a level of risk.

(Author Dr. Arvind Konjivaram, Senior Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, Bangalore, Sagar & Trustwell Hospital, Bangalore)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)

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