According to the National Kidney Foundation there are 122,403 people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S. as of October 2015. Of this, 101, 189 are for kidney transplants. In 2014, the number of kidney transplants that occurred was 17, 105. The numbers are alarming and should be a sign of caution for people who are concerned about their health.
The main function of both kidneys in each person is to filter blood to remove toxins which creates urine. When the kidneys become damaged they lose the ability to filter blood properly which puts the body at risk. One of the main causes of kidney damage is high blood pressure (HBP). HBP causes damage overtime to arteries and blood vessels. Since a high volume of blood is moved through the kidneys, damage to the blood vessels reduces the ability of the organ to do it’s job.
Here are five ways you can promote kidney health:
- Eat a healthy diet. When you eat a balance diet with a large portions of plant-based ingredients, your bodily system stays in balance. This means the your vitals such as blood pressure are within acceptable limits, reducing the risk of HBP and kidney damage.
- Limit sodium intake. Too much sodium each day can raise blood pressure levels. Most health organizations recommend no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day, or less than 2,300 mg. High levels of sodium can be found in a variety of common processed foods such as bread, condiments, restaurant food, and processed snacks (even sweet ones).
- Exercise. Regular exercise can keep your body functioning well and reduce overweight or obese weight conditions. Exercise can also strengthen your heart and keep blood flowing properly.
- Limit over-the-counter medications. Some pills for pain alleviation are noted for potentially causing kidney damage. Avoid using them regular unless specified by your doctor.
- Stay hydrated. The body works best when it is well hydrated. Drink lots of water and make it your beverage of choice daily. Some people drink a liter of water each morning to stay hydrated.
There are many other lifestyle choices which can impact kidney health. However, focusing on general wellness will give your kidneys the best chance for optimum health and keep all of your organs in great shape.