While kidney diseases can develop anytime and happen to anyone, those that are above the age of 60 are at a much higher risk of developing kidney disease. After all, as you age, your kidney ages as well. According to estimates by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, approximately more than 50% of people that are over the age of 75 have kidney disease. As such, it is of utmost importance that the elderly take the necessary steps to keep their kidneys in good shape. Read on to find out what are some of the steps that your loved ones can take to improve their kidney function.
Having a well-balanced diet doesn’t only need to better kidneys but is also essential in improving your overall health and preventing other age-related health conditions. A balanced diet will ensure that you get the essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy body function. Be sure to eat sufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, as well as healthy grains from sources like wholewheat pasta and bread. In addition, apart from consuming more healthy foods, you should also make a conscious effort to reduce the consumption of salty and fatty foods.
Apart from getting sufficient amounts of nutrients and minerals from food, you should also make sure that you are adequately hydrated. Having plenty of fluid helps your kidneys to function properly. A good indication of being sufficiently hydrated is having straw-colored urine. If the color is any darker than that, it may be a sign that you are dehydrated and should drink more water. This is especially true during hotter months, where more fluid is lost through sweating.
Avoiding Alcohol and Smoking
As best as possible, you should try to quit smoking as well as alcohol intake. Otherwise, you should at least try to cut down and limit the amount that you smoke and drink. By drinking too much alcohol or inhaling too much smoke, your blood pressure is likely to be higher, which is one of the main causes of kidney diseases.
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
If you are not already doing so, you should have your blood pressure levels checked regularly. This is because high blood pressure carries no symptoms but can greatly increase the risk of developing kidney diseases, especially so in the elderly.
One thing in common amongst all of the measures mentioned previously is that it helps you to keep your weight in check. Being too heavy is linked to rising blood pressure levels, which is harmful to kidneys. One way to identify whether you are in a healthy weight range is by measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI) levels. To keep yourself at a healthy weight, you can consider keeping active by aiming for at least 150 minutes of exercise at moderate levels every week.