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    Proactive Strategies for Maintaining Kidney Health

    The recommendation to quit smoking cannot be overstated, as smoking not only damages the kidneys directly but also exacerbates conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which are detrimental to kidney health

    Our kidneys play a pivotal role in filtering waste and maintaining fluid balance in the body. However, kidney health is often overlooked until complications arise. This is why, understanding the importance of dietary choices and lifestyle habits can significantly impact kidney health and overall well-being.

    Importance of diet for kidney patients

    Diet plays a crucial role in managing kidney health, especially for individuals with existing kidney conditions. According to Dr Partha Karmakar, consultant and coordinator, nephrology and dialysis unit at Narayana Hospital, Howrah, a balanced diet low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium, while high in quality protein, is essential for kidney patients to maintain optimal function and slow disease progression.

    Incorporating foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support kidney health.

    Hydration

    Avoid Over-the-Counter medications

    Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can pose risks to kidney health, particularly when used indiscriminately. “Opt for safer alternatives like paracetamol or crocin for pain relief, and always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication. Avoiding OTC medications, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help prevent kidney damage and preserve kidney function over time,” Dr Aggarwal added.

    Regular kidney function tests, especially for high-risk individuals such as those with diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, are essential for early detection and intervention (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)Manage diabetes

    Diabetes remains a significant risk factor for kidney disease, highlighting the importance of diabetes management in kidney health. Dr Sudeep Singh Sachdev, director and senior consultant, nephrology, Narayana Hospital Gurugram said, “Controlling blood sugar levels through medication, diet, and exercise is paramount in preventing kidney complications associated with diabetes.”

    Monitoring blood sugar regularly and adhering to a diabetic-friendly diet can significantly reduce the risk of kidney disease progression”.

    Dr Singh Sachdev said that comprehensive guidelines for maintaining kidney health emphasise on the minimal use of painkillers, particularly avoiding certain types that can exacerbate kidney issues.

    “An active lifestyle with regular moderate exercise not only benefits overall health but also promotes kidney function by improving circulation and reducing the risk of conditions like hypertension and diabetes, which are major contributors to kidney disease,” said Dr Singh Sachdev.

    Additionally, monitoring blood pressure and maintaining it within the normal range is paramount, as elevated blood pressure can directly impact kidney function.

    Regular kidney function tests, especially for high-risk individuals such as those with diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, are essential for early detection and intervention. “Any indication of protein in the urine warrants immediate attention from a nephrologist to prevent further kidney damage,” said Dr Singh Sachdev.
    Also Read | Is it necessary to quit chai on your fat loss journey?

    The recommendation to quit smoking cannot be overstated, as smoking not only damages the kidneys directly but also exacerbates conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which are detrimental to kidney health. “Maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet, including reducing sodium intake and avoiding saturated fats, along with controlling blood sugar levels, is pivotal. Hydration, achieved through adequate water intake, plays a fundamental role in kidney function by aiding in the elimination of toxins,” Dr Karmakar added.

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