Do you know this?:
Pakistan ranks eighth in prevalence of kidney diseases worldwide. 20, 000 Pakistanis die every year due to kidney diseases.
This means almost 55 Pakistanis die every day (on average) due to kidney diseases.
This could be you or your loved one (if at risk).
Causes of kidney diseases include low water intake, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, kidney stones, excessive use of medicine, consuming junk and low quality of food as well as self medication.
Everyone deserves to have the healthiest kidneys. Kidneys are the filters that work for you their whole life without ever retiring! And like any employee, they also need care, attention and investment to be healthy and their best selves, don’t they?
That’s why, let’s explore how you can help your kidneys to stay healthy and perform their best. So you never have to say goodbye to them or disturb your relationship with them.
Before we talk about ways to keep your kidneys healthy, let’s pause for just a second. If you or your loved is struggling with kidney pain or stones and don’t want to miss on living the healthiest life, then you’ll probably find great help in talking directly to a nephrologist (kidney specialist). You can get help by booking an online video consultation or appointment with the best cardiologist in your city at Marham.
1. Exercise, stay active
Being physically active reduces your blood pressure and hence risk of chronic kidney diseases. You don’t have to the gym every single day, or you don’t have to do 1 hour of workout if you are just starting out.
Start with small, doable. Just exercise for 2-5 mins daily when starting out and you can increase when your exercise skills have the difficulty level of 2-5 mins. You can keep track of your exercise habits and remind yourself using habit trackers from app store e.g. HabitBull, Loop, Habitify etc.
If you like analog systems, you can use Bullet Journal habit tracker. Just Google out the tutorial!
Don’t have time to go to gym, start exercising at home. Use apps like 30 Days Fitness Challenge, Home Workout, Nike Training Club App etc. which guide you through exercises, track your progress.
Exercise increases the rate of blood that’s filtered through the kidneys. It also helps muscle function, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, keeping a healthy body weight, and improving sleep.
If you are a heart patient, and don’t exercise but want to, but you are afraid of putting strain on your heart. You should talk to your doctor in that case, and ask advice on starting and amount of exercise. You can also have a video consultation or appointment with the best cardiologists in your city at Marham.
2. Stay hydrated, the timeless golden rule
It’s great for your kidneys if you stay hydrated throughout the day. But drinking too much water, isn’t healthy though rarely people over-hydrate, they mostly under-hydrate.
Research shows staying that hydrated reduces the risk for kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Water helps the kidneys to remove wastes from the blood in the form of urine, it also helps blood vessels to stay open so that blood can travel freely to kidneys, and deliver essential nutrients to them.
Color of urine can indicate if you’re hydrated or not. If it’s deep yellow-colored, then you need to drink water. If it’s pale yellow or transparent (white) then it means you’re hydrate.
Do you struggle with staying hydrated?
Keep a water bottle with you. It serves as a visual reminder as well as helps you keep water just a few inches – this way, it takes less activation energy to drink in contrast to getting up and fetching a glass of water.
Also, you can use apps like Water Drink Reminder, Hydro Coach, Daily Water etc. to remind you to drink water. Such apps also help you keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly hydration progress and reports.
3. Be careful with medication
Next time you have pain somewhere in body, talk to your doctor instead of taking that Panadol. You can have video consultation and appointment with best general physicians in your city.
Take medication as the doctor recommends, or as instructions read. Be careful about medicines that can cause kidney damage if used in long term including painkillers. Self medication is one of the main reasons of kidney diseases in Pakistan.
If you are taking certain medicines for chronic pain or arthritis, talk to your doctor about better ways to manage the pain and monitoring your kidney health.
4. Eat healthy
Most kidney diseases are caused by high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (diseases of blood and heart). Eat healthy because it’ll help in maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Prevention against diabetes and high blood pressure would keep the kidneys in healthy condition.
Reduce your salt intake to 5-6 grams daily (around a teaspoon). Let go of junk and low-quality or at least reduce their consumption.
Don’t have a healthy meal plan or don’t know where to start? Find the best nutritionist in your city who would guide you through eating healthy and planning healthy meals for whole weeks.
5. Quit smoking, let it go
Smoking slows down the blood flow in blood vessels which in effect decreases the flow of blood in kidneys. When kidneys don’t get enough blood flow, they can’t function at optimal levels.
Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer (by 50%) and high blood pressure (which also damages kidneys).
So if you smoke, this is the time to let go. Try to talk to a doctor to plan how you would quit. You have to create a system that replaces your old smoking habits, and help you cope with or manage triggers.
To summarize, drink plenty of water, always take healthy and full-of-nutrients diet, exercise regularly, monitor blood pressure and sugar levels (if you are struggling with these), don’t consume tobacco in any form.
Also, avoid excessive salts, sweets, junk food, beverages, and self-medication especially painkillers and antibiotics. Always, talk to the doctor if you are having a medical problem. Don’t ignore pain in kidneys, prostrates, problems in urine and bladder.
If you or your loved one has high blood pressure, kidney pain or stones , it’s best to talk to a cardiologist who can help you create a plan to stay healthy as well treat for pain and stones. Book your video consultation or appointment with a nephrologist at Marham, a nephrologist who would listen to you unconditionally and prioritizes you and your kidney problems.
So, write down your plan where you would exercise, for how many minutes, days and which app you would use.
According to research, people who write the plan down are 2 or 3 times more likely to follow if they write “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE]”.
Start small. Start today.
How many minutes, you would start with? Decide today.
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