Renal failure, or kidney failure, is a serious condition where the kidneys can no longer function properly, meaning that they are unable to remove waste or toxins from the bloodstream. Although you could be more at risk for developing kidney disease with certain conditions, there are a myriad of ways to keep your kidneys healthy and prevent renal failure.
There are two kinds of renal failure: acute renal failure and chronic kidney failure. Acute renal failure can occur very quickly, while chronic kidney failure happens over a long period of time. Renal failure is most often caused by other underlying conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, or autoimmune diseases.
Preventing Renal Failure
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
The first step for preventing renal failure is to visit your doctor, especially if you have risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure. During your medical visit, you may want to ask your healthcare provider about kidney health, and request tests like a urine or blood test to check for kidney disease. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can start treating your kidneys to prevent further damage. Visit your healthcare provider right away if you develop a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can cause kidney damage if left untreated.
Exercising regularly provides you with numerous health benefits, as you can reduce stress and prevent obesity. Obesity drastically increases your risk of diabetes and hypertension, which are the two leading causes of renal failure. It is important to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercising can look like anything from walking or running to playing a sport or weight lifting.
The third step to preventing renal failure is to avoid certain medications that can cause renal failure. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can cause damage to your kidneys over time, so it is crucial to ask your doctor about which medications are best for you. Also, don’t forget to tell your healthcare provider about any other prescriptions or supplements that you take so they can prescribe medications that will not have adverse interactions with your current medications.
Avoid Excessive Drinking
The fourth step is to avoid drinking alcohol excessively because large quantities of alcohol can harm the kidneys. It is best to limit yourself to one or two drinks per day. You should also never drink on an empty stomach or when you are dehydrated. If you do drink, try drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink that you have.
Following a proper diet will ensure that your body gets the right nutrients for your heart and entire body, with foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Eating healthy allows you to lower your blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. You should also avoid certain foods that can lead to renal failure, such as types of fish with high mercury content like shark, swordfish, mackerel and tuna.
The sixth step is to quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke as both can harm the kidneys. Quitting smoking will significantly decrease your risk of developing renal failure by slowing the progression of kidney failure. Not smoking anymore will also decrease your chances of developing kidney cancer and reduce your risk for various types of neuropathy.
Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
Try to sleep for seven to eight hours each night, as kidney function is regulated by your sleep-wake cycle. Individuals who sleep less actually experience a faster kidney decline, likely due to hormones in your body such as melatonin.
Contact Summit Medical Clinic
To prevent renal failure, it is critical to consistently monitor your kidney health. At Summit Medical Clinic, we provide consultations and ongoing care for the prevention and treatment of both acute and chronic kidney failure. If you or a loved one is concerned for their kidney health or would like to learn more, contact us today.