NCDs 365 DAY 235 – 241 KIDNEY CARE

Day 235 of 365: Kidney Health: watch blood pressure

Watch your blood pressure
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure has no symptoms, but it can increase your risk of kidney and heart problems.

You can get a simple, quick and painless blood pressure check free of charge at your GP surgery and many high street pharmacies.

If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, your GP can suggest lifestyle changes or, if necessary, prescribe medication to reduce your blood pressure.

An ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

Day 236 of 365: Kidney health:Eat a healthy diet

This can help to maintain an ideal body weight, reduce your blood pressure, prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease.

Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day. This includes the salt already in your foods. (around a teaspoon). To reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your salt intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients.

Day 237 of 365: Kidney health:Don’t smoke

Smoking damages your body’s blood vessels. This leads to slower blood flow throughout your body and to your kidneys.

Smoking also puts your kidneys at an increased risk for cancer. If you stop smoking, your risk will drop. However, it’ll take many years to return to the risk level of a person who’s never smoked.

Day 238 of 365: Kidney health:Be aware of the amount of OTC pills you take

If you regularly take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, you may be causing kidney damage. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and naproxen, can damage your kidneys if you take them regularly for chronic pain, headaches, or arthritis.

People with no kidney issues who take the medicine occasionally are likely in the clear. However, if you use these medicines daily, you could be risking your kidneys’ health. Talk with your doctor about kidney-safe treatments if you’re coping with pain.

Day 239 of 365: CKD and your lifestyle

Do I need to change what I drink?
-Water — You don’t need to drink more water unless you have kidney stones. Drink as much water as you normally do.
-Soda and other drinks — If you are told to limit phosphorus, choose light-colored soda (or pop), like lemon-lime, and homemade iced tea and lemonade. Dark-colored sodas, fruit punch, and some bottled and canned iced teas can have a lot of phosphorus.
-Juice — If you are told to limit potassium, drink apple, grape, or cranberry juice instead of orange juice.
-Alcohol — Drinking too much can damage the liver, heart, and brain and cause serious health problems.

Day 240 of 365: Managing Risk Factors for CKD

-Among people with diabetes and high blood pressure, blood sugar and blood pressure control have been shown to lower the risk of developing kidney disease.
-Several studies have shown the possibility for preventing or delaying the start of diabetic kidney disease by treating patients who have diabetes with blood pressure-lowering drugs. -In addition to lowering blood pressure, these medications reduce protein in the urine, a risk factor for developing kidney disease.
-Managing blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels is very important because these are all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
-Because having kidney disease increases the chances of also having heart disease and stroke, early detection and treatment of kidney disease is important for people with diabetes to help prevent or delay cardiovascular death and kidney failure.

Day 241 of 365 Managing CKD

-Once detected, kidney disease may be addressed through:

-Improved lifestyle changes (e.g. healthy eating)
-Meeting with a dietitian to make a kidney-healthy eating plan
-Proper use of medications (e.g. drugs to lower blood pressure)
-Avoiding conditions or exposures that can harm the kidneys or cause a sudden drop in kidney function (called acute kidney injury), such as:
Kidney infections
Over the counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen.

Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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