Kidney Health and 3 Top Tips

Patient checking kidney health

“We need ACTION! Waiting for symptoms to appear is too late – you can lose 90% of kidney function without experiencing any symptoms.”

These are just some of the points that Kidney Action Week 2024 is aiming to raise this month.

From 11 to 17 May, Kidney Action Week highlights the importance of not only taking care of your kidneys through healthy choices, but also being proactive.

For example, you can take the Kidney Risk Test online now.

But that’s just the beginning.

The experts Well on Bay are doing their part for this important health topic that affects us all

At Well on Bay, we believe that knowledge is part of taking control of your health.

Kidney health is a major component of overall wellbeing, yet it often goes overlooked until problems arise – something highlighted by Kidney Action Week too.

Prevention is better than cure

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure,” and this rings especially true when it comes to kidney health.

Many kidney conditions progress silently, with symptoms only manifesting in the later stages of disease.

By the time symptoms appear, significant damage may have already occurred, making treatment more challenging and less effective, so taking proactive steps to protect your kidneys is crucial.

What kidneys are and how they work

Your kidneys are vital organs responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluid from the blood to produce urine.

They also help regulate electrolyte balance, blood pressure and red blood cell production, so a pretty important job!

Kidneys accomplish this through a complex process of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion in tiny structures called nephrons.

Without properly functioning kidneys, toxins would accumulate in the body, leading to serious health complications such as kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances, and hypertension.

Healthy kidneys are essential, however, achieving this can be tough.

Here are three top tips from the experts at Well on Bay to help you safeguard your kidney health

Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration is the basic necessity for kidney function. Water helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, keeping your kidneys functioning as they should.

Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, or more if you’re exercising (which you should be doing regularly), or in hot weather.

While it’s true that excessive water intake can put strain on the kidneys, most people do not drink enough water to maintain optimal kidney function.

Remember, listening to your body is key – drink when you’re thirsty and ensure your urine remains a pale yellow or straw/hay colour.

In some cases, dark yellow or orange-coloured urine may be a sign of liver or gallbladder issues, particularly if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain.

If you’re concerned, get in touch with us. These issues can have the tendency to hide symptoms until the late stages.

Live a Healthy Life

A balanced diet and regular exercise play significant roles in kidney health. Limiting your intake of sodium, processed foods and sugary drinks and alcohol can help reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, hypertension, and other kidney-related conditions.

Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can help protect against kidney damage by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Be mindful of your protein intake too, as consuming excessive amounts of protein can strain the kidneys over time.

Here are five foods and drinks that are generally considered to be some of the worst for kidney health:

  • Processed Foods: Sodium, additives and preservatives can put strain on the kidneys as they work to filter out these substances.
  • Sugary Drinks: High sugar content can contribute to weight gain and diabetes, both of which increase the risk of kidney disease.
  • Red Meat: Eating too much red meat, especially processed varieties, can increase the risk of kidney disease due to its high protein and fat content.
  • Caffeine: Excessive consumption can lead to dehydration, which puts extra stress on the kidneys.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt kidney function, leading to dehydration and potentially causing kidney damage.

And here are five foods and drinks that are generally considered winners for kidney health:

  • Water: Staying hydrated is a big part of kidney health, as it helps to flush out toxins and waste.
  • Berries: Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants and low in potassium.
  • Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in potassium.
  • Fish: Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Olive Oil: Using olive oil instead of other cooking oils can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of kidney disease due to its high monounsaturated fat content.

Keep an eye on your pee

As mentioned above, keeping an eye on your pee is super important for looking after your kidneys. The colour of your pee can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your body.

If it’s a pale yellow, that usually means you’re well-hydrated, which is good news for your kidneys because they need plenty of water to work properly.

But if it’s dark yellow or even orange, it could mean you need to drink more water because you might be dehydrated.

Dark yellow or orange-coloured urine can indicate dehydration or the presence of certain compounds or pigments in the urine. When you’re dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated, leading to a darker colour.

Certain foods or medications, such as certain vitamins or even lollies containing dyes, can also cause urine to appear darker or take on an orange hue.

And if it’s cloudy or red, that’s a sign that something might be up, like a urinary tract infection or even kidney stones, so it’s worth getting checked out by a doctor.

Keeping an eye on your pee colour can help you spot potential problems early and keep your kidneys in tip-top shape.

If you notice something not quite right with the colour of your urine, get in touch with us and remember that many kidney conditions progress silently, with symptoms only appearing in later stages of disease.

Taking care of your kidneys is an investment in your overall health and wellbeing.

Well on Bay are huge advocates for kidney health

Your kidneys play a massive role in your overall health, wellbeing and ability to live life to the fullest.

If you haven’t had a check-up in a while, are curious about how your health stacks up, or would like to discuss something concerning, we’re here to help.

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