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Bayhealth Recognizes National Kidney Month


Take some time this month to consider how you can keep your kidneys healthy.

Your kidneys are your body's filters. They remove waste and excess fluid from your blood.

Kidney disease means the kidneys are damaged. This disease may limit the kidneys’ ability to remove wastes and extra water from the blood as they normally would.

Kidney disease is most often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. Having a parent or sibling with kidney disease increases the odds that you may develop it as well.

Diabetes and high blood pressure damage the blood vessels and other parts of the kidneys if they are not well controlled.

30 percent of people with type 1 diabetes and 10 to 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually have kidney failure.

Type 2 diabetes often produces symptoms that are so subtle and develop so gradually that they're easy to miss.

High blood pressure usually doesn't produce any symptoms.

Controlling diabetes and the high blood pressure that often results are important to maintaining your overall kidney health.

Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy…

Drink plenty of water. Lessen your risk for kidney stones, one form of kidney disease.

Eat healthy food and exercise. A healthy and regular exercise can help prevent or manage diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the main risk factors for kidney disease. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. Also include lean meats, poultry, and fish. Adults should exercise for 30 minutes or more on most days. Walking is a good way to start.

Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Less blood flow makes the kidneys ability to function properly which may cause a strain on the kidneys increasing the risk for kidney disease. Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 40 %.

Ask your health care provider about tests. All adults should have their blood pressure checked periodically. If you're at risk for kidney disease, your doctor also may recommend other tests.

Follow your doctor's advice carefully if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. It’s important to take your medications as directed. Doing this may help reduce your risk of long-term complications, such as kidney failure.

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