National Kidney Month: Your Kidneys 101

March is National Kidney Month, so it’s the perfect opportunity to spread awareness about kidney disease and prevention methods so you can keep your kidneys doing what they do best.

What do kidneys do?

Most people have two kidneys, although one is generally more than enough to keep your blood clean and chemically balanced. These organs are located near the middle of the back, below the rib cage on either side of the spine. Everyday, these bean-shaped wonders process about 200 quarts of blood and produce approximately two quarts of waste and excess water. They are also responsible for measuring and regulating the amount of sodium, phosphorus and potassium that goes back into the body.

Tips for maintaining healthy kidneys

The main function of the kidneys is to extract waste from your blood, so it’s important to keep them healthy. A few tips to help them work properly:

  • Hydrate
    Your kidneys need fluid to help push toxins and waste out of the blood and eventually out of your body. Drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day and keep things moving along to encourage healthy kidneys.
  • Eat healthy
    Maintaining a healthy diet is good for so many reasons. When it comes to your kidneys, you should avoid foods high in salt and sugar to help prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Lower your (high) blood pressure
    Often associated with diabetes and high cholesterol, high blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease. By making a few small lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and reducing the amount of sodium and alcohol you consume, you can begin to lower your high blood pressure.

  • Exercise
    Regular exercise helps reduce your risk of excessive weight gain, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Try taking a brisk walk each day to get your blood circulating.
  • Avoid tobacco products
    The chemicals in tobacco harm your blood cells — among many other things — which decreases the amount of blood that can pass through your kidneys.

One in three Americans are at risk of developing kidney disease, so the experienced doctors at South Texas Renal Care Group are ready to help support your kidney health. Contact us today to schedule your kidney screening at 844-739-2897.