Maintaining Healthy Kidneys

The international World Kidney Day committee has published its ‘8 Golden Rules’ to keep your kidneys healthy.

Prevention: 8 Golden Rules 

  1. Keep fit and active
    Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of chronic kidney disease.

  2. Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
    About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions.

  3. Monitor your blood pressure
    Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage.

  4. Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
    This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease.

  5. Maintain a healthy fluid intake
    Although clinical studies have not reached an agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other fluids we should consume daily to maintain good health, traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day.

  6. Do not smoke
    Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.

  7. Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
    Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.

  8. Get your kidney function checked by your doctor if you have one or more of the 'high risk' factors
    • You have diabetes
    • You have hypertension
    • You are obese
    • One of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease
    • You are of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal or Asian origin