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Senior Health Tips: How to Keep Kidneys Healthy

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In honor of World Kidney Day on the 10th, we find it very important to share different ways for seniors to keep their kidneys healthy. Here’s what you need to know about kidney health from our senior care specialists in Collingswood, NJ.

Why are healthy kidneys so important for seniors?

Kidney health is often overlooked in the grand scheme of senior health issues, but the kidneys are a vital organ. Each about the size of your fist, the kidneys are located near the bottom of your ribcage and perform many functions within the body. Most people have two kidneys, but there are a select few that are only born with one. The most notable jobs of the kidneys are to filter waste from the blood and to produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control red blood cell production.

This is so crucial because waste buildup in your body can cause serious problems and eventually lead to death if left untreated. To remedy kidney damage, your blood would have to be filtered artificially through dialysis, or you would need a kidney transplant waiting list, which are typically years long. Fortunately, the body will continue to expel waste properly and produce necessary hormones, as long as good kidney health is maintained. Here are some tips on how seniors can prioritize this now.

Tip #1: Keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control. People with high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar levels are more likely to develop kidney damage. High blood pressure is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease, since it directly impacts the kidneys’ abilities to filter through impurities in the blood properly. Those with high blood sugar in the form of diabetes are more susceptible to kidney damage if their sugar isn’t properly regulated. This is because the kidneys would have to work extra hard to regulate and filter the sugar in the blood – which can lead to life-threatening damage. If you or a loved one has high blood pressure or diabetes, it’s important to speak to a doctor about effective treatments immediately.

Tip #2: Drink a lot of water throughout the day. Regular daily water intake helps clear toxins from your kidneys. The amount of water you’d need daily would depend on a number of factors, but the baseline to aim for is eight glasses of water. Not to mention, staying hydrated has many other health benefits besides promoting good kidney function.

Tip #3: Be aware of side effects from over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Consistently taking OTC pain relief medications like Advil and naproxen can cause damage to the kidneys over time. If you or a loved one needs relief from chronic pain, please talk to a doctor about other remedies that don’t put the kidneys at risk.

Tip #4: Quit smoking. We all know smoking is bad, but exactly how bad is it for your kidneys? Smoking causes direct damage to the body’s blood vessels, which leads to slower blood flow and even kidney cancer. Kicking this bad habit to the curb will both lower your risk of contracting this type of cancer and stop damaging blood vessels.

Tip #5: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, and monitoring your weight are all sure-fire ways to keep kidneys healthy. Seniors who are overweight are at higher risk of developing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease, which all cause significant kidney damage. If you or a loved one are teetering between a healthy and unhealthy weight, it’s essential to keep moving everyday and maintain a diet that is low in sodium and processed foods. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods to incorporate into the daily diet include blueberries, cauliflower, wholegrains, and fish for protein.

Healthy senior living residents in Camden County

At our health-conscious senior living community in Collingswood, we’re more than happy to keep our residents accountable to their health and fitness goals. We offer a variety of fitness classes to satisfy every resident’s mobility, such as group yoga, meditation, and dancing – just to name a few. Aside from exercise programs, we also provide meal plans packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that help combat health conditions, like kidney disease, that are all too common in seniors.

To find out more about how we’re keeping seniors healthy in Collingswood, NJ, please call us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/

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