Everything You Need to Know About Kidney Health

| 2 min read

They don’t get as much buzz as organs like your heart or lungs, but your kidneys are also vital to your health. These small organs located near the middle of your back work to remove waste products and excess fluid from your body. They’re also responsible for producing urine and vitamin D for healthy bones, releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure and controlling the production of your red blood cells.
With March being National Kidney Month, now is the perfect time to make sure you’re looking after these small-but-mighty organs. Because kidney damage can be caused by health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, taking steps to prevent these problems can keep your kidneys healthy, and ultimately help prevent damage.
Here are a few steps you can take now to lower your risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
  1. Manage diabetes and high blood pressure as much as possible. If you have diabetes, it’s important to control your blood sugar. Having high blood sugar can cause damage to your eyes, nerves, heart, blood vessels and kidneys over time.
  1. Limit your salt intake. Keep your sodium intake low: no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. You can do this by staying away from processed foods, like chips and cookies, and filling your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna can also help keep your kidneys healthier.
  1. Quit smoking. Giving up your cigarette habit is a powerful way to lower your risk for kidney and heart disease. Smoking causes the hardening of the arteries and kidneys and is also a risk factor for high blood pressure (which can cause kidney disease). If you need help quitting, visit our tobacco cessation resource.
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A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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