March Is National Kidney Month
March is National Kidney Month! So let’s take the opportunity to examine some methods to help protect our kidneys. Many of you may know that diabetes can be hard on many of the organs, especially the kidneys. You
may be surprised to know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and kidney transplant. So, how do we prevent this from happening, if we are living with diabetes? Here are some tips about how we can all keep our kidneys healthy:
- Visit your healthcare provider on a regular basis. There are several tests that need to be performed on at least a yearly basis, sometimes more often, to keep your body healthy. Some of these tests look directly at kidney health and function.
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control. This can be very difficult for those recently diagnosed and specific times of year when the food is just so TASTY – holidays, birthdays, vacations. However, keeping your blood sugar within your directed range can protect your kidneys from long-term damage.
- Keep your blood pressure in your target range. High blood pressure can be hard on the kidneys, especially if your blood sugar is out of its designated range.
- Cut back on salt intake. The recommended salt (sodium) intake is under 2300 milligrams or less than 1 teaspoon per day. This control can also help in losing weight and keeping blood pressure down.
- Keep your cholesterol intake at a minimum. Your kidneys act as a filtration system for your blood – keeping the good and getting rid of the bad or unnecessary. However, a high cholesterol diet can be hard on the kidney “filters” and can even damage their function. This recommendation may also help losing weight, and who doesn’t want to drop a few unwanted pounds.
Taking just one of these steps can help to prevent long-term kidney problems associated with diabetes. If you’re ever confused about where to start, our dietitians at Harmons are a fantastic resource! Let’s celebrate our bodies during National Kidney Month by taking steps to prevent kidney disease!