Well….not really a secret, so much as a topic that flies under the radar and is not discussed or thought about that much: Kidney disease.
Your kidneys, the two fist-sized organs in your back, are not the topic for much concern unless they give you pain, but of course, you depend on them to filter out liquids, salts, and other metabolic products on an ongoing basis, maintain your body’s most important function: HOMEOSTASIS.
Internal balance, HOMEOSTASIS, is among the most important concepts to be developed in modern medicine, and it’s maintenance is the proper function of all the organs and various systems in the body. The kidneys play perhaps the most vital role, by maintaining the proper chemical balance in the fluids of the body, and thus keep your internal environment a perfect place for all the other organ systems to do their work.
Often, kidney function can decline with aging, or as the result of longstanding high blood pressure, or the complications of diabetes. These changes in kidney function are not something you would feel, but rather something we notice in the bloodwork. Depending on the degree and the direction of the change in kidney function, will dictate the level of concern.
That said, there are ways to be good to your kidneys, and this is particularly important if you have developed some decline in kidney function. How do you do this? Well…here is a simple list of things to do:
1. Avoid excessive use of Tylenol, Aspirin, or NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) medications. These medication is moderation are fine, but they have a cumulative effect on the kidneys, and if taken without concern for dosing, can cause permanent damage.
2. Avoid dye studies at the radiology department. Although safe, the less dye you have, the better. Sometimes dye is necessary for diagnosis, but often it can be avoided . Keep this in mind and ask: Is dye necessary
3. Maintain good blood pressure control. Longstanding high blood pressure is among the most common causes of kidney damage and is preventable with monitoring and treatment of blood pressure.
4. Maintain good blood sugar levels. This is something that is critical for patients with diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar has a direct benefit to the kidneys and will help maintain proper function over time.
There are more things you can do to keep your kidneys safe….you can read more in THE GUIDE, page 121
You can listen to MY PODCAST on the topic