Oh What Your Kidneys Can Do Oped

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first_img diabetes hypertension heart failure unexplained anemia a family member has kidney disease African Nova Scotian or Aboriginal decent Kidneys are the body’s filtration system. They remove toxins and excess water from the blood. Kidneys also help to control blood pressure and produce red blood cells and hormones. They are two of the body’s most vital organs, which is why it is important to protect and keep them healthy. In Nova Scotia, nearly 4,000 people have some degree of kidney disease and are being treated by a kidney specialist. Many others are at high risk to develop the disease and likely don’t know it. March is Kidney Health Month and, March 8, is World Kidney Day. Both raise awareness of the disease and ways to deal with it. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, who are overweight, older than 50, have a family history of kidney disease or are of Aboriginal or African Nova Scotian descent, should be screened for kidney disease every year. The good news is risk of kidney disease can be lowered. Knowledge is key: people who know they are at risk can manage it by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Some tips for a better lifestyle are: Increase daily physical activity to reduce blood pressure. Check and reduce blood pressure. Control blood sugars if diabetic. About half of diabetics develop kidney damage, so it is important to regularly test kidney function. Damage can be reduced or prevented if detected early. Eat healthy, including reducing salt intake, and maintain a healthy weight to help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions linked with chronic kidney disease. Quit smoking. Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it decreases their ability to work properly. Avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. They can cause kidney damage if taken regularly. Those with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, should consult a doctor to control pain without putting their kidneys at risk. People should also check their kidney function, if they have one or more of the following high risk factors: The Nova Scotia Renal Program is committed to raising awareness of kidney disease. It works to let Nova Scotians know they can help protect their kidneys by taking certain steps. People at increased risk for kidney disease should talk to a doctor and check kidney function regularly. It is as simple as 1-2-3: having a blood pressure check, a urine sample for protein, and a blood sample to calculate kidney function. -30-last_img

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