Kidney health - take it seriously

Did you know that March is Kidney Health Month?

According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada one in 10 Canadians has kidney disease, and millions more are at risk.

In support of Kidney Health Month we encourage you to take two simple steps to improve the health of your kidney.

1) Get your kidney function checked with a simple blood test

Early detection is important because kidney disease can be slowed or prevented when detected early enough. You should consider speaking to your doctor about a simple blood test that can check your kidney function, especially if you have one or more of the following at risk factors:

Diabetes - High blood pressure - Family history of kidney disease - 55 years or older -Smoker or Obese

If you would like to know more about your level of risk when it comes to kidney health, the Kidney Foundation of Canada offers an online risk assessment tool available here.

2) Eat healthy, be active, and keep your weight in check

Your diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on the health of your kidneys. Maintaining a healthy weight through a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle can greatly improve your kidney’s health and help prevent it from developing any diseases. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important because excessive weight can contribute to kidney disease and can increase the severity of a kidney condition. Exercising can help improve kidney function by helping you maintain a healthy body weight. Sweating during exercise also helps your kidneys eliminate toxins and wastes.

Here are some dietary suggestions that can improve kidney health:

– Reduce potassium in your diet

* too much potassium can overwork your kidneys

– Reduce your sodium intake.

* too much sodium can cause an imbalance of water in your body, placing a strain on your kidneys

– Emphasize high-quality proteins, in limited quantities

* high quality proteins include meat, poultry, fish and eggs

– Limit alcohol consumption

– Refrain from consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar

– Increase fluid intake

* adequate hydration is imperative for the proper functioning of the kidneys. Remember that your kidneys are crucial in helping your body regulate water and remove excess minerals and wastes from your body. Be sure to speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding the health of your kidney.