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how to prevent kidney failure

How To Prevent Kidney Failure

What Is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure is when your kidneys lose their ability to function correctly. This means they’re no longer able to remove waste and balance fluids effectively.

Kidney Functions

The kidneys are essential organs for critical bodily functions that keep you alive! They filter toxins from your blood and remove waste and extra fluid from the body. 

The kidneys remove acid produced by your body’s cells. They maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals like sodium and calcium in your blood.

Each kidney consists of about a million nephrons. Each nephron has a filter, or glomerulus, and a tubule. The glomerulus filters the blood while the tubule returns nutrients and substances your body needs.

According to National Renal Care SA, the kidneys release hormones which control the following:

  • Bone structure,
  • The generation of red blood cells, and
  • The regulation of blood pressure.

Keeping this vital organ in tip-top shape is essential and relatively easy if you include the following steps in your everyday life. 

Manage Your Intake Of Over The Counter Medications

Every drug you put into your body passes through your kidneys. If the drug is not taken following your healthcare provider’s instructions, or if it is an illegal substance, it can cause injury to the kidneys.

Over-the-counter drugs like Aspirin can be harmful if overused. Frequent overuse of Aspirin can cause acute renal failure, according to this study. Overuse refers to taking a dose of more than 300mg per kg of body weight.


If you drink excessive alcohol or take drugs, your kidneys can suffer. Alcohol abuse has been linked to kidney disease and decreased kidney function, according to Stellenbosch University.

Over time, excessive drinking can double your risk of chronic kidney disease. If you drink and smoke, this risk is even higher.

Hydrate Moderately

Water assists your kidneys with waste removal from your blood through the urine. Water opens blood vessels to allow blood to travel to the kidneys and deliver essential nutrients. Dehydration makes it difficult for this delivery system to work.

Make sure to keep your water bottle at hand. You can see the effects of proper hydration in your urine. You probably aren’t giving your kidneys enough water to filter if you have very yellow, strong-smelling urine.

A Proper Diet Is Key To Good Kidney Health

A balanced diet containing loads of fruit, veggies, legumes, and lean meats is essential. It gives your body access to proper nutrients, which allows your organs to thrive. 

Having a lifestyle disease can significantly hamper kidney function. Medical conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes, can affect the kidneys and cause failure after long-term suffering. Cardiovascular disease is also a precursor to kidney failure. 

Over time, high blood sugar damages the blood vessels and nephrons in the kidneys. 

Cardiovascular disease affects the kidneys when the heart stops pumping efficiently, causing a build-up of pressure in the central vein connected to the kidneys, the inferior vena cava and results in congestion of blood in the kidneys.

Too much potassium or phosphate in your diet can also cause damage.

According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, dried fruits, nuts, dairy, and starchy vegetables are rich sources of potassium.

Another article by Harvard’s School of Public Health tells us that foods high in phosphates include processed foods such as deli meats and sausages, sports drinks, fizzy drinks, and dairy foods.

Quit Smoking 

Smoking is a terrible habit that affects every function in the body negatively. 

Smoking can damage blood vessels, decreasing blood flow in the kidneys. Without adequate blood flow, your kidneys can’t function. Smoking may increase the risk of kidney cancer. 

Other health risks include:

  • Heart disease, 
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke, 
  • Lung diseases, and
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Smoking also increases the risk of the following:

  • Eye diseases such as Glaucoma,
  • Tuberculosis, 
  • A struggling immune system, and
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

The best thing to do for your kidneys and body is to quit!

Exercise Every Day!

Exercise lowers blood pressure and controls insulin levels. People with diabetes and heart disease benefit greatly from keeping active. 

It helps with weight loss and removes the strain on the kidneys and other organs by eliminating excess fat that may hamper your organs’ performance. 

Like eating a well-balanced diet, making sure to do regular physical activity can relieve weight gain and high blood pressure. Be mindful of how much exercise you do. You can overexert yourself if you don’t build your stamina gradually. 

Always speak to a physician before integrating strenuous exercise into your routine, especially if you have not exercised before or have any injuries. 

Affinity Health can help you find a registered practitioner to guide you through your health journey. Affinity Health makes affordable healthcare available to all South Africans. Our healthcare plans are designed to suit your health and financial needs.

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