During digestion, the nutrients and waste from what you consume are absorbed into the bloodstream. Both kidneys are then responsible for “cleaning” the bloodstream and removing any additional waste or fluids from the body, which are then released from the body through the bladder. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when the kidneys fail to filter this waste from the blood. According to the American Kidney Fund, approximately 30 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease.
CKD can occur for a number of reasons, and can be associated with other illnesses, but is often exacerbated by certain lifestyle decisions that can contribute to loss of kidney function. If you or someone you love is at risk for — or suffering from — kidney disease, it’s important that they see a physician regularly, and pay close attention to their doctor’s instructions. By following certain lifestyle recommendations, they may be able prevent or delay the worsening of kidney function in the future.
Diet and Physical Activity
The most common causes of chronic kidney diseases are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). As part of the treatment for these conditions, a doctor may recommend that you follow a routine that includes a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Physicians also typically recommend consuming foods low in sodium and fat to facilitate proper blood filtering.
Obesity has also been shown to be a risk factor for chronic kidney disease. Losing weight through diet and exercise may help reduce your risk.
A recently discovered biological substance called the klotho protein is believed to affect the way that the kidneys function. A decreased level of klotho protein in the blood was found to have a correlation with chronic kidney disease in animals. People undergoing dialysis therapy were also found to have lower levels of klotho in their bloodstream. Klotho therapy is set to begin human trials in coming years, and it has shown promise in preventing kidney disease, heart disease, and even diabetes.
Medications and Other Conditions
Kidney disease occurs most commonly due to other coexisting conditions. As such, your doctor will most likely recommend effective treatment and management of any other contributing diseases. Poorly managed blood glucose levels, high cholesterol, and untreated high blood pressure have all been found to lead to kidney damage. It is important to follow all of your physician’s instructions, take any medications as prescribed, and visit your doctor regularly to check for any kidney damage or decreased kidney function.
In patients suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes, smoking has been shown to be a common risk factor for developing kidney disease. It may be a good idea to cut back or completely eliminate smoking from your lifestyle if you’re concerned about kidney disease, or if your doctor recommends it.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have questions about kidney function, chronic kidney disease, klotho protein, or your risk of developing CKD, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Kidney disease can progress quickly and with few symptoms, so it’s important to schedule regular checkups with your primary care provider and listen to your body if something seems off.
Judy Lees is a super-connector with Photographers In Islamabad who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, Photography, branding and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing, digital photography.