March is National Kidney Month.
Hm, OK, kidneys. You don’t give them a lot of thought, do you? Well, you have two. You ought to take care of yours, because they take care of you.
The specialists at Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons treat a variety of kidney conditions.
Kidneys are the size of a fist, or maybe a computer mouse. They’re located in the lower back.
Kidneys do these good things for you:
- Regulate the body’s fluid levels
- Activate vitamin D for healthy bones
- Filter wastes from the blood
- Direct production of red blood cells
- Regulate blood pressure
- Keep blood minerals in balance
Kidney stones are the most common condition treated by Aurora BayCare urology providers.
No one wants kidney stones. Though usually not serious, they are painful. One in 10 people will get a kidney stone during their life. Here’s how to avoid getting one:
- Drink plenty of water, so that you urinate a lot.
- Avoid salty foods and meats. Change your diet to reduce the amount of sodium, animal-based protein, calcium and oxalate.
If you get a kidney stone, talk to an Aurora BayCare urology provider. Then take your medication as prescribed and follow your nutritional plan to avoid getting another.
In addition to kidney stones, not taking care of your kidneys also can cause:
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Weak bones
- Nerve damage
- Kidney failure
- Anemia and/or a low red blood cell count
One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease. There are 37 million American adults with kidney disease, and most don’t know it. Dr. Vannhu Nguyen, an Aurora BayCare urological surgeon, recommends taking care of your kidneys in these ways:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, making sure your urine is light yellow.
- Stay fit, exercising regularly.
- Eat healthy. Avoid processed foods.
- Keep blood pressure and diabetes under control.
- Reduce the use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Don’t go over the recommended dosage.