According to reports, about 33 percent of Americans have some form of chronic kidney disease. This startling statistic should prompt you to seek advice from your primary care provider.
Let’s talk about some actions you can take to keep your kidneys functioning and you, healthy and where you can go in Irmo, SC, for outstanding kidney care.
What Do My Kidneys Do?
These twin organs are located just below the ribs to the left and right sides of your spinal column. They filter the blood, remove waste products, and produce the urine.
Additionally, kidneys play a significant role in blood pressure regulation, production of red blood cells, and important body chemicals. Surprisingly, they also make vitamins which help you grow and develop.
Unfortunately, like any other organ in your body, acute and chronic diseases can strike your kidneys. As such, your primary care provider in South Carolina will perform your annual physical exam, blood work, and urine test to check for signs of kidney problems.
All too common kidney problems are:
- Renal calculi, or kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Chronic kidney disease, or CKD
How Can I Avoid Serious Kidney Problems?
While kidney issues can go unnoticed for a prolonged period, you should be aware of some symptoms which may indicate your kidneys are not healthy. These signs include:
- Prolonged fatigue and poor appetite
- Foggy thinking
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Puffy ankles and lower eyelids
- Muscle cramps
- Changes in blood pressure
If you develop some of these symptoms, see your internist for a check-up right away. Additionally, your PCP can teach you the ways to avoid kidney issues and improve your overall health. Here are just a few of them.
Stay trim and exercise
A sedentary lifestyle puts an increased load on your kidneys. So, get 150 minutes of light aerobic exercise weekly.
What’s good for your blood pressure is good for your kidney function. So, avoid excessive salt intake and cut processed foods, sugars, and high-fat meats. Increase fiber intake, and add several servings of vegetables and fruits to your daily diet.
Cigarettes damage the microcirculation in your kidneys, directly impacting their ability to filter waste products. The nicotine in cigarettes dramatically increases blood pressure and heart rate, both risk factors for kidney disease.
Avoid excessive use of NSAIDS
Too many non-steroidal pain killers, such as ibuprofen, impair kidney functions. So, your primary care provider will suggest acetaminophen to control pain from arthritis, injury, muscle strain, and other aches and soreness.
Get a yearly check-up to help prevent diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
These chronic health conditions impair kidney functions. Conversely, poor kidney function can set the stage for high blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. So, it’s best to partner with your PCP in preventive care.
Superior Internal Medicine in South Carolina
Our internists in Irmo, SC, stress preventive health care so their patients thrive. We are equipped with a Sleep Lab and Center for Medical Weight Loss. You, too, can avoid serious kidney problems. So, why not find out more by coming to the SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation?
To know more or schedule a consultation, call us today at (803) 749-1111, or request an appointment online.