Your kidneys help filter waste from your blood, balance your body fluids, regulate your blood pressure, and produce blood cells. Unhealthy kidneys can cause harm to the heart, bones, nervous system, immune system, and urinary tract. Those with kidney disease are more prone to infections, including COVID-19.
Support Your Kidney and Urinary Health
Small changes to your lifestyle and diet can improve your overall health as well as your urinary health.
Follow these tips to support your kidney health:
- Stay hydrated and eat a balanced, fiber-rich diet to improve bowel function.
- Do not hold urine for prolonged periods of time.
- Keep your blood pressure in check. If you’re diabetic, keep your blood sugars well-controlled.
- Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine.
- Exercise—even a brisk walk is beneficial.
Caring for your Kidneys
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease, including end-stage renal disease, affects about 15% of American adults. Commonly caused by diabetes or high blood pressure, damage to kidneys can be slowed by controlling diabetes and maintaining a normal blood pressure. Those with kidney disease should stay current on vaccinations and dialysis (if applicable) to minimize risk of infections, stroke, and heart disease.
Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of any part of your urinary system: kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. If left untreated, a UTI can be serious and lead to other problems, including blood infection and sepsis. UTIs are preventable and treatable.
Urinary incontinence (leaking of urine) can be caused by many factors, and it affects up to 34% of older men and 55% of older women. Although this is a common problem, be sure to speak to your Landmark provider if you experience urinary incontinence.
This article is part of the Fall “Landmark at Home” Patient Newsletter. Download the full newsletter below.