Most people know that having high blood pressure and drinking alcohol can contribute to kidney disease, but they aren’t the only risk factors. Stress can also harm your kidneys. March is National Kidney Month and it’s the perfect time to reduce your stress and give your kidneys the love that they deserve.
Show Your Kidneys Some Love
Your kidneys do so much for you. They filter out waste and extra fluid from your body. They make a form of vitamin D, which strengthens your bones. And they help control your high blood pressure by “controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.”
A well-balanced diet and regular exercise can ensure that your kidneys stay in tip-top shape, but that’s not all. Reducing your stress can also help keep your kidneys working properly.
Watch Out for Stress
When you are feeling stressed, your muscles tense, your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, and your blood pressure rises. This increase in blood pressure is bad for your kidneys. As mentioned, filtering blood and managing blood pressure is a part of what kidneys do. When your blood pressure rises due to stress, it can cause significant strain on your kidneys. If you’re stressed for an extended period of time it can contribute to kidney disease.
Kidney disease is fairly common in the U.S. According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in America. In fact, 30 million Americans have kidney disease and, unfortunately, most don’t know that they have it.
Want to learn more about how you or a loved one can reduce your risk of kidney disease? Check out the three simple tips listed below.
- Watch your diet. As with everything, a healthy diet is important for preventing kidney disease. Reducing your sodium intake and cutting out red meat can do wonders for your kidney health. Cutting out sugary beverages like soda and processed foods like potato chips and deli meat can also help. For more information check out this article from the National Kidney Foundation.
- Reduce your stress. There are many ways for you to reduce your stress. Getting outside and indulging in ecotherapy is always fun. Meditation can help you find your center and minimize feelings of anger. Exercise is great for producing endorphins and getting in a good mood. For optimal health, be sure to include a stress reduction practice in your daily routine.
- Talk to your doctor. Regular doctor visits are important for kidney health. Want personalized advice for preventing kidney disease? Talk to your doctor!