Kidneys are a vital part of the human anatomy. They are crucial to regulating bodily fluids, filtering toxins, eliminating waste and keeping your blood minerals in balance. Kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, produce red blood cells and activate vitamin D for healthy bones.

Certain conditions increase your risk for kidney disease

One in three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease. If you have a family history of kidney disease, or suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, you are at a higher risk for developing kidney disease. In most cases, kidney disease is a secondary illness that results from these conditions.

Easy ways to lower your risk for kidney disease

Here are some precautions you can take to help you prevent kidney disease:

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco use
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit salt and sugar intake
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Stay hydrated
  • Urinate soon after you feel the urge
  • Eat fresh, whole foods (e.g., fish, asparagus, cereals, garlic, parsley, fruit)

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from developing kidney disease is to keep your blood sugar levels in control. This alone can cut your risk for kidney disease in half. Next, focus on your diet and eat low-sodium foods. Studies prove that diets high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, fish, whole grains and nuts help lower blood pressure and prevent kidney disease. Limiting salts, sweets and red meat is also helpful.

Important warning signs of kidney disease

If you’re exhibiting any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • Changes in urination (pale, foamy, difficulty urinating, frequent urination)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Labored breathing or shortness of breath
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rashes that itch
  • Swelling in the hands, face, legs, ankles or feet

If you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms, call South Texas Renal Care Group at (210) 390-0944 for comprehensive, compassionate kidney care. We’re dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our patients throughout San Antonio and South Texas.