Tips to Show Your Kidneys Some Love
Maintaining Healthy Kidneys on World Kidney Day
The significance of kidneys in maintaining overall health often needs to be more appreciated, especially among those who have not experienced kidney-related conditions. Kidneys are responsible for numerous vital functions, including blood purification, chemical balance regulation, blood pressure control, stimulation of red blood cell production in bone marrow, and conversion of excess fluids and waste into urine.
Notably, at least 50% of kidney patients seeking consultation with nephrologists are elderly. Chronic kidney disease is more prevalent among seniors, with approximately 40% of individuals aged 60 and above exhibiting impaired kidney function. Factors contributing to senior kidney problems include ageing, age-related ailments, lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol consumption, medications, and herbal preparations.
World Kidney Day allows us to appreciate the hard work our kidneys perform and prioritize their well-being.
CKD risk factors include
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol
- Family history of CKD
The symptoms of kidney disease encompass a range of issues, such as
- Sleeping or eating difficulties
- Decline in mental acuity
- Muscle cramps and twitching
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Consistent itching
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
Tips for managing chronic kidney disease:
World Kidney Day highlights the significance of healthy kidneys, and there are numerous measures that individuals and caregivers can implement to manage chronic kidney disease effectively.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure Levels: To ensure healthy blood pressure levels, it is recommended to maintain a goal of less than 140/99 mm Hg. A doctor can help develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve this goal, which may involve reducing sodium intake and making other dietary modifications, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and getting adequate sleep.
Regular Medical Checkups: Continuous monitoring of kidney disease is essential as it progresses. Your doctor will conduct regular checkups to assess changes in kidney function and detect any damage. The objective is to maintain consistent GFR (glomerular filtration rate) and urine albumin levels. Individuals diagnosed with kidney disease can aid in this process by adhering to the recommended testing schedule, regularly monitoring their blood pressure levels at home, and reporting any observable symptoms or changes to their healthcare provider.
Proper Medication Management: Adhering to the prescribed medication regimen is crucial, as the dosages and types of medication may change as the disease progresses. It is essential to note that several over-the-counter medications, including NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, are not recommended for individuals with kidney disease, as they can lead to further kidney damage. It is advisable to consult with your doctor for information regarding safe medication options.
Maintaining a Kidney-Friendly Diet: For optimal kidney health, seniors should consume foods rich in antioxidants. However, they should limit their intake of foods high in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. Seniors recommended daily mineral intake includes 2000 mg of sodium and potassium each and 800-1000mg of calcium.
Here are some recommended foods for seniors:
- Vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, red bell peppers, onions, garlic
- Fruits: Apples, cherries, red grapes, various berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
- Animal products: Egg whites, fish
- Whole grains: Buckwheat, bulgur, barley
- Oil: Olive oil
To maintain good kidney health, seniors must limit or avoid the consumption of the following potassium-rich foods:
- Vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, spinach, beet greens, and leafy greens.
- Fruits such as bananas, apricots, oranges, or orange juice.
- Dry fruits and nuts, including dates, raisins, and prunes.
- Dairy products from cow or buffalo milk can be replaced with almond or rice milk.
- Processed meats like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, jerky, and pepperoni.
- Whole wheat and brown rice.
- Snacks like pretzels, crackers, and chips.
- Carbonated drinks and colas.
- Canned foods.
Making necessary changes in lifestyle: Seniors can take charge of their health to prevent kidney disease by making appropriate changes in their lifestyle, such as:
- Quitting smoking and drinking.
- Consuming only fresh and home-cooked food.
- Avoiding canned, processed, and restaurant food.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) appropriate for their age.
- Engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
How does senior home care contribute to maintaining healthy kidneys among the elderly?
Senior home care and assisted living facilities to offer specialized care to promote the elderly’s health through various measures.
- Providing personalized diets created by home care dieticians that cater to the specific needs of the elderly. This includes serving freshly cooked meals that incorporate suitable vegetables and fruits to promote kidney health while limiting salt and sugar intake in the food served by senior caregivers.
- Elderly home care providers promote physical fitness and activity among their residents by encouraging them to engage in healthy hobbies such as walking and gardening. Caregivers assist seniors by accompanying them on walks and exercise routines while providing constant motivation to ensure they engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
- Nurses carefully administer the appropriate medications doctors prescribe to manage diabetes, blood pressure, and other kidney-related ailments among the elderly.
- Furthermore, regular health checkups are conducted to monitor the vital parameters of the elderly residents and ensure their continued good health.
Apollo home care
These simple management tips can help seniors maintain good kidney health well into their golden years. At Apollo HomeCare, our team of skilled caregivers and nurses can assist individuals with kidney disease to achieve improved health outcomes through various means, including transportation to medical appointments, reminders for medication, support with grocery shopping and preparation of healthy meals, and more. For more information on our exceptional home care services, please contact us.