5 steps to keeping kidneys healthy


March 11, 2011

March is National Kidney Month, making it the perfect time to focus on kidney health and think about lifestyle changes that could be beneficial. Kidneys are a vital organ, and if they become weak, one could suffer from a number of serious health conditions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently recommended a few steps to preserve these organs:

1. Get tested for kidney disease. If one has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, it's important to visit a doctor and get blood and urine tested for any signs of the condition.

2. Avoid salt. Consuming an excessive amount of salt can do serious damage to the kidneys, so one should instead learn to rely on other herbs and spices in its place. This alone can have a positive impact on kidney health.

3. Install personal emergency response system. While the NIH don't recommend this step, it's imperative to have a way to be able to send a medical alert if one experiences kidney failure or another health condition.

4. Eat healthier. Some foods can be much easier on kidneys than others. Put an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.

5. Exercise. Staying physically activity can help lower blood pressure and be responsible for better health overall.