Drinking water — six to eight glasses per day is recommended — isn’t the only way you can help your kidneys keep doing their job well. You can avoid long-term kidney damage or kidney failure by following these tips:
- Eat healthy. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps control weight gain, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of diabetes — all conditions that can lead to kidney problems.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps control weight gain, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of diabetes — all conditions that can lead to kidney problems.
- Get screened. If you have a family history or other risk factors for kidney disease, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about routine kidney function screening. A blood test checks your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which tells how well your kidneys are filtering. A urine test checks for protein in your urine.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can damage blood vessels, causing decreased blood flow to your kidneys and an increased risk of kidney cancer.
- Talk to your doctor about supplements and medicines. Certain vitamins, herbal extracts and over the counter pain medicines can cause kidney damage if taken incorrectly or too often. Your doctor can help advise you on the correct dosages and use.
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