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Our kidneys play an important role in keeping us healthy, they work hard every day. As we age, kidney function tends to decline.
Kidney disease can develop at any age, but it has been found to be more prominent in those over the age of 60 when compared to the rest of the general population.
Kidneys perform a variety of tasks. One major function of the kidneys is removing waste products and extra fluid from the body. They also produce hormones that help blood pressure stay regulated, produce an active form of vitamin D to help bones stay strong, they assist in the creation of red blood cells, and they balance sodium and potassium levels in the body.
It is important to keep kidneys healthy to perform their functions properly. When kidneys are no longer filtering wastes efficiently over an extended period of time, this is called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Kidney problems in adults over the age of 60 are quite common. It’s helpful to know the symptoms of kidney disease, and how to maintain healthy kidneys. Many people who have kidney disease don’t know it, because symptoms do not usually show until the disease is in an advanced stage, seeing your doctor for an annual physical is one of the best ways to identify kidney condition. People experiencing kidney problems may notice a change in the frequency of urination, swelling in the feet, fatigue, and nausea.
Some of conditions and factors that can increase a person’s risk of kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Family history of kidney disease
- Lifestyle habits (i.e. smoking and drinking)
Experts recommends those who have risk to talk to your health care provider and ask if they should be screened for kidney disease.
There are many steps seniors can take to reduce their chance to get kidney disease and keep their kidneys healthy, through integrating some simple healthy habits into their lifestyle and diet. Here are some recommendations:
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy food
- Lower your salt intake as much as possible
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Keep blood pressure in check
- Get an annual screening
Everyone benefits from promoting kidney health, as the healthier the kidneys are, the better overall health tends to be.