How To Keep Kidneys Healthy With Diabetes

The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the bloodstream and keeping urination healthy.

Diabetics may be more prone to kidney damage. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure that your kidneys function at optimal levels.

Control Blood Sugar Levels

Perhaps the most important thing to do to ensure kidney health is to maintain good blood sugar control. Excess glucose in the blood can damage the ability to filter waste properly. As a result, protein can leak from the blood into your urine.

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Since diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease, it's important to take blood glucose management seriously.

Monitor Blood Pressure

Blood pressure can also affect kidney health. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure.

Since kidney health is closely associated with circulatory health, high blood pressure can cause artery damage, which inhibits the kidneys' ability to filter blood properly.

Check your blood pressure regularly. If it is consistently high, speak with your doctor about your options.

Eat a Kidney Friendly Diet

You can improve your kidney health by making some small tweaks to your diet.

While you should discuss any major dietary changes with your physician (since they can affect your blood sugar), the following rules generally apply when it comes to eating a kidney-friendly diet:

  1. Reduce protein intake, particularly from animal sources. High-protein diets can put additional stress on already overworked kidneys.
  2. Cut back on sodium. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and adversely affect your kidneys.
  3. Scale down fat intake. Extra cholesterol can affect artery health.
  4. Increase consumption of kidney-detoxifying foods and herbs like leafy greens, ginger and parsley.
  5. Drink plenty of water to help the kidneys flush waste and to prevent urinary tract infections or kidney stones.

Sources: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, American Heart Association

Image courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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