National Kidney Month 2020: Take the Pressure Off Your Kidneys

75 million Americans deal with high blood pressure on a daily basis. That’s one in every three adults! High blood pressure puts many individuals at risk for chronic kidney disease, a serious condition that can lead to fatal health problems down the road.1

March is National Kidney Month! This year we are taking the reins on preventing and treating high blood pressure to help decrease kidney disease and related conditions.

Here we share some ways you can manage your health, help others in need, and participate in National Kidney Month to “take the pressure off” your kidneys all year round.

Read on to discover tips on how to take control of high blood pressure and kidney disease to help live your best life!

Manage High Blood Pressure, Protect Your Kidneys

High blood pressure is actually one of the top causes of kidney failure among adults in the United States, second only to diabetes.2 If you deal with high blood pressure on a regular basis, you could be at risk for kidney disease and even kidney failure. Such conditions can lead to more severe health issues including stroke, heart attack, and even death.3

But never fear! We’re here to share our top tips to help you take control of high blood pressure and help protect your kidneys well into the future.

When you actively follow healthy lifestyle habits to help manage your blood pressure, you also help to protect essential organs of the body – including your kidneys!

Get ready to take the pressure off with these great tips to help take control of high blood pressure and kidney disease.

 

5 Tips to Take Control of High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

  1. Take medications as prescribed. 

    Follow your doctor’s health recommendations. He or she may prescribe a blood pressure-lowering medication, which can help slow the development of kidney disease.

  2. Aim to achieve a healthy body weight.

    Staying in tune with your body and following a more healthful diet has numerous health benefits, including reduced blood pressure. For those who may be overweight, even a small weight loss can help improve blood pressure readings.

  3. Use a medical ID bracelet.

    Medical ID bracelets provide EMTs and other medical professionals with vital information about your medical condition. This helps them provide safe and accurate emergency treatment.

    One study has shown that wearing a medical ID bracelet can actually help reduce the risk of kidney disease. According to Jeffrey Fink, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, this pilot study implies that wearing a medical-alert accessory can help lead to reduced incidence of End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) and kidney failure.

  4. Get a proper night of sleep.

    The human body requires sleep to function – and it’s never fun to be running on fumes. While each person is different, you should aim to reach 7 or 8 full hours of sleep each night to function at your best.

  5. Work to manage stress and increase daily physical activity.

    It’s time to get active! Getting your heart pumping can be as simple as a daily walk outside. Managing your stress and increasing physical activity to 30 minutes or more each day is essential to manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of kidney disease.


Staying Connected with Kidney Disease

If you or a loved one are dealing with CKD or a related condition, you are not alone! There are many online communities and apps that can help manage your condition, learn more about it, and provide a platform to connect with others.

Kidney Disease Apps

If you deal with CKD, there’s an app for that! Many apps are available to help manage your kidney disease. Here are some apps you can use on a daily basis to keep your body and mind working at their best.

  1. My Kidneys, My Health (Apple, Google Play)



    This app provides support to those diagnosed with early CKD by providing educational resources about kidney disease and taking care of yourself.


  2. CKD Go! (Apple, Google Play)




    This app lets you view and try a personalized action plan based on the eGFR adapted from CKD Management in General Practice, Kidney Health Australia.


  3. Journal of Renal Nutrition (Apple, Google Play)

    Stay up-to-date with the latest professional research at your fingertips! Learn the latest renal news straight from the source.


Kidney Disease on Social Media

Sometimes illness can be isolating, or downright scary. Having access to helpful information and a platform to connect with others is a great way to communicate and become more educated. Here are some of the top social media pages for the kidney community.

  1. KidneyBuzz  

    KidneyBuzz teaches those suffering from CKD and other kidney conditions how to better manage their lives. They seek to empower people in the CKD and Dialysis community with free and accessible information. When you join over 95k followers on their Facebook page, you will enjoy a Daily Meal, Daily Article, and Daily Inspirational Quote plus other content for the CKD community.

  2. Get Loud for Kidneys 

    Get Loud for Kidneys aims to grow awareness and understanding of kidney disease. By encouraging people to share their experiences, they create a supportive community to facilitate change. Follow their Instagram page to be a part of the change and help grow awareness of this life-altering disease.

  3. Renal Mate

    Renal Mate is a community of kidney disease advocates who share important information, personal stories, and even delicious recipes for the kidney community. Check out their podcast, too!


Kidney Donors

If you are fortunate enough to be in good health, you may be eligible to be an organ donor! Organ donors help to save thousands of lives each year. During National Kidney Month, please consider becoming an organ donor to help those much less fortunate gain a new lease on life.

Note: In the case of a kidney transplant, it is recommended that a medical ID be worn by both the organ donor and the recipient. For more information about medical ID bracelets for organ donors, click here.

Beyond National Kidney Month

This National Kidney Month, learn the best ways to take the pressure off your kidneys! Now you know how to manage high blood pressure to help reduce the risk of kidney disease, how to manage your condition when suffering from CKD, and how to help others in need.

For more information about National Kidney Month, please visit the NIKKD website. Don’t forget to tell a friend! Sharing important health tips and information is a great way to spread the word and keep your loved ones happy and healthy.

Sources:

  1. High Blood Pressure, Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  2. What Is Chronic Kidney Disease? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  3. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), American Kidney Fund

 

Catherine DeMuro is a writer and marketing professional living in Denver, where she covers health and wellness, business, and the cannabis community.

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