Kidney Disease Awareness for Seniors
It’s a fact of life that as we get older, we need to be extra aware of the functionality of our organs. After a lifetime of protecting you by constantly cleaning your blood of harmful toxins, your kidneys will likely start to lose function. This happens to everyone, but in some people, it can happen to such an extent that they develop kidney disease. Here at TruCare Home Care Agency, we are going to fill you in on everything you need to know about kidney disease and how you can help prevent it.
Who is affected?
Kidney disease can affect anyone, but being over 60 increases your chances considerably, and those in the over-75 category have a 50% chance of developing kidney disease. Of course, you are more likely to develop kidney disease if you’ve spent your life heavily consuming alcohol, cigarettes, or processed food. If you think you probably drink or smoke too much or could eat more healthily, it’s still worth changing these habits after the age of 60. The kidneys are remarkably resilient, and their condition will improve with prolonged rest from the bombardment of toxins.
Can kidney disease kill you?
The short answer is: yes, it most certainly can. And it frequently does kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. In fact, more people die from kidney disease than some of the most common types of cancer such as breast and prostate cancer. According to Kidney.org, 37 million Americans may be living with kidney disease without even knowing it. However, this number could be dramatically reduced if people got tested more regularly for kidney health issues. Like many diseases, kidney disease can be managed quite well if caught early.
How can you prevent kidney disease?
The best thing to do is to get tested early—the National Kidney Foundation suggests that everyone over 60 should regularly be screened for kidney disease. Reducing the number of toxins that your kidneys need to deal with—such as alcohol, cigarette smoke, and salty processed food—is a good place to start, but there are other precautions you can take.
Try upping your water consumption. This dilutes the toxins that your kidneys need to filter, meaning they are not as harmful to the tissue in the organs. In addition, dehydration can cause a buildup of minerals within the kidneys which can lead to kidney stones that are at best extremely painful to pass, and at worst need surgery. Kidney stones can also leave permanent scarring of the kidney, reducing its functionality.
Try taking measures to reduce high blood pressure or keep diabetes under control if you are a sufferer. These conditions can exacerbate kidney problems and your doctor may put you on medication as a precaution if your kidney function is compromised as a result.
Kidneys are vital organs so it’s important to look after them the best you can. If you are in the over-60 age group, it’s a good idea to get your kidney function checked regularly. With regular professional checkups and following the advice of doctors and healthcare professionals, there’s every chance that you will live out your senior years with perfectly healthy kidneys. If you’d like more advice on care tips for seniors or to find out about home care options, contact TruCare Home Care Agency today.