Kidneys are extremely vital organs of our body and play critical roles in the body’s day-to-day functioning. The twin bean-shaped organs are so important that there is a day dedicated to them called The World Kidney Day. A lot of efforts are now being taken to raise awareness about the importance of our kidneys and to reduce the prevalence of kidney conditions all over the world. One extremely effective way to keep your kidneys healthy is to learn about preventive behaviors and also the risk factors.
Functions of kidney
The primary function of our kidneys is to remove the waste products and excess fluids from our bodies. Waste is removed through urine and stool which involves extremely complex steps of excretion. A very significant job of the kidneys is to ensure that the volume of fluid in our body is in the right amount. The organs also help in maintaining a balance of chemicals in our bodies. Moreover, kidneys also regulate acid, potassium, and salt in the body. Additionally, they stimulate Vitamin D in our body, which is essential to maintaining bone strength. It is also important for producing erythropoietin, a hormone responsible for the production of red blood cells.
Steps to preserve kidney health
It is alarming that in spite of the phenomenal advancements in medical science, a huge number of deaths occur due to kidney failure. Medical practitioners feel that there are two basic reasons behind this. One is the lack of awareness about kidney diseases and the second is the ignorance on the importance of maintaining the health of the kidneys. Consult doc for more detailed information. You can book a session with an online doctor on DocGenie. Moreover, the new monthly packages on the DocGenie site offer continuous proactive care including consultation with an experienced doctor. The tests help the doctor understand patients better, including their lifestyle, heredity risks, etc, and bring in specialists if needed.
Regular check-ups help maintain kidney health
One of the most effective and logical ways of maintaining your kidney health and stay away from kidney diseases is to go for regular check-ups. It is important to note that kidney conditions do not show any symptoms at the early stages. Hence, opting for regular tests is the best way to stay safe. Doctors generally advise getting the kidneys tested at least once a year. DocGenie offers the most comprehensive health check-ups. You can consult with GPs today and get guided on kidney tests.
Also read: The Importance of Getting Regular Full Body Check-ups
Some of the general tests for kidneys are –
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
The test estimates the GFR from a serum (or blood) creatinine test and is the best way to check kidney function. The levels will tell you about the condition of your kidneys and how efficiently they are working to remove wastes from your blood. However, keep in mind that a serum (or blood) creatinine test should not be the only test to check kidney function.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test
This is a very common blood test that gives vital information on the functioning of your kidneys. The test measures amount of urea nitrogen present in your blood. It can tell you if your urea nitrogen levels are higher than normal, in which case your kidneys may not be working well.
Urine routine analysis
This is a urine test to check the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells), and other things. Take note that since protein and red and white blood cells are usually absent in urine, the presence of an excess amount of any of these may mean kidney disease. The presence of protein in the urine is an early sign of kidney disease in diabetes patients. Many other tests are also conducted to check the presence of protein in the urine. The tests detect the protein to creatinine ratio to accurately measure protein in the urine. If the results show a value of 200 mg/gm or less per day it is normal, while a value higher than 200 mg/gm is too high. The albumin to creatinine ratio test is another very effective test.
This is particularly helpful for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. For this test, the value of less than 30 mg/gm per day is normal while a value of 30 mg/gm per day or higher is high and indicates kidney disease. However, the good news is you don’t have to collect a 24-hour urine sample for these tests.
Doctors recommend a KUB ultrasound to assess the urinary tract which includes the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. Doctors usually ask for this test if they suspect kidney or bladder problems. Renal ultrasound tests can show –
- Size of the kidneys
- Signs of injury to the kidneys
- Abnormalities present since birth
- Presence of blockages or kidney stones
- Complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Cysts or tumors
Here are a few more tips that can help keep your kidneys healthy –
Drink plenty of fluids
Doctors suggest that you should drink a minimum of 3 liters of water in a day. This will help the kidneys remove wastes from our bodies through urine more effectively. Besides, this will also help to flush out toxins that can lead to infections or kidney stones. In addition to water, you can also take fruit juices like lemon, orange, and melon. All these are beneficial for the kidney’s health.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
While tests and fluid intake are a great way to maintain kidney health, you must remain active and fit to avoid chronic kidney conditions. This includes exercising regularly, walking, running, dancing or cycling. These activities keep your body active and healthy. Moreover, it is also highly important to eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and control your body weight.
Monitoring other health conditions
Kidney conditions are often the result of abnormal blood pressure and high blood sugar. Keeping these two under control is essential to avoid the risk of developing advanced kidney problems or diseases. It is important to know that diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure all over the world. Those with diabetes quickly develop kidney issues as high sugar level makes the kidneys work harder to filter your blood.
Also read: Top 6 Reasons You Should Get Regular Blood Tests
At DocGenie, our expert technicians conduct error-free tests and provide accurate test reports. Test your kidneys regularly to live a healthy life.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.