When we think about the areas of our body that we need to tend to, our Kidneys are not necessarily the first things that spring to mind.
With the many healthcare needs that come with advanced age, some important areas of the body can become neglected amidst all of the other things seniors have to take care of, but maintaining health Kidneys is important for overall wellbeing.
What to Kidneys Do?
Our Kidneys are responsible for a lot of filtration of toxins and waste out of the blood, and also play a role in balancing the amount of water in the body, and regulating blood-pressure. The functions that our Kidneys perform are important for maintaining overall health, so tending to the Kidneys themselves is truly important.
Things such as medications, infections, illnesses, and other facets of health in older age can impact and slowly take a toll on Kidneys over time, so there is often a decline in Kidney function with age. The problem with damage to the Kidneys is that there are not often that many noticeable symptoms until things get dire and Kidney function is significantly impaired. It is, therefore, important to tend to Kidney health and keep them in good shape so that problems don’t arise and go unnoticed.
Kidney diseases are most often detected through bloodwork or urinalysis well before any noticeable symptoms become apparent. While Kidney damage is something that is usually sustained gradually over time, there are also instances in which the damage can occur quickly if certain factors intersect to create a problem. There are some warning signs that may indicate Kidney disease and should motivate seniors to consult a healthcare professional right away:
- Swelling in face, abdomen, or limbs
- Loss of Appetite
- Metallic Taste in the Mouth
- Confusion or Fatigue
- Foamy Urine (Indicating Protein is Present)
- Changes in Amount, Colour, or Frequency of Urine/Urination
As long as some functionality remains in the Kidneys, there are ways to control symptoms and slow down the impact of the disease. Should the Kidneys be too severely damaged, the options become limited to things like lifelong dialysis, or transplantation of the organ.
People with Kidney disease can still live full lives, but keeping up the health of Kidneys and avoiding Kidney disease all together can prevent seniors having to become dependent upon treatments like dialysis for the rest of their lives.
Keeping Things Healthy
As with most areas of the body, there are lifestyle choices that can be made that help keep things on track in terms of Kidney health. The following are important ways to keep seniors’ Kidneys functioning as they should:
- Activity: Keeping active helps with things like weight management, blood-pressure, blood-sugar, and diabetes prevention, and all of these things are important for preventing Kidney damage.
- Healthy Diet: A balanced and nutritious diet is always important for the body. Preventing obesity, managing sodium intake, and getting enough of the right nutrients are all important for Kidney health.
- Blood-Sugar Management: Diabetes is a significant risk-factor for Kidney problems, so keeping blood-sugar in check and preventing or managing Diabetes is important for seniors’ Kidney function.
- Blood-Pressure Management: The most common of all causes of Kidney failure is high blood-pressure. When blood-pressure is too high, the Kidneys are unable to properly filter water and toxins from the blood. Keeping blood-pressure where it should be is important for Kidney health.
Caring for seniors’ Kidneys doesn’t have to be complicated, it just takes a little bit of thought, planning, and engagement. Should you ever become concerned, always seek out a healthcare professional for assistance and support.