World Kidney Day serves as reminder of kidney health tips – Yahoo News

Mar. 9—Kidneys are vital in the human body, and one local expert emphasized their importance along with some tips for keeping the organs healthy.
March 9 is World Kidney Day. Kidneys are useful for removing waste and extra water from the blood and turning it into urine. In this aspect, it may not be a surprise that what you eat and drink can have a huge effect on kidney health.
Mosaic Life Care nephrologist Dr. Keith Kramer said the key to kidney health isn't about what foods a person eats as much as it is the way they live their life.
"There's not actually a specific diet to follow initially," Kramer said. "What I would say is more important is just staying healthy overall, being active. Walking every day can be beneficial."
One food additive that is not beneficial to kidney health is salt. Most adults should be consuming 5-6 grams of salt per day in their meals. With how much salt is in premade and frozen foods, the best way to control salt intake is by using fresh ingredients in your meals.
One of the most common problems people experience in their kidneys is kidney stones. The National Kidney Foundation estimates that one out of every 10 people will experience kidney stones at some point in their life.
Causes for a kidney stone can vary from too much or too little water consumption, lack of exercise or consuming too much salt or sugar. If you suspect you may have one, see a doctor as soon as you can. Stones can either be passed in urine or they can be removed surgically.
Kramer said a person should be okay as long as they don't eat or drink anything in excess.
"Moderation is probably more the key," Kramer said. "There are certainly some things like green tea and high caffeine consumption might contribute a little bit to a kidney stone development … but that's something that you'll want to visit with your physician with to see what exactly your kidney stones might be related to."
According to the World Kidney Day website, a person can be more susceptible to kidney disease if they have other underlying medical conditions. High risk factors can include diabetes, obesity or having a family history of kidney disease.
While we are born with a pair of kidneys, we only need one to survive. Many people have donated kidneys to those who need a transplant. Removing a kidney does not come without its effects. Any potential injury to the kidney becomes even more serious, and doctors may recommend staying away from contact sports such as football and hockey after donating.
While there are risks to only having a single kidney, nephrologists wouldn't simply allow anyone to donate.
"We do think that people that donate their kidneys have an overall survival (rate) that is nearly equivalent to the general population," Kramer said. "If we considered that an unsafe practice, we wouldn't let people donate kidneys. I have had patients that have been on dialysis and have received the gift of a transplant … and that is such a blessing to those dialysis patients. It's almost indescribable."
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