Keep Your Kidney Healthy – Things to Avoid
My Octogenarian Father’s creatinine level shot up much above the prescribed limit. This was alarming bells ringing as the Doctor cautioned that if the creatinine level increases unbated, his kidney’s will be at complete risk. So, what is creatinine level and how does it affect the health of the kidneys?
Creatinine is a waste product of muscular activity which is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. Creatinine levels are commonly used as a measure of kidney health. When functioning normally, they filter creatinine to maintain stable levels. However, if damaged or not working properly, they may have difficulty removing creatinine. Elevated creatinine levels are often a sign of reduced kidney function or kidney disease.
While, significant changes in creatinine levels usually require medical intervention, certain lifestyle changes may help support kidney health. Here are some general tips that may promote kidney health:
- Limit phosphorus and potassium: If you have kidney disease or high creatinine levels, your healthcare provider may suggest limiting foods that are high in phosphorus and potassium. Examples of high-phosphorus foods include dairy products, nuts, seeds, and certain meats. High-potassium foods include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, and avocados. Moderation and portion control are key, and your healthcare provider can provide specific guidance based on your needs.
- Low-sodium diet: Excessive sodium intake can contribute to fluid retention and high blood pressure, which can strain the kidneys. Reduce your sodium intake by avoiding processed foods, canned goods, fast food, and adding minimal salt to your meals. Instead, flavour your food with herbs, spices, lemon juice, or vinegar.
- Moderate protein intake: High protein intake can increase the workload on the kidneys. If you have kidney disease or high creatinine levels, your healthcare provider may recommend limiting protein intake. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who specializes in kidney health to determine the appropriate level of protein restriction for your specific condition.
- Control blood pressure and blood sugar levels: High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to kidney damage. Managing these conditions through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups can help protect kidney function and potentially impact creatinine levels.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and smoking: Alcohol and tobacco use can have detrimental effects on kidney health. Minimizing alcohol intake and avoiding smoking are beneficial for kidney function and overall health.
- Exercise regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity helps maintain overall health and can contribute to healthy kidney function. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine suitable exercise routines based on your individual health status.
It's important to remember that these lifestyle changes are generally supportive of kidney health and may not directly lower creatinine levels in all cases. If you have concerns about your creatinine levels or kidney health, it is imperative to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific situation, provide appropriate guidance, and develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
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