Patient Education for Kidney Health
For more than 90 years, Baptist Health has been delivering quality healthcare to the citizens of Arkansas. As part of our mission, we are committed to promoting health education like the resources found below. For even more comprehensive health education, visit our health encyclopedia.
Quiz: Kidney Stones
Click here to take the Kidney Stones quiz
Keep Your Kidneys Working Well
- Drink plenty of water. Healthy people can let thirst be their guide. If you've already had kidney stones, you may be advised to drink at least three to four quarts of water daily to lessen your risk of forming a new stone.
- Eat nutritiously and exercise. You may not associate food and physical activity with kidney disease, but a balanced diet and regular exercise help prevent or control diabetes and high blood pressure, two risk factors for kidney disease. A good eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. Proteins such as lean meats, poultry and fish are included. To reduce disease risk, adults should exercise at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or more on most days.
- Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 40 percent.
- Talk with your doctor about appropriate medical tests. All adults should have their blood pressure checked periodically. If you're at risk for kidney disease, your doctor also may recommend regular blood or urine tests.
- Follow your doctor's advice. Especially if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Following your doctor's advice and taking your medications as directed may help reduce your risk of long-term complications such as kidney failure.
High Blood Pressure Can Damage Kidneys
One of the most important ways to maintain kidney function is by controlling blood pressure. Many people can keep their blood pressure under control by making lifestyle changes, including: maintaining a healthy weight, limiting daily sodium intake, exercising, quitting smoking, reducing stress and limiting alcohol consumption. For others, lifestyle changes are not enough to reduce blood pressure levels and medication may be necessary.