You’ve got to be Kidneying me!National Pharmacies
The importance of blood pressure in healthy kidney function.
World Kidney Day, held on the 8th March is the perfect opportunity to take the necessary checks to ensure our kidneys are healthy while raising awareness of their importance in our day-to-day lives. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a global health problem, affecting more women than men. Approximately 195 million women suffer from CKD, with 600,000 deaths each year, making it the 8th leading cause of death in women, worldwide. You are at a higher risk of reduced kidney function if you have diabetes, hypertension, are obese, have a family history of kidney disease or are of African, Asian or Aboriginal origin.
We can live with one kidney, in fact some people are born that way, however, without any kidney function your body is unable to rid itself of waste products and clean your blood. In short, your kidneys play a major role in maintaining your overall health and wellbeing. Shockingly, 90 per cent of kidney function can be lost without you experiencing any symptoms.
You may not be aware, but high blood pressure is the most common cause of kidney damage. Blood pressure is the measurement of pressure of the blood pumping through your heart and out to the arteries in your body. It fluctuates during the day depending on the time, the amount of fluid in your body, the medications you have taken and the activity you are doing. Surprisingly it can be affected by your breathing, emotions, exercise and sleep but typically, your blood pressure will return to normal when you are at rest.
The normal blood pressure range is between 120/80. If you fall between 139/89 you should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. However, at 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks of kidney damage and other ailments like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease with your GP.
A high blood pressure reading can be recorded if you are overweight, not exercising enough, stressed, drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day, smoking, are of old age or have a family history.
Besides controlling your blood pressure, you can maintain healthy kidney function by:
- Keeping fit and active
- Controlling your blood sugar levels
- Eating a healthy diet and keep your weight in check
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Not smoking
- Reducing use of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
National Pharmacies offers blood pressure and blood sugar tests to its members, so head in-store or call to book today.
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.