Surprisingly enough, kidney-related health problems are more common than many people think. In fact, studies have shown that 1 in every 11 Americans has developed kidney stones at least once. Poor kidney health can lead to a host of different problems, and in extreme cases even lead to death.
It's not all doom and gloom, however. As common as kidney problems are, it's still possible to mitigate them with lifestyle changes. For older adults especially, lifestyle changes can often spell the difference between functioning kidneys and dialysis.
If you're a senior adult looking for tips, or just someone who wants to have healthy kidneys, then read on below for what you can do.
Bad eating habits play a big role in kidney disease. A study published in Kidney & Blood Pressure Research found that salt can reduce kidney function, while obesity makes these organs work harder. Combining both issues can make the risk of kidney failure increase considerably, but there are alternatives.
Eating homemade meals is an excellent way to maintain sodium at acceptable levels. Not adding salt to meals after they are prepared can also be helpful. Snacks like fruits and whole grains are an excellent alternative to salty chips, and come with a host of other benefits as well.
Keeping Yourself Properly Hydrated
It's easy to forget to stay hydrated, but the loss of fluid can increase the probability of developing kidney stones. This is even more likely if you have already had stones in the past.
Drinking eight cups of water a day helps you stay hydrated, but there are other options as well. An article from European Urology reports that alkali citrate can reduce the chances of developing kidney stones. Adding alkali citrate supplements like Moonstone to your daily diet should make it easier to prevent these kidney stones from developing.
Switching to the Right Insurance Plan
Many older adults can be caught by surprise when their doctors detect serious kidney problems. Sometimes genetic predispositions can also play a role in poor kidney health, despite a healthy lifestyle and diet. As in many cases, often the best way to deal with these uncertainties is prepping with insurance.
Checking your medical insurance coverage is a good way to keep one step ahead of the problem. KelseyCare Advantage recommends choosing healthcare plans that adapt to your current and future needs. Medicare covers dialysis treatments, but it’s important to consider plans that also provide coverage for the respective prescription drugs.
Stopping or Reducing NSAIDs Consumption
As we get older, neck, back, and limb pain can become chronic. Many problems need regular medication, forcing patients to take pills like ibuprofen and naproxen fairly regularly. This kind of medication, however, carries some risks for the kidneys.
Research published in Agents and Actions Supplements shows that NSAIDs can reduce blood flow to the kidneys, increasing the chance of kidney damage, so avoid these when possible. Light stretches and exercise, as well as natural remedies, can make it easier to manage pain. If taking pain-related medication is unavoidable, be sure to speak with your doctor on how to mitigate the effects on your kidney.
Aging Healthily and Happily
Kidney problems can be especially dangerous for older adults. Living with kidney stones or kidney disease can mean a diminished quality of life, and in many cases even death. Lifestyle changes, as well as healthy supplements like Moonstone, can play a huge role in ensuring that older adults can age healthy and happily, without fear of kidney disease. That, certainly, is worth the time and investment.
By Willa Saunders