Prevent Kidney Disease

kidney-failure-e1371156824494Kidney disease damages your kidneys, preventing them from cleaning your blood as well as they should.

This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body and lead to other health problems, including heart disease, anemia, and bone disease. Chronic kidney disease eventually can cause kidney failure if it is not treated.

If you do have the disease, it’s important to be diagnosed early. Treatment can slow down the disease, and prevent or delay kidney failure. Because chronic kidney disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms, many people with the condition don’t realize they’re sick until the disease is advanced and requires dialysis. Blood and urine tests are the only ways to tell if you have chronic kidney disease.

Steps to help keep your kidneys healthy include the following:

  • Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/hg
  • Stay in your target cholesterol range
  • Eat less salt and salt substitutes
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay physically active
  • Take your medications as prescribed

If you have diabetes, take these steps, too:

  • Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can
  • Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.

If your blood pressure is high, check it regularly and get it under control to make sure your kidneys remain healthy. Talk to your doctor about medicines to lower your blood pressure.

Helping to prevent type 2 diabetes is another important step in preventing kidney disease. Recent studies have shown that overweight people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

via CDC Features – Diabetes, High Blood Pressure Raise Kidney Disease Risk.

Blood Pressure: Key to Heart Health

High-Blood-pressureYour doctor tells you your blood pressure numbers, or you hear the doctors on ER shout “pressure’s dropping!” Do you actually know what that means?

Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Your systolic pressure measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat, while the diastolic pressure measures the same pressure between heartbeats, when the heart fills with blood. “Both of these numbers are important, just because one is normal doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.”

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.

Pre-hypertension is 120 to 139 (systolic) and/or 80 to 89 (diastolic).

Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure — is 140 or higher (systolic) and 90 or higher (diastolic).

One in three adults in the U.S. — about 74 million people — has high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. Between 1996 and 2006, the number of deaths from high blood pressure rose by more than 48%.

via Key Numbers for Heart Health: Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Waist Size.

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

????????????????????????????????????????There’s a common misconception that people with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, will experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing. The truth is that HBP is largely a symptomless condition. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life. Everybody needs to know their blood pressure numbers, and everyone needs to prevent high blood pressure from developing.

via What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?.

Knowing Your Numbers Could Save Your Life

Know_NumbersIf the oil light comes on in your car do you ignore it or do you bring it to a mechanic to tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it? It’s the same way with your health except you can replace the car but not your health. That’s why it’s so critical to know and monitor your target numbers.

Below are the healthy ranges to work toward. You’ll often see these written out with clinical terms like mg/dL and mm Hg. Your medical provider can explain those terms. For you, the important thing is the numbers themselves:

  • Blood Pressure – less than 120/80
  • Cholesterol Total – below 200
  • LDL – below 130
  • HDL – above 50 for women – above 40 for men
  • Triglycerides – below 150
  • Glucose (fasting) – between 70 and 99
  • BMI – between 18.5 and 24.9

It’s important to monitor your numbers regularly by getting an annual physical, blood work and reviewing them with your doctor. It’s to late after you are sick because much of the damage to your body will not be repairable.

via Know Your Numbers.

America’s High Blood Pressure Burden

High-Blood-pressureHigh Blood Pressure is often referred  to as “The Silent Killer”. Here are the facts:

  • About 1 in 3 U.S. adults—an estimated 68 million people—has high blood pressure.
  • 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure is also a major risk factor for kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure was listed as a primary or contributing cause of death for about 348,000 Americans in 2008.
  • Costs directly attributable to high blood pressure for the nation total almost $131 billion annually in direct medical expenses and $25 billion in lost productivity.
  • Less than half (46%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
  • Almost 30% of American adults have prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range. Prehypertension raises your risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Reducing average population sodium intake from 3,300 mg to 2,300 mg per day may reduce cases of high blood pressure by 11 million and save 18 billion health care dollars annually.

via CDC – DHDSP – High Blood Pressure Facts.

Too Much Sodium Is Bad For Your Health

Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium (1,500 mg/day or less). Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt, and the vast majority of sodium we consume is in processed and restaurant foods. Too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third killers of men and women in the United States each year.

via CDC – DHDSP – High Blood Pressure and Sodium.