Kidney Health and Aging: Common Concerns in Older Adults
Your kidneys perform important functions, like helping rid your body of toxic substances. When your kidneys don’t function well, your entire body may be affected. As you age, your kidneys go through changes which may reduce kidney function. Your kidney doctor can help you and your kidneys stay healthy as you age.
The kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians provide comprehensive kidney services, including diagnosis and treatment of kidney conditions. They have several convenient office locations in Des Moines, IA, to help you.
How Aging Can Affect Your Kidneys
Your kidneys are affected by aging, just like the rest of you. Aging can result in:
- Inflammation and swelling of your kidneys
- Blood vessel and nerve damage due to diabetes
- Increased urinary tract infections, which can lead to kidney damage
- Urinary incontinence, which can lead to a urinary tract infection
- Reduced blood supply to the kidneys, caused by fatty plaques and other substances narrowing or blocking the renal artery
- Kidney damage caused by chronic high blood pressure
So, how can you help keep your kidneys healthy as you age? Remember to:
- Keep your blood sugar under control
- Keep your blood pressure under control
- Keep cholesterol levels under control
- Drink plenty of water to help with kidney function
- Eat a healthy diet, low in sugar, fat, and salt
- Treat any urinary tract infections immediately
- Don’t smoke, and drink alcohol sparingly
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
- Maintain a healthy weight
You should also visit your kidney doctor at least once each year, or as your kidney doctor recommends. Your kidney doctor will:
- Perform a thorough physical examination
- Order any necessary lab testing to evaluate kidney function
- Order any necessary imaging to evaluate the health of your kidneys
After a comprehensive evaluation, your kidney doctor may recommend treatment if you are showing early signs of kidney disease. Your treatment plan may include:
- Medications to manage blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
- Dietary modifications to lower sugar, salt, and fat intake
- Medications to reduce fluid accumulation, relieve swelling, and improve kidney function
Want To Know More?
To find out more about how aging affects your kidneys, and how your kidney doctor can help, call the kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines, IA. You can reach them in Methodist Plaza at (515) 336-6557, or in Riverpoint at (515) 243-3161, so call today.