World Kidney Day: Eight golden rules for preventing chronic kidney disease

Kidney diseases are silent killers. There are several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease

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Keep active: Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. Activities like walking, running and cycling should be undertaken

Keep fasting sugar < 80 mg: About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage. Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early.

Keep lower BP < 80 mm Hg: High blood pressure is also the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.

Keep your abdominal circumference < 80 cm: Eat healthy and keep your weight in check. This helps in preventing diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease.

Reduce your salt intake: The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). Limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food.

Drink adequate fluids: Drink 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. Consuming plenty of fluid helps kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn result in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease, according to researchers in Australia and Canada.

Do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, this can cause side effects. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.

Do not smoke: It slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.

Do not take over-the-counter pain killers: Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.

Source: Indian Medical Association (IMA)