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What Are the Risk Factors for Kidney Disease?

Kidneys remove waste from the blood and regulate water levels in the body, making it important to ensure these hardworking organs stay healthy. However, there are many other conditions that can directly affect your senior loved one’s kidneys and result in kidney disease. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care in Summit, has put together a list of risk factors for kidney disease along with information on how to reduce each risk.

High Blood Pressure

Many seniors are on some type of medication to control their blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the kidney and lead to kidney disease. You can help your loved one by encouraging him or her to work with a doctor to manage the condition and to take blood pressure medications as prescribed. You should also suggest your loved one avoid products with added salts, such as processed meats, canned soups and veggies, and frozen dinners.

Diabetes

Similar to high blood pressure, diabetes attacks the blood vessels of the kidney. Encouraging your loved one to stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight can reduce his or her risk of developing diabetes. You should also make sure he or she gets annual checkups. The doctor will do routine blood tests as part of the exam that detects diabetes so the condition can be managed before it causes long-term damage.

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatlike substance that can collect within the blood vessels, including those that supply the kidneys. Over time, decreased blood flow can lead to impaired kidney function. The key to maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is a balanced diet centered on lean proteins and plenty of vegetables. Physical activity can also raise levels of good cholesterol that help break down bad cholesterol so it can be flushed from the body.

Certain Nonprescription Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are metabolized through the kidneys. Taking these medications in large amounts on a regular basis can lead to kidney damage, and they should be avoided entirely if your loved one has impaired kidney function. You should encourage your loved one to follow all dosage instructions when taking these medications.

To learn more about reducing your loved one’s risk of developing kidney disease or other serious conditions, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help your loved one stay physically active, prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to medical appointments, and assist with many other important tasks. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care in Summit. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.