What happens to the kidneys as we grow older?

Posted by   Τόλης Γεωργακόπουλος
What happens to the kidneys as we grow older?

Kidney function does not remain stable throughout life, but declines over time, even if the general state of health is good, say scientists from Norway.

In a study of nearly 3,000 volunteers aged 50 to 97, they found that a key indicator of kidney function was slowly but gradually declining each year. However the reduction was:

* Less in volunteers without underlying health problems and without risk factors for kidney disease

* Greater in people with underlying chronic health problems and / or risk factors for kidney disease.

Decreased renal function is something that happens to all people, following the normal aging of the body. This discount does not happen because we are sick, but because we are growing up. However, it accelerates when diseases that impair renal function develop, such as diabetes or hypertension, as well as when chronic kidney disease develops. However, the decline in renal function varies from person to person and we do not yet know for sure why there is this difference. The only sure thing is that good general health does not guarantee good kidney function.

What can we do
The big question is if and what we could do to help our kidneys stay healthy longer. There are several things we can all do.

First of all, we must take all measures that will protect us from the development of diseases that damage the kidneys. The two main ones are hypertension and diabetes. Therefore we must pay attention to our diet, exercise daily (prolonged walking is a very good choice), do not smoke and take care to maintain a healthy weight.|

The most important thing we can do in order to protect our kidneys is the rational consumption of salt and sugar. In practice, the most important thing we can do to protect our kidneys this means adding little or no added salt to food and salads, as most ready-to-eat foods on the market contain a lot of extra salt. In total during the day we should not exceed 2,300 mg of sodium (or 2.3 grams). Salt is listed as "sodium" on food packaging, so by reading it we can estimate approximately how much salt we eat.

As for sugars, our diet should contain plenty of unprocessed and little processed. In practice, this means eating plenty of whole fruits, vegetables and legumes, and reasonable amounts of whole grains (may contain a lot of salt and added sugar). Sugar and anything that contains it should be consumed sporadically.

Alcohol consumption must also be reasonable and measured, because in large quantities alcoholic beverages impair kidney function.

In addition to nutrition, periodic preventive control (checkup) of urine is very important, in order to detect in time any onset of kidney disease and to take the necessary measures. It is also necessary to consult a urologist immediately if you experience suspicious symptoms from the urinary tract, such as burning sensation (burning) when urinating, frequent urination, etc.

These symptoms may mask a urinary tract infection, which if left untreated.


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