Posts Tagged ‘Kidney disease’

Can of Kidney Beans

When I was in my early 40s my ankles started to swell up. I was healthy in every other way with the exception of living with Type 1 diabetes. Through a urine and blood test, doctors were concerned that I had some indicators of a kidney disease. After a biopsy, I was was diagnosed with idiopathic nephropathy. My kidneys were inflamed and damaged from an autoimmune reaction. Fortunately, doctors were able to treat it successfully through medicines and monitoring.

When we are healthy, we might not think about our kidneys. When we have a chronic disease like diabetes, we still might not think about our kidneys, as I didn’t. We should though, as kidney disease is becoming more and more common today and is a potential complication of chronic diseases like diabetes. Kidneys play an important role in our bodies. They remove wastes, extra fluid, and acids to maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals. In addition, kidneys produce hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep our bones healthy.

Conditions such as hypertension or elevated blood sugar can be harmful to the kidneys over time as they become damaged and leaky. Kidney disease is often called the silent killer because individuals can be asymptomatic at first. As kidney disease progresses , harmful electrolytes and waste start to build up in the body. In the final stages of kidney disease, dialysis is needed. Kidney disease can be detected by routine blood and urinalysis tests. It’s imperative that people get checked if they are at high risk:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart (cardiovascular) disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Being Black, Native American or Asian American
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Abnormal kidney structure
  • Older age
  • Frequent use of medications that can damage the kidneys

Fortunately, kidneys disease can be controlled or managed if it is detected early enough. Medications and behavioral changes can delay or prevent complications. Following a low sodium diet, being physically active, smoking cessation, managing blood sugar, and maintaining or reducing weight are all kidney healthy behaviors.

Author: Dan Remley, PhD, MSPH, Associate Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, O.S.U. Extension


Susan Zies, M.Ed, Assistant Professor, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension

Mayo Clinic. Chronic Kidney Disease. Accessed on 10/1/2021 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-kidney-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354521

National Kidney Foundation. Membranous Nephropathy. Accessed on 10/1/2021 https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/membranous-nephropathy-mn

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestion, and Kidney Diseases. How do Kidneys Work? Accessed on 10/1/2021 at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work

Zies, S. Salt: A Salty Subject. Accessed on 10/1/2021 at https://wordpress.com/post/livehealthyosu.com/3840

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