Protecting kidney health

March 30, 2021

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Keeping you clean

Have you ever used a filter on your water faucet? The filter catches impurities in the water, so that your drink is free of unwanted gunk. Your kidneys clean your body in the same way. “Our kidneys are work horses,” says Dr. Eric Klein, a urologist at Adventist Health Tillamook. “They do a lot of very important jobs. We can help our kidneys stay healthy by several good habits and checking in with a provider as soon as we notice any changes or pains.”

A+ habits for kidney health

Dr. Klein says exercise, keeping body weight in a good range and a healthy diet help support kidney health. Avoid smoking or vaping.

Too much of a good thing?

Because they filter out extra and unwanted waste, our kidneys can be sensitive when we overdo it. Taking high doses of vitamins or herbal remedies, alcohol or even too many liquids can strain the kidneys. Also, taking too much over-the-counter pain medicine isn’t good for the kidneys. “Daily doses of pills like ibuprofen can hurt the kidneys over time,” Dr. Klein says. “Always tell your provider what medicines and vitamins you are taking.”

Urinary tract infections can put kidneys at risk

Men get urinary tract infections (UTIs) when bacteria get into the urethra. Untreated UTIs can spread to the kidneys, causing serious issues. “You may feel pain when you urinate or pain in your abdomen,” Dr. Klein says. “We can treat a UTI with medicine, so let’s catch it before it does harm.”