In this country, 37 million people live with chronic kidney disease. It’s a life-threatening health condition. Kidneys play a vital role in overall health and wellness. They filter blood, waste, and excess water from the body. Kidneys also aid in regulating blood pressure, producing essential hormones, and balancing pH levels.
African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and seniors are at increased risk. While functionality naturally decreases over time, it doesn’t mean you will automatically develop kidney disease. It does mean you need to be mindful of risky lifestyle choices.
Symptoms and Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
While family history of kidney disease is a leading indicator, diabetes and high blood pressure account for two-thirds of the cases of CKD. Obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking contribute to both. Other conditions that increase the risk for chronic kidney disease include lupus, chronic urinary tract infections, and a group of hereditary kidney illnesses known as glomerulonephritis.
One challenge in diagnosing CKD is symptoms aren’t often detectable until the disease is advanced. Signs of chronic kidney disease to be aware of include:
- Feeling sluggish and tired
- Muscle cramps, especially at night
- Swelling in feet and ankles
- Puffy eyes in morning
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Skin rashes
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
If you or an older family member are experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. While the symptoms might be caused by something else, early intervention is crucial for treating kidney disease.
Preventing Kidney Disease as You Age
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep the kidneys healthy, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating fresh vegetables
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Restricting salt intake
- Controlling blood pressure
- Managing cholesterol
Dining and Nutrition at Five Star Senior Living
At Five Star Senior Living communities, we recognize the crucial role nutrition plays in successful aging. Residents are treated to culinary delights every day. Meals are both nutritious and delicious.
Visit Five Star Recipes for a firsthand look at some of our residents’ favorite recipes and our chefs’ preparation tips. If you have questions about our dining programs or senior living, please call (853) 457-8271. One of our experienced team members will be happy to help!