March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness and focus on building paths to better kidney care. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), “37 million people in the United States are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD).” In fact, as many as 9 in 10 people who have CKD are not aware that they do.
But just what exactly do kidneys do? What is Chronic Kidney Disease? And why is it so important to take care of your kidneys? The kidneys act as a filter for your blood. They remove waste and extra water, keep chemicals balanced, and make hormones. People develop CKD when their kidneys have been damaged over a long period of time. Common causes of CKD include diabetes and high blood pressure. There is no cure for kidney disease and while treatments can slow it down, preventative care is crucial to keep your kidneys healthier longer.
The NIDDK has provided these helpful tips to take charge of your kidney care:
- Be an active participant in your care. Work with your health care team to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle, mobility, health status, and dietary needs.
- Follow your care plan. Take medicine as prescribed and stay up to date on vaccines. The COVID-19 and flu vaccines are especially important for people with kidney disease, who may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 or the flu.
- Build a kidney healthy lifestyle. Try to incorporate healthy habits into your daily schedule. This can include healthy foods and beverages you enjoy, physical activity like walking or taking the stairs to help you stay active and manage your weight, or a sleep routine that helps you get enough rest.
We wanted to highlight some of the resources we have available at the library for all of your kidney needs. Stop by the library to check out a title, or follow any of the corresponding links below to place a hold online.
- 5-ingredient renal diet cookbook : quick & easy recipes for every stage of kidney disease by Aisling Whelan
- The 28-day gout diet plan : the optimal nutrition guide to manage gout by Sophia Kamveris, MS, RD, LDN
- The 30-minute renal diet cookbook : easy, flavorful recipes for every stage of kidney disease by Aisling Whelan, MS, RDN, CDN
- 100 questions & answers about kidney cancer by Steven C. Campbell, Brian I. Rini. Robert G. Uzzo, Brian Lane
- 100 questions & answers about kidney disease and hypertension by Raymond R. Townsend, Debbie L. Cohen
- 100 questions and answers about liver, heart, and kidney transplantation : a Lahey Clinic guide by Hannah M. Gilligan, David M. Venesy, Fredric D. Gordon
- DASH diet for renal health: a customized program to improve your kidney function based on America’s top-rated diet by Sara Monk Rivera, RD ; Kristin Diversi, MS
- Living healthy : fight kidney stones with food cookbook by the Urology Care Foundation, the official foundation of the American Urological Association