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March 2018

Topics: Kidney Disease Prevention and Oral Health


Kidney Disease

African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure mostly due to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Because kidney disease often has no symptoms, it can go unnoticed until it is very advanced. But there's good news. Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards reducing risk, and early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.


According to Dr. Crystal Tyson, a nephrologist and hypertension specialist at Duke University Medical Center, “Eating healthy and exercising does not have to be bland, dry and boring! It is important to plan ahead and find creative ways to add healthier foods to your diet and to increase the amount of activity in your daily routine. While medications are necessary and important to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease, no medication that I prescribe can compare to the health benefits that you can receive from eating a healthy diet and exercising more. In other words, a healthy diet and exercise is the ‘best’ medicine”

Kidney Disease Prevention

  • Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/Hg. Check with your health provider for your target.

  • Take your medication as directed

  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese and maintain a normal body weight

  • Develop healthy eating habits by lowering the salt, sugar and cholesterol in your diet and eating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and beans.

  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 days per week

  • Avoid frequent use of pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), BC powder and Goody’s powder as these medications can harm the kidneys

  • Quit smoking

  • Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman and 2 drinks per day if you are a man

  • If you have diabetes, meet blood sugar targets as often as you can.


What to do?

Not everyone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or with a family history of kidney disease will get it. But if you have any of these risk factors, you should:

  • Get tested for kidney disease

  • Get tested for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease

  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to exercise, eat healthy, lose weight if needed, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can keep you from getting kidney disease. It can also help slow or stop kidney disease from getting worse

Oral Health

Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. Your mouth is a window into the health of your body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems. Whether you are 8 or 80, your oral health is important.


Desiree Palmer, DMD., states, “Eating foods that are high in dietary fiber can even help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Dietary fiber requires healthy chewing which stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva. Saliva has natural antibacterial properties that fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Opt for crisp fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery because they make healthy snacks! “


At home, you can practice good oral hygiene:

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.

  • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach.

  • Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.

  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

  • Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the early signs of gum disease.



March is also colon cancer awareness month, please remember to eat fiber, try to achieve ideal weight by eating healthy foods and exercising, know your family history, and get a colonoscopy if you are over 50. People living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Remember stress affects bad decisions like snacking, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol!


Remember your ABCs

Always eat healthy, Be active and exercise regularly, and Check your blood pressure. Aim to keep it below 130/80 mmHg.

Duke Energy Safety Tips

Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water

Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.


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Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Duke Energy

REMEMBER Healthy People 2020: A Clear Vision to Healthy Living!

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