Go with the Flow: Water and Kidney Health

In real estate, it's location, location, location. On the "Highway to Health," it's hydration, hydration, hydration! What began in May as a discussion with H2H regular Nicole Dreiske about the importance of hydration and quality water, turned into something of a four part series that included kidney health. (And inspired me to get the World's Most Ridiculous Water Bottle, but more on that later.)

We'll start at the top. Nicole's first segment on hydration was May 26th. Were you shocked to learn that you need water to function? I hope not. But you might've been slightly more shocked to find out that most Americans are chronically dehydrated.

This got us thinking about our kidneys. The CDC estimates that 15% of US adults have chronic kidney disease (think any of them are dehydrated?) and that 9 out of 10 of them don't even know they have it. Now we're moving into truly shocking territory. And we lucked out to have University of North Carolina's Dr. Emily Chang as the nephrologist to guide us through it on June 9th. Big thanks to the American Society of Nephrology for introducing us to Dr. Chang!

Here are the big takeaways in this segment:

  • 2:15--Not just pee! The kidneys are responsible for everything from blood filtration and blood pressure regulation to bone health and red blood cell creation.

  • 3:56--Kidney scars?! That's a thing, and that's how you get in to real trouble.

  • 5:15--High blood pressure and kidney disease are a vicious cycle. Dr. Chang's brilliant garden hose analogy is one of the best visual descriptions I've heard on the program!

  • 6:43--The only thing that causes kidney disease more than high blood pressure is diabetes! And diabetes can do damage in a number of ways.

  • 11:34--The American Society of Nephrology is pretty cool!

  • 12:54--The same damage that happens with heart disease is happening in your kidneys!

  • 14:55--High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are top risk factors...but wait, there's more!

  • 15:55--Is it time to see a doctor, or get a screening?

  • 17:33--What you drink matters. Dr. Chang breaks down water, coffee, and soda.

  • 18:40--How salt intake and dietary choices either support kidney health--or not.

  • 19:15--Are your prescription or over the counter drugs contributing to kidney problems? What about supplements?