More than ten percent of the American population, equating approximately thirty million people, develop a chronic kidney disease at some point in their life and require surgery or a transplant (1). Recently, the First Lady, Melania Trump, joined this ten percent after undergoing an embolization procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (2). According to reports, Trump’s surgery was meant to treat a “benign” kidney condition. While information about the condition specifically is still unreleased, the procedure was successful. It is likely that Trump will reside in the hospital for the remainder of the week, but she is in no danger (2).
What requires an embolization?
Since embolization cuts off the blood supply to a certain part of the body by blocking one or more blood vessels or abnormal vascular channels, it goes without saying that Trump’s procedure has stirred up some questions (2).
Generally, embolization is used to cut off excessive or unwanted bleeding, close off vessels that are supplying blood to a tumor, or treat certain diseases (3). While the reason for Trump’s procedure will remain unclear until more information is released, doctors are speculating that some sort of cyst was removed, or a bleeding stopped (2).
Partha’s Prescriptions for Good Kidney Health
Regardless of whether or not you are in the daily spotlight, it is important to take necessary steps to keep our bodies healthy. Here are a few tips specifically to prevent any kidney issues:
- Eat a well-balanced, kidney-and heart-healthy diet. Reduce sodium, avoid processed and chemically-enhanced foods. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, limit foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol (such as eggs, whole milk, cheese, fried foods, etc.), and eat more foods that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids (4). Eating food that is good for you and your kidneys only takes a little bit of research and diet adjustment.
- Increase physical activity and maintain a regular exercise routine. Physical activity such as playing sports, running, or hitting the gym offer so many health benefits. Decreasing blood pressure, increasing muscle strength, lowering body fat, strengthening the heart, improving sleeping patterns, and more (4). All of these results help maintain healthy kidneys.
- Quit smoking, or don’t take up the habit. The more information that comes out about smoking simply offers more and more reasons for why you shouldn’t smoke. Smoking creates the biggest risk for both heart and kidney disease or cancer. Eliminating the cigarettes or cigars from your lifestyle greatly increases the likelihood of being able to maintain healthy kidneys.
- Keep high blood pressure under control. Though maintaining a healthy blood pressure is a wide spread goal, this is especially true for those who suffer from diabetes. Since your kidneys filter your blood, maintaining a healthy blood pressure makes their job easier. Ensuring that you are following your fluid and sodium limits will help keep unwanted fluids from building up in your body and increasing blood pressure.
Paying attention to your health is a normal and essential part of life. After all, preventing illness is always easier than recovering from an illness. While both preventable and treatable kidney diseases are common in the United States, try to follow these tips to ensure that you don’t suffer from these potentially life threatening illnesses.
- Health Essentials (2018). 4 facts you need to know about kidney transplants and dialysis. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org
- CNN (2018). Melania Trump’s kidney procedure explained. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com
- Radiology Info (2018). Catheter Embolization. Retrieved from https://www.radiologyinfo.org
- National Kidney Foundation (2018). 7 Tips to protect your kidney and heart health. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org