Kidneys are vital to your overall health, so it's important to look after them. Five simple lifestyle steps can help to keep them in good shape.
Staying hydrated will help your kidneys function properly. Your urine should be straw-coloured or paler. If it's any darker that's a sign of dehydration.
During hot weather in the summer, when travelling in hot countries or when exercising strenuously, you need to drink more water than usual to make up for the fluid lost by sweating.
A balanced diet ensures you get all the minerals and vitamins your body needs. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and grains, such as wholewheat pasta, bread and rice. Don't eat too much salty or fatty food.
Read eight tips for healthy eating.
Here are some practical ways to reduce your salt intake.
Don't smoke or drink too much alcohol
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol means that your kidneys have to work harder to remove toxins from your blood. Try to stop smoking completely and limit yourself to two small drinks a day for a man and one small drink a day for a woman.
Read more about how to stop smoking.
Read more about how to cut down on alcohol.
Watch the blood pressure
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Raised blood pressure has no symptoms, but it can increase your risk of kidney problems. A simple, quick and painless blood pressure check is available free of charge at your GP surgery and many high street pharmacies.
If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, your GP can suggest lifestyle changes or, if necessary, prescribe medication to reduce your blood pressure.
Read more about how to prevent high blood pressure.