The importance of looking after your kidneys

When you take care of your overall health, you take care of your kidneys. It’s a win-win, which is a good thing because we really need our kidneys.

Kidneys regulate water by moving it out when we have too much and preserving it when we don’t have enough. That’s job one, but the kidneys do much more than manage the H2O.

Kidneys keep the balance

Our fluids are teeming with countless substances that must be kept at specific levels for our bodies to function properly. Sodium and potassium, both minerals we get from food, are necessary for good health.1 But to do the job, they must be kept at certain levels. Kidneys in good working order ensure excess sodium and potassium exit the body. The same goes for calcium and phosphate, both critical for bone strength, growth, and other functions.

Waste products such as urea and creatinine are made when the body breaks down protein and are ushered out of the body courtesy of the kidneys. Normally functioning kidneys also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and the calcium balance in the body. Our kidneys do a lot for us and deserve our attention.2

Learn to manage your other medical conditions

Controlling blood pressure is important. High blood pressure can cause filters in the kidneys to scar, leading to a decrease in kidney function. Those with diabetes should control blood sugar, which clogs blood vessels in the kidneys and can also lead to decreased kidney function.2

Healthy kidneys are worth the weight

Even small amounts of weight loss can help control your blood pressure and blood sugar, and that in turn helps your kidneys. Of course, it’s a good idea to reduce or quit smoking. For those with kidney disease, smoking can advance the progression of the disease.2

What you eat matters

Consider the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet. It’s rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. Low in salt, sodium, added sugars and sweets, fat, and red meats, the DASH Diet can be as satisfying as it is good for the kidneys.3

Plant-based eating is kidney-friendly as well. From whole grains and nuts to fruits and vegetables, this approach may prevent and slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.3

One more reason for exercise

Regular exercise helps you manage many health issues associated with kidney disease.

Benefits include:

  • more energy
  • increased strength
  • lower risk of falling
  • ability to walk further
  • improved blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • improvements in symptoms of restless legs
  • weight loss4

Damaged kidneys don’t heal. Knowing more about kidney disease will help you better understand how to protect and preserve your kidneys. If you do face a serious illness, the Critical Illness Plan from Engineers Canada can relieve some of the stress and worry about your finances.

Live healthy. Your kidneys will thank you for it.

How Engineers Canada-sponsored Critical Illness Insurance can help

It’s also a good idea not to sit on getting coverage. With Critical Illness Insurance, you’ll have financial protection (with a lump-sum benefit) if you become unwell. Discover the affordable rates available to both you and your spouse.


1 “Sodium, Potassium and Health,” August 2022.
2 “Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy,” 2023.
3 “Nutrition,” 2023.
4 “Chronic Kidney Disease,” April 2019.