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Kidney health 101

The human body is remarkable. Multiple systems and organs work in harmony to ensure daily function. One organ in particular plays an especially important role: the kidneys.

Acting as a special filter, kidneys remove waste from the blood and produce urine. In doing so, your kidneys help balance fluids in your body and release hormones that control blood pressure. Kidneys also control the production of red blood cells, whose job it is to carry and deliver oxygen from the lungs throughout the body.

All of this sounds important, right? It is—and there are some simple things you can do to help your kidneys function at their best.

Exercise regularly
Walk, jog or dance your way to healthier kidneys. Regular exercise helps lower your blood pressure and strengthens your heart. Both are good for your kidneys.

Monitor your blood pressure
High blood pressure can lead to serious kidney damage. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and ways to help you manage it. We can help you focus on your heart health and take steps to manage high blood pressure. The Hypertension Management Program can help members monitor their blood pressure numbers at home with a blood pressure monitor at no out-of-pocket cost.*

Eat a balanced diet
Aim to maintain a diet that is low in sodium and avoid foods like processed meats and foods with excess amounts of potassium and phosphorus.

Manage blood sugar
Those with diabetes are at risk for developing kidney damage, so it’s important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Through the Diabetes Management Program by Livongo®, we can help members with diabetes manage their condition by offering an advanced blood glucose meter, unlimited strips and lancets and personalized coaching, all at no out-of-pocket cost.

Drink plenty of water
Water helps your body cleanse itself of sodium and other toxins.

Avoid smoking
Smoking slows the flow of blood through your blood vessels which puts a strain on your kidneys. It also increases your risk of developing cancer in the kidneys. If you’re ready to quit smoking, vaping or using tobacco, we can help you every step of the way. Through the Tobacco Cessation Incentive Program, eligible members can get support and prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter tobacco (OTC) cessation products at no cost.

Get tested for kidney disease
Nearly 1 in 7 Americans have chronic kidney disease. Individuals at higher risk are those with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, a family history of kidney failure, recurring kidney stones or being over the age of 60.

Routine Annual Physical Incentive Program
One of the best things you can do for your health is scheduling an annual physical. Your doctor uses these visits as an opportunity to recommend preventive screenings, vaccines and services. Plus, if you're an FEP Blue Focus member, we'll reward you after your first routine physical of the year.* One visit can pay in more ways than one! Click here to learn more.

*You must be the contract holder or spouse, 18 or older, on an FEP Blue Focus plan to earn this incentive reward.


Published on: March 07, 2024