Obesity Weighs Heavy on Kidney Health

There is a strong connection between obesity and kidney failure, according to a long-range study.

The obese can have as much as a seven times greater risk of kidney failure. Even being moderately overweight almost doubles your risk of developing the condition.

The information for the study was obtained from over 320,000 people whose height and weight were measured during health checkups over a 20-year period. Almost 1,500 developed catastrophic kidney disease.

Over 400,000 Americans need long-term dialysis as a result of kidney failure. The number is projected to increase to more than 650,000 by 2010. Associated Medicare expenditures may be as high as $28 billion. Kidney failure is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

Other risk factors for kidney failure are high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Think about that. Overweight people are nearly twice as likely to develop kidney disease as normal weight people, and the morbidly obese are nearly seven times as prone. Even mildly overweight people showed the effects, although to a lesser degree.

As people grow larger, they tend to retain more water. The need for more filtration wears on the kidneys, slowly breaking them down. Thus, losing weight might be a treatment for early-stage kidney disease.

It is vital for you to understand that being overweight wreaks havoc on your health. One of the best answers is exercise and optimized nutrition designed for your unique biochemistry.

The key to exercising is to keep in mind three important variables: length of time, frequency and intensity. By doing so, you will ensure all your hard efforts are not wasted and are having a positive effect on your body.

I encourage overweight patients to gradually increase the amount of time they are exercising to 60 to 90 minutes a day. Initially the frequency is daily. This is a treatment dose until they normalize their weight or insulin levels. You should exercise hard enough so that it is difficult to talk to someone next to you.

Reviewing and applying my exercise guidelines can help you get started on the right track. If you need some direction to get started, I urge you to review my beginner's exercise page that includes links to other pages and a free table you can download to keep track of your progress.

Once your weight and insulin levels are normalized, you will only need to exercise three to four times a week and can begin to adopt more sprint anaerobic and functional sport exercises.

Aside from keeping active, another important factor in helping you achieve good health and maintain a healthy weight is to have a diet based on eating the right foods for your specific genetic biochemistry. One of the ways you can determine this is through nutritional typing.

Discovering your nutritional type is simple: You can take my free online test or you can read my book, Total Health Program, for a more in-depth understanding.

When you're trying to decide where to begin, remember exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand to optimize your health. Focusing on one and ignoring the other does your body no good.

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