Hot Temps Can Damage Kidneys Over Time


It's 2 p.m. in the afternoon on a summer day. You're outside mowing the lawn, at the beach, working in the yard, stuck in traffic, or staring at heat waves rising from the ground from your office window. Even with air conditioning at home, at work, and in your car, you still can't escape the rising mercury. It's hot outside.

Hot weather usually raises concerns about heat stroke, sunburn, and dehydration. But these aren't the only problems; hot weather and kidney disease are closely linked as rising temperatures can cause additional health issues. In fact, new research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that extreme heat waves and hotter temperatures are on the rise, along with renal disease, as a result of climate change.

In the study, researchers looked at world data on changes in temperature and cases of renal disease. They found that people in rural areas with a history of extreme heat waves have the greatest risk for developing renal disease. Why? When your body is exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time, it's stressful. Your body is constantly working overtime to try and control body temperature. You're more likely to become dehydrated. And the combination puts a lot of added stress on your kidneys that they may not be able to handle, and may lead to renal disease.

If you live in an area where rising temperatures are trending from year to year, taking precautions to keep cool, drink plenty of water, and stay indoors with air conditioning when possible, may help curb your risk for developing renal disease or manage your condition.

And your diet is just as important as your lifestyle habits to manage renal disease. To protect the remaining kidney function you have left, you should adjust your diet to limit sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and protein. And that's hard to do if you don't have a plan when you go to the grocery store, or default to fast food when you're feeling hungry. But it doesn't have to be.

We've developed 30-plus complete meals and snacks that meet the dietary needs of people living with renal disease. The renal meals are healthy, delicious, easy to prepare, and all made with fresh ingredients.