Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

If you are going to drown your Hepatitis C or cirrhosis sorrows – do it with water. Kidney disease is not as silent as liver disease, but it sure will sneak up on you if you’re not taking precautions. If you were holding your breath out of fear, you can let it out now. Your kidneys do NOT get damaged quite like the liver if you take care of your kidneys. This post celebrates with Wisdom for World Kidney Day.

I feel pretty certain about this blog, being born with only 1 kidney. (they call me 1 kidney Karen) I have known since my teen years that my left one never developed. It loomed HUGE in my mind during Hepatitis C treatment. It grew into GINORMOUS with hepatocellular carcinoma. All for nothing.

If you’re not careful, fear can weigh you down. Instead of fret, help your kidneys. It’s simple. Really. I’ve done it all my life and continue to while on immunosuppression therapy post liver transplant.

How You Can Help Your Kidneys
Labs – Get your creatinine and bun blood levels done. Ask your doctor to check your “baseline” kidney function. Then file it away for future reference. If you follow the next steps, your kidneys will be healthier.

H2O – Drinking water is probably one of the single most important things you can do. It helps your body flush out toxins, excess sodium, and can lower your risk of kidney disease. If you have ascites or kidney stones, talk to your doctor about how much water you should drink. An easy estimate is 64 oz a day for most folks. Slow down on darker drinks like cola, coffee, dark teas. I love my morning coffee, and chase it with water all day.

Click here to read the rest of Karen’s blog and learn important information about how to keep your kidneys healthy.