Updated: 2019, Jul 9

How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy & Viable

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Find out how to keep your kidneys healthy and happy through a few lifestyle changes.
Take care of kidneys as it performs many vital functions
Best ways to know how to keep your kidneys healthy and happy. Shutterstock Images

Introduction

Every drop of blood that flows through your body gets purified by the pair of hardworking and consistent kidneys that reside in your body. Therefore, pampering them is of utmost importance.

Approximately 30 million people in the US suffer from kidney ailments but only 10% of people get to know about it[1]. Read through these beneficial lifestyle changes that keep your kidneys healthy and viable.

Why are your kidneys so special?

Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs present on either side of the spine with the right kidney lower than the left to accommodate the liver. These organs serve to filter and detoxify the body off waste and balance the body fluids.

They filter toxins and urea which is synthesized in the liver due to cellular processes and transported to the kidneys for removal[2]. They help in maintaining blood pressure and under stress release the chemical angiotensin which assists in retaining water content. It is essential to know how to keep your kidneys healthy and viable.

Practical Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy and Happy

1. Keep yourself hydrated

It is generally advised to drink a lot of water and maintain a wholesome fluid intake for any individual. You should drink an average of 1.5-2 liters of water daily. It helps in the normal functioning of kidneys to remove the toxins, urea, and sodium from the body by flushing it out with water rather than them getting deposited in the kidneys, which may be harmful.

2. Keep your blood pressure under control

High blood pressure generally gets linked with heart ailments, hypertension, and stroke, however, very few also know that it may cause chronic kidney failure. The average blood pressure for a healthy individual is 120/80, and if your blood pressure fluctuates between 130/89 or 140/90, you should keep a regular check on it and consult a doctor for possible risks associated including damage to kidneys.

To maintain healthy blood pressure, reduce salt intake. You must also cut down on having junk food, and it is advised that the food is homemade.

3. Keep a check on the blood sugar levels

High blood sugar levels can slowly damage the kidneys

Unchecked high blood sugar levels of diabetes patients can slowly damaged their kidneys. Shutterstock Images

People who have diabetes are at a greater risk of developing chronic kidney symptoms such as high sugar levels, disruption in the blood flow and water movement which is essential for the functioning of the kidneys.

You should keep a check on your sweet tooth and not eat much of chocolates and sweet dishes to keep your kidneys viable and healthy. If you have diabetes, you must get your sugar levels checked regularly. Some may also be prescribed insulin to keep the sugar levels under control.

4. Stay fit and healthy

A balanced diet of vitamins and minerals, fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrains bread, rice, and wheat will help to keep your body in track[3]. It also helps prevent heart ailments and hypertension and reduces the pressure on the kidneys as well.

Additionally, you can also cut down on having spicy and salty stuff. You must stay active and also have a regular exercise regime to keep your body fit and active.

5. Maintain a slim body and stay physically active

Increased weight results in increased blood pressure, which thereby increases the load on the kidneys. Hence it is best to keep a check on your diet and refrain from overeating.

You can also check your BMI which is a measure of the body mass index giving you the precise weight and height you should be having. To maintain a healthy and slim body, you should target for at least a 15 min walking, cycling or running exercise and join the movement of better kidney health.

6. Do not overuse over the counter medications

Medicines such as NSAIDs like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen have a variety of side effects and should do not be taken on a regular basis. It can cause ulcers and kidney damage and is difficult to flush out of the body.

Instead, if you suffer from frequent bouts of back pain or a headache, you should consult your physician.

7. Avoid smoking and drinking

Drinking and smoking both results in a high blood pressure which can be bad for kidneys[4]. It is advised to quit smoking entirely for which you can use nicotine patches. Alcohol intake of not more than 14 units a week is recommended for both men and women.

Smoking and drinking also may cause cancer and deteriorate heart health so you should keep a check on them before getting addicted.

Drinking & smoking can harm your kidneys

Drinking alcohol & smoking can seriously damage your kidneys. Shutterstock Images

8. Get your kidneys regularly checked

If you have high urea and blood creatinine level which is common in people with diabetes and heart ailments, you should get your blood tests done regularly. There are many kidney tests which can periodically check the extent of damage and warn you, so you can start taking precautionary measures[5].

You should also refrain yourself from eating outside and instead indulge in homemade food and natural herbs to keep your kidneys healthy.

9. Take medicines regularly

It is a universal thing to forget the medication or be distracted due to the workload and pressure. You may often skip meals as well due to meetings and deadlines, however, at any cost, you should make it a habit not to do so. Even a day’s delay or miss of a medicine dose can cause harm to the body processes which may take time to revert to normal.

Conclusion

Kidneys are vital for the functioning of the body and perform the essential functions of expelling toxins and waste. To keep your kidneys healthy and happy, you must keep yourself hydrated and well nourished with a diet rich in vitamins, fruits, and green vegetables.

Also, you should maintain a healthy exercise regimen and develop a habit of walking or cycling which will keep your body fit and active and maintain healthy blood pressure and sugar levels.

Author

Dr. Keith Kantor

Dr. Kantor has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 30 years. He is also on the Board of Directors for NAMI.org in G

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