Kidneys are two fist-sized organs located at the bottom of your rib cage, on both sides of your spine. Kidneys are filter of your body to extract waste products, excess water, and other impurities from our blood. These waste products are stored in bladder and later expelled through urine.
In addition to these, kidneys are regulating pH, salt, and potassium levels in body. They also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. Kidneys are also responsible for activating a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium for building bones and regulating muscle function.
Maintaining kidney health is important to your overall health. By keeping kidneys healthy, your body will filter and expel waste properly and produce hormones to help body function smoothly.
Here are 7 golden guides to help keep your kidneys functioning properly:
1. Check and control blood sugar
Diabetes (or a condition that causes high blood sugar) may develop kidney damage. When our body’s cells can’t use the glucose (sugar) of blood, kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter the blood. Over years of exertion, this can lead to a life-threatening damage to the kidneys.
However, if you can control your blood sugar, you can reduce the risk of damages. Also, if the damage is caught early, doctor can take steps to reduce or prevent additional damages.
2. Check and control blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause kidney damage.
The nephrons in the kidneys are supplied with a dense network of blood vessels, and high volumes of blood flow through them. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.
If your blood pressure readings are consistently above 140/90, you should talk with your doctor for advice/medication to control your blood pressure.
3. Monitor weight and eat a healthy diet
Overweighted or obsessed people are at risk for a number of health conditions that can damage the kidneys. These include diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease etc.
A healthy diet that’s low in sodium, processed meats, and other kidney-damaging foods may help reduce the risk of kidney damage. Focus on eating fresh ingredients that are naturally low-sodium, such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and more.
4. Drink plenty of water
Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers therisk of having chronic kidney diseases.
Aim for at least 2 liters in a day. Exactly how much water you need depends largely on your health and lifestyle. Factors like climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether or not you’re pregnant or breastfeeding are important to consider when planning your daily water intake.
People who have previously had kidney stones should drink a bit more water to help prevent stone deposits in the future.
5. Don’t smoke and drink too much alcohol
Smoking damages your body’s blood vessels. This leads to slower blood flow throughout your body and to your kidneys. Which ultimately decrease kidneys’ ability to function normally.
Smoking also puts your kidneys at an increased risk for cancer. If you stop smoking, your risk will reduced. But it’ll take many years to return to the risk level of a person who’s never smoked.
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol both raise your blood pressure. And you already knew that high blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
6. Don’t take anti-inflammatory/pain-killer pills regularly
Common drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS)/ pain-killer can harm the kidneys if taken regularly.
If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, taking just a few doses can do harm to your kidneys. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to take such medication.
7. Keep fit, Stay active
Walking, running, cycling, and even dancing are great for your health. Find an activity that keeps you busy and have fun.
This can help to maintain an ideal body weight, reduce your blood pressure and the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
8. Have your kidney function tested regularly if …
- you are over 60 years old
you were born at a low birth weight
- you have cardiovascular disease or have family with it
- you have a family history of high blood pressure
- you are obese
- you have kidney disease