Our kidneys play a vital role in excreting drugs and toxins in the body but sometimes sheer numbers can be overwhelming and they need some help from us. Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however secrets to kidney health which reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. High blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure put one at an increased risk of developing kidney disease. But even if you don’t fit in any of those risk categories, it’s important to take care of these critically important organs. You may need to undergo some detoxing therapy and you certainly need to be constantly on guard against the many drugs and other toxins that can actually harm your kidneys.
You can do a number of things to keep your kidneys functioning properly and keep them as healthy as possible at every stage of life. Here are some of the Secrets to kidney health.
- Hydrate, but don’t overdo it. “Contrary to popular belief, no studies have proven over-hydration as an effective practice in enhancing kidney function,” says nephrologist James Simon, MD. So, while it’s always a good idea to drink enough water, drinking more than the typical four to six glasses a day probably won’t help your kidneys do their job any better.
- Eat healthy foods, control your sugar level and blood pressure. Your kidneys can tolerate a wide range of dietary habits, most kidney problems arise out of other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Because of this, you should follow healthy, moderate eating habits to control weight and blood pressure. Preventing diabetes and high blood pressure will help keep kidneys in good condition.
- Exercise regularly isone of the Secrets to Kidney Health If you’re healthy, getting your exercise is a good idea because, like healthy eating habits, regular physical activity can stave off weight gain and high blood pressure. But do be mindful of how much exercise you do, especially if you’re not conditioned. “Overexerting yourself when you’re not fit and healthy can put a strain on your kidneys, especially if you exercise so much that you cause excessive breakdown of muscle tissue,” says Dr. Simon.
- Use caution with supplements and herbal remedies. Excessive amounts of certain vitamin supplements and some herbal extracts may be harmful to your kidneys. Talk to your doctor about any vitamins and herbs you plan to take.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can damage blood vessels, which decreases the flow of blood in the kidneys. When the kidneys don’t have adequate blood flow, they can’t function at optimal levels. Smoking also increases the risk of high blood pressure as well as the risk of kidney cancer.
- Don’t overdo it when taking over-the-counter medications. “Common non-prescription pills like ibuprofen and naproxen (NSAID’s) can cause kidney damage if taken too regularly over a prolonged period,” Dr. Simon says. If you have healthy kidneys and use these medicines for occasional pain, they probably don’t pose a risk. But Dr. Simon says that if you take them for chronic pain or arthritis, you should talk to your doctor about monitoring your kidney function or finding alternative ways to control your pain.
- Get regular kidney function screening if you have one or more of the “high risk” factors. This is one of efficient Secrets to Kidney Health.
you have diabetes
you have hypertension
you are obese
one of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease
you are of African, Asian, or Aboriginal origin
Change in frequency and quantity of urine passed, especially at night (usually increase comes first)
Blood in the urine (haematuria)
Puffiness around the eyes and ankles (oedema)
Pain in the back (under the lower ribs, where the kidneys are located)
Pain or burning when passing urine
Later on, when the kidneys begin to fail, there is a build-up of waste products and extra fluid in the blood as well as other problems, gradually leading to:
Tiredness, inability to concentrate
Generally feeling unwell
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath
- Please be aware that many people today are gluten intolerant and as such can suffer from gluten induced kidney damage. If you are not sure or are suspicious that you might be gluten intolerant, get genetically tested for gluten sensitivity. If you have actually have kidney disease, make sure your doctor checks your 25 OH D levels (vitamin D). Additionally, make sure that he measures for other nutritional deficiencies as well. Malabsorption is a common cause of secondary diseases for those with intolerance or sensitivity to gluten
- It cannot be overemphasized how important vitamin Dis to your general health including the kidneys. Vitamin D is not a vitamin at all but a steroid hormone that is probably the single most important factor in human health. The optimum level for good health is to be between 40 ng/ml and 100 ng/ml and if you are not receiving sufficient sunlight exposure, the average adult needs to take a daily dose of 8000 IUs daily to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml.
Reduction in kidney function cannot usually be reversed
However, if detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented – but if kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal then renal dialysis or a kidney transplant becomes necessary.
Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane (fine filter).
But please do not let your kidneys deteriorate in the first place. We hope these 9 Secrets to Kidney Health can help you maintain a healthy kidney.