Kidneys are vital organs of the urinary system that work hard, day in and day out. They filter about 55 gallons of blood daily and help the body get rid of waste products and excess water. They keep the electrolyte levels stable, produce hormones that make red blood cells and also help in regulating blood pressure and building strong bones. Kidneys help in synthesizing Vitamin D in the body. Kidneys regulate the pH in all our organs by naturally alkalizing the body against acids.
If kidneys are infected or not functioning properly, a person might experience symptoms like increased urination (especially in the night), fatigue, dark and thick urine or pink urine, brain fog, shortness of breath, nausea, muscle weakness, puffy face, chest pain, seizure, painful urination or low urine amount, bloated body parts, increase in thirst.
It is very important to take measures for the proper functioning of kidneys as kidney diseases are silent killers. Kidney diseases are linked to heart and carotid artery diseases which increase the chance of strokes. Some lifestyle and dietary changes go a long way in protecting kidneys from any kind of damage, preventing any stones formation and helps in improving the functioning of kidneys.
Some of the Natural Tips Vital for Kidney’s Health are Listed Below:
- Staying hydrated: It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of water daily to get rid of toxins and sodium from the body. Toxins if accumulated inside, lead to bacterial infections or kidney stones along with making the blood impure. Drinking adequate water helps the kidneys to function properly. If the urine is dark yellow, it means the body needs water. It is very important to increase the intake of water if one is exercising or out in hot weather, as the body loses its fluid by sweating.
- Cranberry juice is an excellent option to stay hydrated and also for cleaning out kidneys.
- Eat healthily: Diet is the key to all problems. A balanced diet provides all vitamins and minerals the body needs. Eating healthy reduces the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. A diet low in sodium, low fat and low cholesterol is recommended to prevent all kinds of kidney related problems. One should stay away from processed foods and opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol like eggs, whole milk, cheese, and fried foods should be limited. It is recommended to consume foods with omega 3 fatty acids as they are good for heart and kidneys. Eat organic whenever possible. Consume oatmeal for breakfast.
- Cranberries are the best fruits to help protect the kidneys from any damage. They help in preventing the development and growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. They make the urine more acidic and thus help in keeping the bacteria from attaching inside the bladder.
- Herbs like turmeric, ginger, parsley, marshmallow root, celery root should be used in daily meals. Juices like beet juice, watermelon, lemon juice, and dandelion tea also help naturally in cleansing the kidneys.
- Blood pressure in control: High blood pressure puts stress on the kidneys. It can harm the small blood vessels in the kidneys. High blood pressure might not show any symptoms but increases the risk of kidney and heart problems. It is very important to keep the blood pressure in control for the proper functioning of kidneys. Certain dietary and lifestyle changes help in keeping blood pressure in control, else blood pressure medication should be taken to reduce it.
- Blood sugar levels in control: If blood sugar levels are not in control (diabetic patients) it can cause problems with kidneys over time.
- Quit Smoking and limiting alcohol intake: Smoking decreases the flow of blood to the kidneys and to the other vital organs as it narrows the blood vessels. This hampers the proper functioning of kidneys. Smoking also raises blood pressure levels and increases the risk of heart diseases. Smoking also interferes with certain medicines and increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent. Alcohol intake should be limited to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Too much alcohol increases the blood pressure and adds extra calories which in turn leads to weight gain.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Keeping fit by doing regular exercise helps in reducing blood pressure, thus reduces the chances of chronic kidney disease. Walking, cycling, running, swimming is all good to maintain a healthy weight, and help in keeping the body slim, thus help kidneys in their proper functioning.
- Regular testing: It is well known that heart disease is a risk factor for kidney disease and kidney disease is a risk factor for heart disease. So, it is very important to get tested on time if one has concerns. Blood tests help to check how well the kidney filter. Urine tests check the blood protein called albumin in the urine. An annual physical checkup is very important once you are 40 years of age.
- Keep medications in check: Some pain killers, anti-inflammatory medicines, if used for a long duration, have adverse effects on the kidneys. It’s very important to take medicines as recommended by the physician. Certain supplements can harm the kidneys by increasing toxins in the body and affecting the kidney cells directly.
- Avoid refined sugars and flours that lead to inflammations.
- Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt. Try baking and broiling foods than frying.
- Get enough sleep because sleep helps in relaxation, and thus helps in the proper functioning of all body organs.
- Practice stress-relieving activities like Yoga, meditation and tai chi. All these help in better blood circulation and supply more oxygen to the body. Thus, they help in the proper functioning of kidneys too.
One should keep in mind that no one can survive without kidneys, you need at least one functioning kidney to survive. If both kidneys fail, then the only option left is dialysis and kidney transplant. It is very important to take care of this organ by eating right, drinking enough fluids, exercising and keeping the blood pressure under control.