Our body is a system of parts working together – one part breaks down, our whole being is affected. Do you sometimes wonder why a little pain in one part of our body (a toothache, a stubbed toe) can affect your every fiber?
One of the important body systems that need extra care is our excretory system, specifically our kidneys. Responsible for filtering wastes from the blood, these two bean-shaped organs also balances body fluids, forms urine, control the production of red blood cells and more. A failure of the kidney to function can lead to excess buildup of fluid and waste. You can just imagine how important it is keep our kidneys healthy and fully functional.
The question is, how? Here are some tips that you can do to keep your kidney healthy:
Cut down on alcohol beverages and as much as possible, stop smoking
Although there are studies that prove that drinking beer is healthy, it should be taken moderately. The diuretic effect of alcohol can affect the kidneys in terms of their function, and it also disturbs the balance of electrolytes. Moreover, the content of the alcohol can damage the kidney, causing the kidneys to shut down.
While more popularly connected to the lungs, according to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body. Possible ways it can harm the kidney include:
- Reduce blood flow to the kidneys
- Narrow blood vessels to the kidneys
- Increases production of angiotensin II
In addition, smoking can hasten the progression of kidney disease. So if you’re still holding that stick, it’s better to quit while you’re ahead.
The food you eat also affects your health, particularly every system of your body. Though food may be the fuel of our body, it has different side effects, depending on the food we eat. In order to keep our kidneys healthy, the American Kidney Fund suggests that we monitor the foods containing the following: calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Too much of these can damage our kidneys.
If you want to know specific foods that help keep our kidneys healthier, here are some of them:
- Fish oil
- Red Bell Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
Drinking water is also important since it helps in cleaning the waste off of your body and also helps in producing urine. The urine helps in flushing out wastes filtered by the kidney. In addition, drinking the sufficient amount of water needed also helps in reducing Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and other Kidney diseases. According to the National Kidney Foundation, drinking water can help dissolve the antibiotics and other medications for kidney failures, thus, making them even more effective. As they are dissolved, the bacteria that infect your kidney will be flushed out too.
Follow a Regular Exercise Routine
Lack of exercise can also affect our kidneys’ health. When we exercise, our kidneys function well, so it helps our blood to continue to circulate and regulate the flow to the other parts of the body. According to the National Kidney Foundation, we can fight kidney diseases through constant exercises since exercise routines can help lower blood pressure, lower calories, maintain body weight, improve muscles, and even promote good sleep. The kidney can also function well in terms of filtering waste found in the blood and excreting them through urine.
People with kidney disease and those who are at risk of having this disease can benefit from exercise. You can go for all kinds of exercise. If you have certain conditions already that limits you to do rigorous exercise, then you may try light exercises like gardening, walking, stretching, or yoga. These activities will help keep your body, including your kidney, healthy.
Limit Your Intake of Over-the-Counter Drugs
One of the reasons why most people experience kidney failure is because of taking too much over-the-counter drugs. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the overuse of painkillers is one of the leading causes of the new cases of chronic kidney diseases. The reason for this is that the painkillers might contain some chemicals that are not good for the kidneys. This does not mean that taking over-the-counter drugs is completely bad for our kidneys. They do cure us, but be sure to limit its dosage. Always remember that there is always a risk with every medication. You should be vigilant and inquisitive when looking for the right medicine for your pain or illness. Ask your pharmacist or your physician about the right dosage for your medications to avoid kidney complications.
And there you have it— 5 simple yet effective tips to keep your kidneys healthy. If you notice any sign or symptom of kidney failure, it is much safer to consult your doctor immediately. Don’t wait for it to become worse before visiting a professional. Remember, it is always better to prevent than to cure a disease, especially one like kidney failure. Our health is our investment. We should make sure that we keep ourselves healthy and our body systems functional, especially our kidneys!