Kidneys which serve a variety of purposes are fist-sized organs found at the bottom of our rib cage on both sides of our spines.
Most significantly, they purify the blood by removing waste materials, excess water, and other impurities. These waste products are stored in our bladder and then excreted via urine.
Our kidneys also regulate the pH, salt, and potassium levels in our body. They also generate hormones that control the development of red blood cells and regulate blood pressure.
Not only that, but our kidneys are also in charge of activating a type of vitamin D that aids in the absorption of calcium for bone building and muscle regulation.
Kidney health is critical for optimum health and well-being, so here are some tips to keep our kidneys in good shape.
1. Keep active and fit
Daily exercise improves our wellbeing in more ways than one. Not only It has the ability to reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease, but it can also lower blood pressure and improve heart health, all of which are crucial in preventing kidney damage.
However, it necessarily does not mean one has to run marathons. Exercises such as walking, biking, riding, and even dancing are beneficial to your wellbeing.
2. Control your blood sugar
Kidney damage may occur in people who have diabetes or another disease that causes high blood sugar. Our kidneys are forced to work extra hard to process our blood because our body's cells can't use the glucose (sugar) in our blood. This can result in life-threatening harm after years of exertion. Controlling one's blood sugar, on the other hand, reduces the risk of injury.
3. Monitor blood pressure
Kidney damage can also be caused by high blood pressure. When high blood pressure is associated with other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol, the effects on the body can be devastating.
A blood pressure reading of 120/80 is considered common. However, Hypertension is diagnosed when the systolic blood pressure readings on two separate days are both ≥ 140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings are both ≥ 90 mmHg (WHO).
If a person's blood pressure is consistently higher than 140/90, they might have high blood pressure. They should see a doctor for monitoring their blood pressure on a regular basis, making lifestyle adjustments, and, most likely, taking medicine.
4. Monitor weight and eat a healthy diet
Overweight or obese people are at risk for a variety of health problems that can damage their kidneys. Diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease are among them.
Kidney damage can be reduced by eating a balanced diet low in salt, processed meats, and other kidney-damaging foods. One should focus on new, naturally low-sodium ingredients like cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and more.
5. Drink plenty of fluids
The cliché advice to drink eight glasses of water a day isn't magical, but it is a good aim because it helps you to stay hydrated. It is beneficial for our kidneys to drink plenty of water on a regular basis.
Water aids in the removal of sodium and chemicals from the kidneys. It also reduces the chances of developing chronic kidney disease.
People need to aim for 1.5 to 2 litres of water every day. The amount of water we need is primarily determined by our health and lifestyle. When planning our daily water intake, one should consider factors such as environment, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether one is pregnant or breastfeeding.
6. Don't smoke
The fact that smoking is injurious to our health isn't a surprise. The blood vessels in our body are damaged when we smoke. As a result, blood flow across the body and to your kidneys is slowed.
Smoking exposes the kidneys to a higher risk of cancer. One's risk will decrease if they quit smoking. Returning to the risk level of someone who has never smoked, on the other hand, can take several years.
7. Be aware of the intake of OTC pills
If one takes over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers on a daily basis, they might be causing kidney damage. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen on a regular basis for chronic pain, headaches, or arthritis, can affect one's kidneys. One should seek a doctor about kidney-safe treatments if they have pain.
8. Have your kidney function tested if you're at high risk
Regular kidney function tests are recommended if one is at high risk of kidney injury or disease. Daily screening can be helpful to the following people:
People over 60 years old, or one born with low birth weight, people with cardiovascular disease or a family history of it, people with high blood pressure or a family history of it and obese individuals who think they could have kidney damage.
A routine kidney function test is an excellent way to keep track of your kidney's health and detect any changes. Getting ahead of any damage will assist in the slowing or prevention of further damage.
If anyone falls in this high-risk list of kidney damage or kidney disease, it's a good idea to have regular kidney function tests.