Be Kinder To Your Kidneys With The Right Nourishment
- 4 mins read
- Written by: Jillian Lai Mei Siew
Your kidneys help your body in eliminating excess fluids while also filtering blood that gets sent back to the heart. They also produce the hormones that are needed for the proper functioning of your other organs.
Undue stress on your kidneys could lead to chronic kidney disease. This occurs initially when one or both kidneys stop working for more than three months. High blood pressure and diabetes are the common symptoms that promote the failure of the kidneys. You must stay mindful of the following points to keep your kidneys in top shape.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet can benefit your kidneys too. Avoid processed food and foods that are high in saturated fats. Choose more fruits, vegetables, and foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, trout, and tuna. Preventing diabetes and blood pressure can help your kidneys function better.
Reduce your salt intake
High salt intake increases the protein content in urine, which is a major risk factor in poor kidney function. Sodium can also lead to swelling which increases your blood pressure and adds strain to your heart and kidneys. Studies also suggest that high salt intake can contribute to the deterioration of kidneys in people who already show signs and symptoms of kidney disease.
Drink plenty of water
Kidney stones and UTI are both conditions that can damage the kidneys and are less likely to occur when you are sufficiently hydrated. Water helps prevent stone-forming crystals from sticking together. It also dissolves the antibiotics that are used to treat urinary tract disease, making the medication more effective.
Limit unnecessary toxins
Drinking too much alcohol and smoking are harmful to your health and raise your blood pressure. Alcohol also causes changes in the function of the kidneys and makes it difficult to filter blood. Smoking slows the blood flow to important organs and worsens kidney disease. Avoiding these toxins and curbing addictions can go a long way in promoting better health.
Avoid frequent usage of anti-inflammatory pills, OTC pills, and pain killers
Medication can save and improve lives, but it can also cause damage and long-term side effects. Frequent usage of common drugs can hamper the way your kidneys function. This makes it difficult for your kidneys to steady your blood pressure, filter waste, and hold on to the right level of fluid. When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider to know the right dosage and prescription for you. Do not self-medicate as this can lead to adverse effects in the long run.
Get adequate sleep
Studies suggest that poor sleeping patterns can gravely affect your kidney health. Due to the different demands of your body, your kidneys are set to function differently during the day versus at night. Sleep deprivation is also linked to higher chances of diabetes and blood pressure which in turn harms the health of your kidneys.
Pre-existing health conditions may also heighten your chances of kidney disease. Watch out for the following complications to keep your kidneys in good health from early on:
Manage your blood sugar
Kidneys clean the waste from your blood, but when you have high blood sugar levels, they also filter out the good. As the waste builds up inside your body, your kidneys work overtime to bring your body back to good health. Controlling blood sugar and diabetes helps lessen the burden on your kidneys and lowers your risk of kidney disease.
To manage your blood sugar, reduce your refined carb intake, drink plenty of water and introduce more fiber into your diet through nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Consult with your doctor for nutrition and health measures that are better suited to your lifestyle.
Maintain your blood pressure
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can harm the arteries, causing them to narrow, weaken, or harden. These damaged arteries will not be able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue. High blood pressure makes it more likely that your heart disease will worsen, and you will have kidney problems in the future.
You can control your blood pressure through a nutrient-rich diet, regular exercise, and a healthier, stress-free lifestyle. Also cut back on alcohol, smoking, and caffeine to lower and reduce your blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is a worldwide problem that implications for the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. As your weight increases, your body undergoes hyperfiltration to meet your heightened metabolic demands. The extra weight forces the kidneys to work hard which increases the risk of kidney failure.
Nutrition and regular exercise is the key to bringing your weight back on track. Avoid processed and sugary foods, exercise portion control, and engage in frequent aerobic activity to shed the extra pounds.
Apart from the above, it is also recommended that you do a regular blood and urine check if you have high-risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, and a family history of kidney disease.