Kidneys are the accounts department of the body. They sit quietly at the back, too boring to draw anyone's attention, but without them, the body would not function at its best. Although we tend to completely take them for granted, your kidneys are as vital to your health as your heart or lungs. They conveniently function every day, all day, with no recognition. However, ask anyone whose kidneys have failed about their importance and you will realise how crucial they are to a normal life. Kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood which are then excreted in the urine.
When someone has chronic kidney disease, their kidneys are unable to perform these tasks and they require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or kidney replacement. Between 1999 and 2006 South Africa saw a 67% rise in deaths as a result of chronic kidney disease. Proper care can keep kidneys running properly well into old age. We have provided you with 6 ways you can keep your kidneys healthy.
1. Drink enough water
Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water each day is an important part of your health. After all, 60-70% of your body weight is made up of water, and every part of the body needs it to function properly. Your kidneys are no different. Water helps the kidneys remove waste from your blood in the form of urine and helps keep your blood vessels open so that blood can travel freely to your kidneys and deliver essential nutrients to them. So, drink up!
Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. A study carried out by the University of Leicester Kidney Lifestyle Team, found that 12 weeks’ worth of aerobic and strength-based exercise reduces symptoms and levels of fatigue in patients with chronic kidney disease. Whatever your age, there is strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. So, get moving! Once you decide to start exercising regularly, create a plan that includes attainable steps and goals.
3. Eat healthy food
Watching what you eat and drink will help you stay healthier and a very important part of your 6 ways to keep your kidneys healthy tips. Staying at a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet that is low in salt and fat can help reduce your blood pressure, prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease. The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) which is low in salt and sodium, added sugars and red meats; it comes highly recommended by leading health organisations. Whether you are suffering from kidney disease or you are a conscientious eater looking to keep your kidneys healthy, the DASH DIET is worth a look.
4. Keep your blood sugar in check
About half of people who have diabetes do not know they have diabetes. Therefore, you need to check your blood sugar level as part of your general body check-up. This is especially important for those who are approaching middle age or older. About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, but this can be prevented/ limited if the diabetes is well controlled. Check your kidneys functionality regularly with blood and urine test
5. Don’t smoke
Everybody knows that smoking is dangerous for the lungs but very few know the effect that it has for kidney health. Smoking damages your body’s blood vessels. This leads to slower blood flow throughout your body and your kidneys. Smoking also puts your kidneys at an increased risk of cancer. If you stop smoking, your risk will drop. And no, vaping is not a better alternative. Smoke, even if it smells like vanilla pods, is very dangerous for your health. STOP IT
6. Limit the amount of over-the-counter medications pills you take
Every drug you put into your body passes through your kidneys. Taking the drug without following your healthcare providers' instructions can cause injury to your kidneys. Taking large amounts of over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, could be disastrous for your kidneys. If you use these medicines daily, you could be risking your kidneys’ health.
A final word before we go
Make sure to speak to your doctor about kidney-safe treatments if you’re not coping with pain and you can do this directly from within the Memo Health Assistant app. Hope you enjoyed these 6 ways to keep your kidneys healthy, make sure to comment and share.