Kidneys are some of the hardest-working organs in the body. As a multitasker, they do a fantastic job in keeping us alive. But, when we stop caring about this vital organ, we’re risking a slew of health issues, including kidney stones.
Most of you would already know that kidneys help remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. But, they do many other things such as regulating blood pressure, balancing the body’s fluids, producing vitamin D, etc.
This is why it is imperative to say that if we take care of our kidneys, we also care for our overall health.
Here are 10 do’s and don’ts for keeping healthy kidneys
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is indispensable for kidneys to function well. With the help of water, kidneys can remove wastes from the blood in the form of urine and keep the blood vessels open for the nutrients to travel freely. But, with frequent dehydration, you might likely suffer from severe kidney disease like kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
2. Cut back on sodium
Too much sodium can increase blood pressure, one of the most significant risk factors for kidney disease. Sodium increases the amount of calcium in the urine. You should limit your daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg or, when it comes to salt, intake shouldn’t be more than 6 grams per day.
3. Keep track of your blood pressure
Anyone with high blood pressure is already vulnerable to potential kidney disease. It can cause heavy damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney. To live risk-free, keep track of your blood pressure. Meet your doctors for a regular blood pressure monitor and take measures to keep it within healthy ranges as guided by your doctor.
4. Keep blood sugar level within a healthy range
Along with high blood pressure, high blood sugar is another significant risk factor for kidney disease and kidney failures. Over time, the high sugar levels in your blood will start damaging millions of tiny filtering units, potentially giving way to kidney diseases.
5. Don’t consume too much of certain medications
Whether it’s anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or proton pump inhibitors for treating heartburn, it raises your risk for kidney disease when you consume them a lot.
6. If you notice early warning signs of kidney disease, see a doctor immediately
Swollen ankle, stomach pain, consistent puffiness around eyes, shortness of breath, and dry and pale skin are commonly seen symptoms of kidney disease. However, these symptoms can also mimic other medical conditions, so it is essential to seek help from a GP before you self-diagnose.
7. Get more active
Your risk for developing chronic kidney disease is significantly reduced when you’re physically active. Regular exercise can stave off high blood pressure, keep your weight within a healthy range and reduce your risk for a myriad of other diseases. Choose to do something which is continuous, such as running, cycling, swimming or walking.
8. Eat more calcium-rich food
Calcium binds oxalate together that ultimately gets excreted by the kidneys. When we increase dietary intake of calcium in our body, considering it is not naturally produced, it decreases the risk of kidney stones.
9. Quit smoking
Smoking increases your risk of developing kidney disease, kidney cancer and damages your heart and blood vessels leading to flow to the kidneys. But at the same time, smoking and tobacco use are also the most preventable risk factors for kidney disease. So quitting smoking is an excellent step to your future kidney health.
10. Include probiotics in your diet
Apart from promoting digestive health, studies have indicated that probiotics can slow down the progress of kidney disease. Probiotic yoghurt, fermented probiotic milk, also called Kefir and Kimchi, are abundant with probiotics.