Your kidneys are possibly the most hard-working, multitasking organs in your body. Along with the heart, the kidneys are part of the body’s “dynamic duo”. While the heart pumps blood to all organs in the body, the kidneys finish the job by cleaning, filtering and detoxifying all of that blood up to 300 times per day. Additionally, the kidneys are responsible for removing waste, assisting in maintaining blood pressure and making sure that the blood has the proper balance of key nutrients. So, keeping your kidneys in tip top shape is important to the overall good functioning of your body. There are many things to support good kidney health. Here are 9 simple tips to help you along the way.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level – high blood pressure significantly damages the vessels over time. Even if you do not feel it: increased blood pressure values are no laughing matter, especially for the kidneys.
- Keep your blood sugars in the green zone -- high blood glucose levels are generally bad for the blood vessels. Regular monitoring of these values helps to detect borderline cases of diabetes in good time. Anyone who already suffers from diabetes can help protect their kidneys by maintaining good blood sugar levels.
- Well-balanced diet – eating healthy, avoiding saturated fat, salt and sugar will keep your body working well. A balanced diet provides your body with all the essential vitamins and minerals. And salt can add too much strain on the kidneys. Skip the salt and spice up your meals with fresh herbs – parsley, basil, mint and chives are particularly flavorful and versatile! Focus on eating plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and whole grains.
- Do not smoke – smoking puts harmful toxins directly into the body. This means your kidneys have to work overtime to get rid of these poisons.
- Exercise regularly --Sport improves the cardiovascular health and protects your kidneys as well. Exercise regularly and in smaller units than about every two weeks for three hours at a time. If you find a sport that you enjoy, exercising won’t feel like a chore.
- Stay hydrated – kidneys need water to work properly. This is the only way to flush urine out of the body, and the toxins it holds. Generally, 1.5 liters a day is the recommended amount – but drink even more during and sports and in hot conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight -- obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, including kidney failure. The organs benefit when they are taxed with more weight. When it comes to BMI and weight, “less is more!”
- Limit the use of painkillers – even prescription medicines are seen as drugs by the body. Therefore, take pain medication only when needed and for a short time.
- Have your kidney function checked by a medical professional – regular monitoring of your kidney function is particularly useful, especially if you belong to a high-risk group. You may be at risk if you are: over the age of 60, a diabetic, have high blood pressure, are overweight people and/or have a family history of kidney disease.
Although kidney disease is a serious health risk, the outlook for people with kidney damage is good in many cases. If you think you are at risk, you should consult a doctor to outline a manageable treatment plan. Making changes in the diet and lifestyle often leads to reduced risk, but treating the underlying cause is the only way to be sure the levels stay balanced in the long-term.