Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organ positioned on either side of the spine, below the ribs and behind the stomach. Although small in size they play an imperative role in keeping a person healthy. Kidneys perform several important bodily functions like:
- Fluid regulation of the body
- Removal of toxins and waste from the body
- Production of some of the essential hormones
The main function of kidneys is blood filtration. The waste or unwanted products are converted and released from the body in form of urine. Kidney problems are silent killers and can have an impact on the quality of life. The working of our kidneys decline with age but a healthy lifestyle and taking good care can slow down this process. Hence it is essential to focus on our health and follow some necessary healthcare tips.
Kidneys disease can cause devastating outcomes. Most of the kidney diseases do not show any symptoms in the initial stages. But, at the same time kidneys send out some warning signs. It is imperative to pay close attention to these signs and act accordingly. Some of those warning signs include:
- Blood in urine
- High blood pressure
- Deviation in creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measure of the kidney function and level<60 raises alarm
- Frequent urination (specifically during the night)
- Difficulty or pain while urinating
- Puffiness around the eye
- Swelling of hands and feet
Healthy Tips For Healthy Kidneys
Unhealthy or improper functioning of kidneys can lead to health problems like:
- Kidney stone
- Pyelonephritis (severe kidney infection)
- Glomerulonephritis (acute inflammation of kidneys)
- Nephrotic syndrome (a kidney disorder in which the body excretes too much protein in the urine)
- Polycystic kidney diseases (formation of cysts in the kidneys)
- Acute and chronic renal failure
- Kidney cancer
As some wise man once said it is better to stay prepared for the worst. The best kind of preparation for good health involves healthy lifestyle choices. Our health deserves to be taken care of and ignoring it is our biggest flaw. Each organ is unique and needs special care. Similarly, specific changes in our lifestyle and healthy choices needs to be incorporated in our daily lifestyle to ensure healthy kidneys.
Exercise Daily For Good Health
Since, time immemorial exercise has been advised for healthy living. Physical activity and daily workout routine is a compulsion to ensure good health. Regular exercises help in regulating blood pressure levels and maintaining body weight. Several other health problems like heart disorders, blood pressure issues give rise to kidney problems. Thus, opting for a workout regime protects your health from health issues and builds up the immunity. Choose a workout regime for yourself from the wide variety like yoga, aerobics, cycling, swimming, jogging, pilates, dancing etc.
The best solution to keep track of kidneys health is to go for regular health checkups. Family history or medical history of kidney diseases, diabetes, hypertension or obesity needs proper attention. Simple urine and blood test can keep you informed about your kidney’s health. Stop avoiding your health and take out time to get tested and understand your health better. Health tests can also help in timely diagnosis of kidney disorders and correct treatment. Also, make sure to avoid intake of too many pain killers. They are really bad for kidneys and can cause long term health issues.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels And Blood Pressure Regularly
Increased blood sugar levels can affect the normal kidney functioning and lead to damage. Hence, diabetic patients need to keep a track of the sugar levels, take timely medications, exercise, eat healthy diet and get proper rest. We are aware of the affects of high blood pressure on heart. But, did you know that high blood pressure can cause significant kidney problems?
High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or cardiac diseases are likely to cause kidney damage. Hence hypertensive people should regularly get their blood pressure levels monitored and should adopt proper precautions.
What is the best drink or food for kidneys? Have we all not asked this question at some time or other. What we eat or drink does play a major role in ensuring healthy kidneys. Let’s have a look at some of the foods that are really good for kidneys.
- Cranberry juice
- Fruits like Cranberries, apples, blueberries, Red grapes, pineapple
- Red bell peppers
- Egg white
- Olive oil
- Cauliflower and cabbage
- Turnips, radish
- Skinless chicken
Healthy Fluid Intake
Make sure to drink plenty of water. Fruit juices like cranberry juice are also really good for your kidneys. Carry a bottle of water wherever you go and make sure to drink atleast 3-4 litres of water daily. But, at the same time do not overdo it. Drink the adequate amount of water required. Avoid intake of too much of tea and coffee.
Smoking is a sin. A lot of people willingly invite health issues with every deadly puff they take. Quit smoking and harming your own body. Every day is a new start and everyday is a good day to quit. Take a vow today to give up this awful habit.
Kidneys are our body’s biggest natural detox system, make sure not to ignore them!