Your kidneys play an important role in keeping your body healthy, so it’s important to know how to keep them functioning properly. Check out these tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy.
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Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They’re located near the middle of your back, just below your ribcage. The job of your kidneys is to:
· Filter your blood
· Remove waste and extra fluid from your body
· Help control your blood pressure
· Help make red blood cells
You have two kidneys, but you only need one to live a healthy life.
The importance of keeping your kidneys healthy
Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located just below your ribcage, one on each side of your spine. Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine.
The urine flows from your kidneys to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom.
Most people with kidney disease don’t have any symptoms until their kidney function is very low.
If kidney disease is found and treated early, you can prevent or delay the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Tips for keeping your kidneys healthy
Keeping your kidneys healthy is important for overall health and wellness. There are a few things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy, such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. You should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. If you have any chronic health conditions, you should manage them carefully.
Drink plenty of fluids
Your kidneys need to filter about 200 quarts of blood every day to produce about 2 quarts of urine. To do their job, they rely on a good blood supply. That’s why it’s important to keep your blood pressure under control.
Drinking lots of fluids is also important, because it helps keep your kidneys working properly by flushing out waste products and toxins. It’s best to limit yourself to no more than 3 cups (24 ounces) of caffeinated beverages a day, such as coffee, tea, or soda. Caffeine can cause dehydration and can make it hard for your body to absorb medications.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet for your kidneys is similar to a healthy diet for your heart and other parts of your body. A healthy diet limits certain foods to help lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
The amount of certain nutrients you need may change if you have kidney disease. A Registered Dietitian (RD) can work with you to create a meal plan that is right for you.
Limit foods high in phosphorus
Phosphorus is found in many foods, especially dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, beans, lentils, dark-colored sodas, and beer. Too much phosphorus can cause bones to become weak and soft.
If you have kidney disease, you may need to limit phosphorus in your diet. You should also limit how much phosphorus you eat if your kidney function is getting worse or if you are on dialysis.
Limit foods high in sodium
Sodium is found in salt and some processed foods such as lunch meats, soups, frozen dinners, and fast food. Too much sodium can strain your heart and blood vessels leading to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the kidneys and make kidney disease worse.
If you have kidney disease or are at risk for it, limit how much sodium you eat each day to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). That’s equal to about 1 teaspoon (tsp) of salt. If you already have high blood pressure or heart problems , your doctor may tell you to eat even less sodium—1,500 mg a day or less. You may need to avoid salt altogether if your doctor tells you that eating any amount of sodium is not safe for you.
One of the best things you can do for your kidneys is to exercise regularly. Exercise helps to keep your blood pressure in check and also helps to control diabetes, both of which are risk factors for kidney disease. Even if you have kidney disease, exercise can help to slow down the progression of the disease.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Smoking is detrimental to overall health, and has been linked to an increased risk for developing kidney cancer. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your kidneys. Alcohol consumption can also be harmful to kidney health, especially when it’s excessive. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to chronic kidney disease, so it’s important to drink in moderation.
Monitor your blood pressure
Kidney disease can often be diagnosed early through simple blood and urine tests. If you have renal disease, your GP can refer you to a kidney specialist (nephrologist) for further tests and advice.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your kidneys is to monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major cause of kidney disease, so keeping it under control can help reduce your risk.
Your GP can check your blood pressure at your regular appointments. If you have high blood pressure, they may recommend lifestyle changes and/or medication to bring it down to a healthy level.
You can also check your blood pressure at home using a digital or manual monitor. Home monitors are widely available from pharmacies and other retailers, or you may be able to borrow one from your GP surgery.
Monitor your diabetes
If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep your blood sugar under control. High blood sugar can damage your kidneys. If you can’t control your blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Your doctor will also want to see you regularly to check your kidney function and look for early signs of kidney disease. If you have diabetes and kidney disease, you may need to see a nephrologist, a doctor who specializes in treating kidney diseases.
When to see a doctor
If you have any of the following risk factors for kidney disease, you should see a doctor for a checkup:
– High blood pressure
– A family history of kidney disease
– A history of heart disease or stroke
– African American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander descent
Even if you don’t have any of these risk factors, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor regularly for checkups.
There are many things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy and reduce your risk of kidney disease.
-Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
-Control your blood pressure
-Eat a healthy diet
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Limit alcohol intake