The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that extract waste from blood, form urine, balance water in the body, regulate acids, red blood cells and blood pressure, and aid in other important functions of the body. The roles the kidney plays in the normal functioning of the human body cannot be overemphasized as it is one of the most vital organs in the body. A kidney failure occurs when the kidney functions at only 15% or less. This means that there will be a buildup of toxic or harmful materials within the body and because the body needs clean blood to function properly, problems start to occur and the body begins to show symptoms like weakness, swollen hands and feet, and lots of other symptoms which may lead to death if not treated.
There are a number of factors that are responsible for kidney disease and kidney failure. Some kidney diseases are due to some other diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Apart from these, unhealthy lifestyles and lack of adequate attention to one’s health are some of the other factors which are often the most common causes of kidney disease and failure.
In order to make sure our kidney functions optimally, below are some of the health choices that could be made.
1. Control your blood pressure:
Making sure that your blood pressure is as close to normal as possible is one of the major steps towards preventing kidney disease. A healthy lifestyle and heart healthy diet plus adequate physical activity can help towards this end. Also, do not consume more sodium and protein than your body needs. Overeating proteins only serve to give your kidney more workload, which may be a contributing factor to kidney disease. Too much sodium can also increase blood pressure, so you should aim to consume not more that 200mg per day.
2. Take medicines only at your doctor’s prescriptions:
Don’t deviate from it for any reason except your doctor tells you to. This means you should also avoid over-the-counter medications or supplements without checking with your doctor first. Drugs contain lots of chemicals, some of which may affect the proper functioning of the kidney. Avoid self-medication as much as possible.
3. Drink lots of water every day:
water should be the first thing you take in the morning.Two glasses of water every morning helps you to activate your system and will also help you to make sure that you take the average eight glasses of water before the day runs out. Water helps to maintain good blood concentration and volume, helps in digestion and regulates the body temperature.
4. Avoid alcohol:
Taking alcohol simply gives your kidney more work to do since a large percentage of the alcohol will be processed by the kidney alone, this increases the strain on the kidney and can hamper its effectiveness.
5. Do daily exercises:
Exercises increases your overall health and it is especially healthy for your heart and it helps your kidney in the long run as it helps to burn fat which could affect the functioning of the kidney.
6. Eat right:
You must have heard someone say this at least once that “you are what you eat”. This statement is really true. If you eat right and eat healthy, then you are going to be healthy. If you eat carelessly and eat junks, you will develop symptoms associated with a poor eating lifestyle.
Below are some foods the can help the functioning of your kidney:
• Fruits and vegetables: fruits like grapes and blueberries improves your kidney functions. Vegetables like onion, spinach, and asparagus are healthy for the kidneys too.
• Iron rich foods: kidney disease may be as a result of iron deficiency. Foods like green leafy vegetables can help to balance things up.
• Since kidneys regulate potassium, monitoring your potassium intake is important. If your potassium level gets too high, you may develop a greater risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Some examples of low-potassium foods include apples, beans, corn, rice, pasta, eggplant, cookies without nuts or chocolate, pears, and peas.
Remember, a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy diet equals a healthy kidney!