06-03-2022 / Kidney and Nephrology

8 Secrets to keep your Kidney Healthy

Kidneys act as a filter system for your whole body and you need healthy kidneys to sustain overall health. Know how to maintain kidney health and tips for maintaining your kidney health

8 Secrets to keep your Kidney Healthy
Keerthana A PKeerthana A P

Keerthana A P

Food Technologist, Engineer & Research Associate

Table of Content

Introduction

Humans are complex organisms that have several organs working in an integrated manner for maintaining good health. If the heart functions as a blood pump and lungs function as a blood purifier, your kidneys act as a filter for blood. Healthy kidneys are very essential for the proper performance of all other vital organs. So, how to keep kidneys healthy?  Dive in here to know the ways to keep your kidneys healthy.  

Statistics data

Why are healthy kidneys significant for your good health?

According to WHO, we lose almost 33.5 million lives each year due to chronic kidney diseases.  We have a staggering number of people in statistics which makes kidney diseases a major cause of death both in developed and developing countries. So, why is it important to have healthy kidneys and what role do they play? Well, kidneys may not receive the limelight as ‘heart health’ receives, but they are the important players in the system for maintaining your overall well-being. They help in balancing out the chemicals and hormones that are vital parts of the metabolism. Healthy kidneys are necessary for avoiding the building up of toxins in your bloodstream. Other than this, they help in the formation of red blood cells and the building of stronger bones. Kidneys also produce enzymes that are necessary to keep your blood pressure levels at bay. Keeping your kidneys healthy is important for the holistic functioning of the organ systems. 

8 Secrets to keep your kidneys healthy

8 Secrets to keep your kidneys healthy

Some of the ways which can help you in keeping kidneys healthy are listed below,

1. Consuming balanced diet 

Most kidney disorders arise from underlying diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. So, having fresh forms of foods rather than stuffing our diets with processed foods can keep kidneys healthy. Have portion control over your diet that can prevent obesity and other related illnesses. Healthy kidneys need a good diet to sustain their roles and functions for a long time. 

2. Staying hydrated

Since kidneys are the filter systems to your body, it needs water to perform well. Water helps in the removal of toxins from the blood in the form of urine. Having said that, overhydration can give counterproductive results to the benefits of water. So, just target four to six glasses a day for keeping kidneys healthy. 

3. Maintaining optimal blood pressure 

In cases of high blood pressure, kidneys overwork themselves to compensate for elevated blood pressure levels. This damages the functioning of kidneys beyond any doubt in the long run. So, keep your blood pressure at optimal levels for keeping your kidneys healthy. Include foods like beans, berries, lentils, citrus fruits and carrots for maintaining your blood pressure. 

4. Having regular exercise regimes

Regular exercises can improve your health by bringing down stress and anxiety. Since regular exercises have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, they can help in keeping your kidneys healthy by reducing blood pressure. Aim for workouts like swimming or cycling that can help in exerting major muscles. These exercises can contribute to maintaining healthy kidneys. 

5. Staying away from alcohol

Alcohol not only damages your central nervous system but also affects kidney functions. Alcohol affects the ability of kidneys to filter the minerals, electrolytes and toxins. It interferes with the basic functions of the kidneys by negatively impacting every vital metabolism. So, keeping kidneys healthy requires abstinence from alcohol-related beverages. 

6. Quitting cigarette

Smoking can damage your blood vessels by causing inflammation and blockages. This can cause high blood pressure by clogging the arteries and other major blood vessels. This puts a major strain on kidney health and causes the disorder of functions. So, staying away from nicotine is essential for maintaining healthy kidneys. 

7. Avoiding OTC supplements

Any medications taken without a prescription does more harm than good. OTC supplements like Ibuprofen and Naproxen (NSAIDS) can disrupt your kidney functions if taken for a prolonged period. Taking these medicines occasionally for managing chronic pain does not harm but having them regularly is always a bad idea. Consulting your doctor regarding chronic pain is a better choice rather than taking any OTC pain killers. 

8. Doing regular screenings

If you are having health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases that can trigger kidney diseases, it is wise to get your kidneys checked regularly. So, restoring your healthy kidneys with early detection can only save you from possible kidney failures. 

Take home points

  • Healthy kidneys are essential for the holistic functioning of all vital organs. Having lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure increases the risks of kidney diseases. 

  • We have to have healthy kidneys for proper removal of blood toxins, balancing minerals, optimising blood pressure and maintaining bone health.

  • The secrets to healthy kidneys are exercise, a balanced diet, good hydration, sobriety, and regular kidney checkups.  


FAQ on 8 Secrets to keep your Kidney Healthy

1. What are the signs of unhealthy kidneys?

Ans. It’s always better to get your kidneys screened if you have symptoms like shortness of breath, constant fatigue, unexplained weight loss, bad breath, loss of appetite, itchy skin and coloured urine. Accessing earlier can help you in restoring healthy kidneys. 

2. Does drinking a lot of water help to maintain healthy kidneys?

Ans. Water is the best choice for keeping your kidneys healthy. Women and Men should aim for at least 1600 ml and 2000ml respectively for a day to help in the proper functioning of kidneys. 

3. What foods keep kidneys healthy?

Ans. Foods like apples, cranberries, mushrooms, egg whites, fish, kale, cauliflower, spinach and sweet potatoes can help to keep your kidneys healthy. 

4. What colour of urine indicates that your kidneys are failing?

Ans. When your kidneys are failing, your urine usually changes to brown, red or purple. Other than this, you may experience infrequent urination as well. 

5. Can lemon water help to keep your kidney healthy?

Ans.The presence of citrates in lemons makes them an ideal food to prevent kidney stones and help in keeping your kidneys healthy. 

6. What are the OTC vitamins to avoid for maintaining healthy kidneys?

Ans. While vitamins from regular foods do not harm your health,  OTC supplements of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) can mess up your kidney health. To keep your kidneys healthy, don’t take vitamin supplements without a doctor’s advice. 

7. How to keep your kidneys healthy with diet?

Ans. A clean diet that is less processed foods and sodium is the best diet for maintaining healthy kidneys. 

8. What are the foods to avoid to keep kidneys healthy?

Ans. Diets high in sodium are the major culprit in causing most kidney-related issues as high salts raise your blood pressure. Try to reduce your salt intake by substituting it with spices or herbs for keeping your kidneys healthy.

9. How to keep kidneys healthy by exercise?

Ans. Exercises that require you to work on your large muscle groups like swimming, skiing, cycling and aerobic workouts do a great deal of help to keep kidneys healthy.

10. Can you reverse already affected kidneys with these tips?

Ans. Early detection can save us from any possible kidney disease. With prescribed food and lifestyle habits, we can keep kidneys healthy. But if the kidneys fail beyond repair, medical treatment is the only resort. Go through the blog for kidney health tips and kidney diet secrets to avoid any possible kidney disorders.  


References

National Kidney Foundation 

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

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