These Are the 16 Best Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy from These Are the 16 Best Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

These Are the 16 Best Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

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These Are the 16 Best Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising mindfulness of the importance of the kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. Every day, they filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Kidney diseases fall in the category of “silent killers.”

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Drink more water

A body that doesn’t have enough water doesn’t get rid of the all the toxins and waste in the system. This can result in kidney problems. “When dehydration occurs there is a shunt of blood away from the gut and kidneys so that the blood will preferentially go to the heart and the brain,” Dr. Joseph N. Chorley from Texas Children’s Hospital, says. “With decreased blood to the kidneys, there is less nutrition and oxygen to the kidneys that results in damage.”

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High blood pressure is a big risk

Uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Studies have found that smokers with diabetes and/or high blood pressure are at higher risk of getting renal disease. Smoking also accelerated the occurrence of kidney disease.

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Work out on regular basis

Physical activity can stave off weight gain and high blood pressure. Overtraining will put your kidneys under stress, so don’t overdo it. Research show that exercise induces profound changes in the renal haemodynamics and in electrolyte and protein excretion. Choose continuous activity such as walking, swimming, biking, skiing, aerobic dancing or any other activities in which you need to move large muscle groups continuously, the National Kidney Foundation says.

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Reconsider OTC meds

Over-the-counter meds can be some of the most dangerous legal drugs on the market. Taken over a long period of time on regular basis can lead to kidney damage. Certain OTV pain medications, such as ibuprofen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are not recommended because they can reduce blood flow to the kidneys.

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Beware of supplements

Dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Manufacturers don’t have to prove that the pills are safe to use, and ingredients can vary from brand to brand, according to Cleveland Clinic. A recent review lists 17 dietary supplements that have been associated with direct kidney injury, though in a very limited numbers of cases.

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Keep blood sugar level constant

High blood sugar makes the kidneys work hard and filter too much blood, according to the American Diabetes Association. This is hard on the filters. The stress of overworked kidneys may cause a buildup of waste in the blood, which then may result in kidney failure. Also, high blood sugar leads to high blood pressure, research shows.

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Cut down sodium

Healthy kidneys eliminate excess sodium from the blood. When extra salt is stored in the body, your blood pressure goes up,  Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, says. The body holds more water, increasing the volume of blood, making the heart work harder to move blood through the blood vessels, and that leads to high blood pressure.

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Quit smoking

Smoking raises your blood pressure. Also, it can affect some of the medicines used to treat high blood pressure. The nasty habit slows blood flow to important organs, including in the kidneys. It narrows the blood vessels in the kidneys, which is why it can worsen already existing problems, or cause them, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

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Get your kidney function checked regularly

Kidney function is not usually a priority when people go for a regular checkup. It should be if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, are overweight, or have a family history of kidney disease. Tell your doctor if this is the case; he or she will know to screen for kidney dysfunction. This is a routine procedure for such patients.

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Focus on fruits and veggies

Adding fruits and vegetables to a diet is an effective alternative to medication to reduce metabolic acidosis and kidney injury in late-stage chronic kidney disease, according to research. Metabolic acidosis is a common complication of kidney disease. Good food options include red bell peppers, cabbage, apples, red grapes, and berries. 

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Avoid fatty foods

A 2011 study linked a high-fat diet to kidney disease in mice by way of AMPK, an enzyme involved in energy metabolism. AMPK activity in the kidneys is inhibited by inflammation. Inflammation of the kidneys is called nephritis and can damage kidney tissues and cells, leading to kidney disease. Other research found that mice fed a high-fat diet experienced kidney tissue injury.

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Don’t drink too much alcohol

Repeated drinking can raise your blood pressure too much and leads to dehydration. A study says that the regular consumption of alcohol elevates blood pressure. It lowers the level of the anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. You lose more fluid than necessary. Chronic drinking can also cause liver disease, which makes the kidneys work harder. Alcohol can change the organs’ function by making them less able to filter your blood, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

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Watch your weight

Keeping track of your weight can help prevent diabetes, chronic heart conditions, hypertension – all of which are linked to chronic kidney disease, which is the slow loss of kidney function over time. Stay at a healthy weight by keeping active and not overeating. The standard recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming per week.

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Eat egg whites

Egg whites are pure protein. It comes with less phosphorus than other protein sources such as egg yolk or meats. The proteins provided by egg whites are high in quality, which means that they will produce less urea nitrogen products in comparison to plant proteins. Maintaining good nutrition status help people with chronic kidney disease to maintain good nutrition status and resist infections, according to Kidney Cares Community.

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Consider probiotics

It is becoming more widely accepted that people with chronic kidney disease have altered gut flora, according to studies. Because many of the multifactorial physiological functions of probiotics are highly strain specific, preselection of appropriate probiotic strains based on their expression of functional biomarkers is critical, medical reviews say.

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Lower your phosphorous intake

Kidneys help regulate the level of phosphorus in the blood by removing extra amounts of it. If the organs are not functioning properly, you may have high phosphorus levels in your blood, according to WebMD. The best way to limit phosphorus in your diet is to limit fast food, processed foods, sodas, and other foods beverages that contain phosphorus (look for the letters “phos” in the ingredient list). 

These Are the 16 Best Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy