Our kidneys are designed such that their filtration capacity naturally declines after the age of 30-40 years. With every decade after your 30s, your kidney function is going to reduce by 10%. But, if you’re going to increase the load on your kidneys right from the beginning, your risk of developing kidney disease later in life will definitely be higher. Here’s why the youth is more affected by kidney diseases.
To be on the safe side, follow these few tips and take good care of your kidneys to prevent the risk of developing kidney problems.
1. Manage diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease: In most of the cases, kidney disease is a secondary illness that results from a primary disease or condition such as diabetes, heart diseases or high blood pressure. Therefore, controlling sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure by following a healthy diet, exercise regimen and medication guidelines is essential to keep kidney disease at bay.
2. Reduce the intake of salt: Salt increases the amount of sodium in diet. It not only increases blood pressure but also triggers the formation of kidney stones. Here are a few tips to actually cut down your salt intake.
3. Drink lots of water every day: Water keeps you hydrated and helps the kidneys to remove all the toxins from your body. It helps the body to maintain blood volume and concentration. It also helps in digestion and controls the body temperature. At least 8-10 glasses of water a day is a must.
4. Don’t resist the urge to urinate: Filtration of blood is a key function that your kidneys perform. When the process of filtration is done, extra amount of wastes and water is stored in the urinary bladder that needs to be excreted. Although your bladder can only hold a lot of urine, the urge to urinate is felt when the bladder is filled with 120-150 ml of urine.
So, if you start ignoring the urge to go to the restroom, the urinary bladder stretches more than its capacity. This affects the filtration process of the kidney.
5. Eat right: Nearly all processes taking place inside your body are affected by what you choose to eat and how you eat. If you eat more unhealthy, junk and fast food, then your organs have to face the consequences, including the kidneys. Here’s more information on the relation between unhealthy diet and kidney damage.
You should include right foods in your diet. Especially foods that can strengthen your kidneys like fish, asparagus, cereals, garlic and parsley. Fruits like watermelon, oranges and lemons are also good for kidney health.
6. Drink healthy beverages: Including fresh juices is another way of drinking more fluids and keeping your kidneys healthy. Juices help the digestive system to extract more water and flush out wastes from the body. Avoid drinking coffee and tea. They contain caffeine which reduces the amount of fluids in the body. So, the kidneys have to work harder to get rid of them. Read more about how soft drinks and sugars can affect the kidneys.
If you’re already suffering from kidney problems, you should avoid juices made from vegetables such as spinach and beets. These foods are rich in oxalic acid and they help in the formation of kidney stones. But you can definitely have coconut water. Here’s how coconut water can help in preventing kidney stones.
7. Avoid alcohol and smoking: Excess intake of alcohol can disturb the electrolyte balance of the body and hormonal control that influences the kidney function. Smoking is not directly related to kidney problems but it reduces kidney function significantly. It also has an adverse effect on heart health which can further worsen kidney problems.
8. Exercise daily: Researchers believe that obesity is closely linked to kidney related problems. Being overweight doubles the chances of developing kidney problems. Exercising, eating healthy and controlling portion size can surely help you to lose extra weight and enhance kidney health. Besides, you will always feel fresh and active. Here’s more about how obesity and kidney disease are linked.
9. Avoid self medication: All the medicines you take have to pass through the kidney for filtration. Increased dosage or taking medicines that you are not aware of can increase the toxin load on your kidneys. That’s why you should always follow dosage recommendations and avoid self medication. Read more about how drugs affect the kidneys.
10. Think before you take supplements and herbal medicine: If you’re on vitamin supplements or if you’re taking some herbal supplements, you should reconsider your dosage requirement. Excessive amount of vitamins and certain plant extracts are linked to kidney damage. You should talk to your doctor about the risk of kidney disease before taking them.
While you are following these tips and trying to keep your kidneys healthy, you should also be aware of various signs and symptoms that can indicate a kidney problem. If you notice any of these 12 symptoms of kidney disease, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease.
- Kidney disease, chronic-Prevention (http://www.nhs.uk/)
- Preventing Kidney stones. Harvard Health Publications (http://www.health.harvard.edu/)
- Ways to prevent kidney problems (http://www.advancednaturalmedicine.com)
- Penniston KL. Effect of dietary changes on urinary oxalate excretion and calcium oxalate supersaturation in patients with hyperoxaluric stone formation.
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