One of the vital organs of the human body is the kidney. We have two kidneys that help in performing some critical functions that majorly include detoxification of the body. These retain essential vitamins & minerals and filter out the waste for a healthy body. If your kidneys aren’t in their best health, you may have trouble with waste elimination. Thus, you must adopt measures to keep your kidneys healthy. Dr. Anand Arumugam, MBBS, MS (Urology), DNB, Urologist and Andrologist at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala, Bangalore shares five golden rules to maintain healthy kidneys.
Kidneys are the most vital organs of the body and they perform a plethora of crucial functions. The most important thing kidneys do is filter waste products, excess water along all other impurities in the bloodstream. The waste is kept in the bladder and later excreted from the body through urine. Kidneys are also responsible for regulating PH, salt and potassium levels in the body besides producing hormones to regulate and control blood pressure and production of red blood cells.
A human body requires a form of Vitamin D which helps in absorbing calcium along with building bones and regulating muscle function. This is another key function that kidneys perform on a day-to-day basis. Essentially, kidneys act as an organ that maintains the chemical balance in a human body. Unhealthy kidneys can lead to several problems and medical conditions like End Stage kidney Failure and Chronic Kidney disease which have a great impact on the quality of life.
Tips for Healthy Kidneys
If you want to keep kidney problems at bay, here are seven golden rules that you must follow in order to maintain healthy kidneys:
Rule #1 Regular exercise
Maintain a healthy weight to avoid high blood pressure and for this, it's important to keep yourself active and fit by performing moderate exercise every day. 20-30 mins of any kind of physical activity like walking, jogging and yoga are essential for good health. Regular exercise will build a strong immune system and this prevents all the harmful diseases related to kidneys.
Rule #2 Keep yourself hydrated
Drink enough fluids to keep the kidneys hydrated and function properly. Check dehydration by how concentrated the urine is and drink plenty of fluids to avoid the same. Include enough fruits and vegetables that are high in water content along with drinking enough water and healthy fluids to stay hydrated. It is important to balance the water intake as excess fluid content can stress the kidneys and lead to hyponatremia.
Rule #3 Maintain a healthy diet
Keep away from fatty and salty food, balance the diet with enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals. An apple a day keeps the doctor away and also improves kidney health. Kidney beans are very good for kidney health as the name suggests. Add foods to the diet that are beneficial to the well-being of kidneys like sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables. A healthy diet helps in preserving body weight, enhances the immune system, improves blood pressure, avoids diabetes and cardiovascular diseases which can eventually lead to Kidney disease.
Rule #4 Don’t Take Painkillers
If you cannot bear the pain, you must be taking painkillers to control it or get rid of it. This is a temporary relief measure that doesn’t seem to affect our health much but you must know the side-effects of taking too many painkillers. These are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs that are given to lessen the pain sensations in the body. While you may be finding these drugs useful, you should learn the potential damage they can cause to your body. Taking painkillers once in a while is less-damaging than taking them regularly. If you take these medicines at regular intervals, they may harm your kidneys as well as other vital organs. These can weaken your kidney functions and affect them over time. If you have a compromised kidney function, you need to be extra careful about the medicines that you take. Frequent doses can harm your kidneys. Thus, learn this golden rule to avoid taking painkillers as much as possible.
Rule #5 Take notice of the blood pressure
It is advised to keep a check on your blood pressure at regular intervals as it is a healthy practice. By doing this it will be easier to find out any abnormalities and can be detected and treated at the initial stages. Health conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes can also have adverse effects on the kidneys and should be managed well with help of medication and a healthy lifestyle.
Rule #6 Avoid smoking and drinking
Smoking is harmful in many ways and causes a number of health conditions and kidney cancer is one of them. Kidneys are affected by smoking as it slows down the blood flow with normal functioning ability. Slow blood flow in kidneys damages the blood vessels and disrupts normal health. Consumption of alcohol reduces the kidney’s ability to filter blood and alcohol also causes dehydration that affects the kidneys. Smoking and alcohol increase blood pressure and as mentioned earlier blood pressure is one of the major causes of kidney damage.
Conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity cause kidney problems and make sure you consult a doctor for kidney dysfunction regularly. Be mindful about common diseases as these small diseases can also harm the kidneys. Lead a healthy lifestyle by following all the golden rules to prevent the kidneys from getting damaged.
Rule #7 Go for regular check-ups
Lastly but most importantly is getting regular body check-ups and kidney function tests done. Why this is one of the most important rules is because this helps in warding off the potential risks. If you get tests done, you’d come to know of the signs and symptoms of any underlying disease including renal diseases. Timely detection can aid the prevention of the disease before it reaches its chronic stage. Ideally, a person must undergo 2-3 check-ups annually. Also, getting a full-body check-up every alternate year is suggested to ensure good health.
Kidneys are very important for overall health. We make a lot of lifestyle mistakes that put kidney health at stake. By practising these tips for healthy kidneys, you are ensuring that they are functioning well.
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