The importance of the kidney for the entire body and overall health is huge, as these bean-shaped organs filter around 120-150 quarts of urine, waste and excess fluid daily, and thus protect against the accumulation of waste in the body.
They are about the size of a fist, and are located just below the rib cage on both sides of the spine. Their function is to regulate the electrolyte levels and produce hormones that support bone health, produce red blood cells, and regulate blood pressure.
Oftentimes, the individual does not experience any warning signs of a damage of the kidneys, so it is crucial to learn how to take preventative measures and support kidney health.
EARLY SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASEThe trouble with kidney disease is that many people fail to act upon the issue until the condition has become severe. The symptoms can be a tad general in the early phase, allowing someone to simply brush them off or associate them with some other illness. Your kidneys also have a great ability to adapt to the disease as they lose function. The following symptoms will appear in the early stage of kidney disease and slowly worsen over time.
• Feeling easily tired and experiencing a lack of strength• Changes in urination, such as blood in the urine or changes in the amount and number of times urine is passed• Troubles with sleeping• Nausea and vomiting• Irregularities in the digestive routine• Disinterest in eating food and bad metallic taste in the mouth• Lack of focus and mental clarity• Hiccups• Swollen ankles or feet• Pain above the waist in the back of the body (where the kidneys are)• Muscle spasms and cramping• Unstable blood pressure• Loss of breath• Skin rash or chronic itching
These are some of the most common habits that lead to severe kidney damage over time and put a lot of pressure on these organs:
Excessive Alcohol useThe consumption of more than one drink daily several times a week increases the risk of kidney damage, as alcohol puts stress on the kidneys and the liver.
Holding UrineHolding in urine often increases pressure which might cause kidney failure and kidney stones.
Not Drinking Enough WaterIn the case of insufficient water intake, the waste, and toxins that should be eliminated from the body start to accumulate and lead to severe kidney damage.
Excessive Sugar IntakeResearchers have found that individuals who drink more than two sugary drinks on a daily basis have more chances to have protein in their urine, which is an early symptom of the improper function of the kidneys.
Excessive Salt intakeThe excessive levels of sodium might also lead to kidney damage, as they apply pressure on these organs and raise blood pressure.
Sleep deprivationChronic sleep deprivation causes numerous health problems, including kidney disease, as the body needs to sleep and during that time, to repair the damage to the kidney tissues.
Vitamin and Mineral deficiencyThe function of the kidneys also depends on the foods you consume, so in case your body lacks some important vitamins and minerals, like magnesium and vitamin B6, your kidneys might not be able to work properly.
Excessive intake of coffeeCaffeine causes stress on the kidneys and raises blood pressure, so its excessive use leads to damage of the kidneys after some time.
Painkillers abuseOver-the-counter and prescription drugs are often purchased as a treatment of aches and pains, but they are loaded with dangerous chemicals, and thus lead to even more complications. One of the potential side-effects of the excessive use of these medications is severe kidney and liver damage.
Excessive Animal Protein IntakeThe excessive intake of animal protein, (especially red meat), boosts the metabolic load on the kidneys, so the more protein you eat, the worse your kidneys will work. Too much protein – According to Harvard University, too much protein in your diet can harm the kidneys. The by product of protein digestion is ammonia – a toxin your hard-working kidneys need to neutralize. More protein means more effort for the kidneys, which can, over time, lead to decreased function.Not treating common infections quickly and properly – We are all guilty of sometimes ignoring simple colds and flu, and pushing our bodies to the brink of exhaustion. But that can cause kidney damage. Studies have shown that people who are reluctant to rest and heal properly, often end up with kidney disease. HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR KIDNEYSA few small changes in your everyday life can lead to a life-saving difference down the road. These five changes to your lifestyle and nutrition will reduce your risk of disease by protecting your kidneys.
Lifestyle ChangesBlood pressure plays a big part in kidney function. Keeping yours at a healthy level (around 130/80) will help reduce damage to the kidneys. Find here more information how to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
Smoking and drinking should be avoided because they wreak havoc on your kidneys.
Get active with more exercise. It will strengthen your entire body and give you more energy to love life. It will help you to keep optimal body weight and reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension that can reduce kidney functioning over time.
Consider supplements that provide calcium and vitamin D if you feel you don’t get enough on a daily basis. Always consult with your doctor before taking them. Limit using painkillers and steroids and only when you feel they are absolutely necessary. Overuse of them can lead to kidney damage.
Nutritional Changes1. Stay mindful of your sodium intake. Keep the salt and potassium you ingest at a moderate level.2. Maintain a healthy nutrition. Eat meals with small amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat. 3. Maintain low protein diet. Too much protein is bad for the kidneys. Ask your physician how much you should eat daily according to your body type.4. A sufficient amount of calories is necessary for the kidneys, so starving yourself for weight loss isn’t a great idea.5. Watermelons, apples and berries are among the foods that should be at the top of your grocery list.6. Stay hydrated. Drink about 8 glasses of fluid, preferable water, every day.