The kidneys have an important role in filtering out toxins and keeping water levels balanced within the body. Keeping your kidneys as healthy as possible will make sure your body is functioning how it should. Here are some tips for how you can help your kidneys stay as healthy as possible.
Keep Your Blood Pressure at Safe Levels
High blood pressure is one of the main reasons that people end up with kidney problems. This happens because the kidneys are filled with tiny blood vessels that can easily be damaged. If you have high blood pressure, it can put a strain on these vessels until blood no longer circulates through the kidneys properly. Managing your blood pressure is usually done through a combination of reducing sodium intake, avoiding stress, exercising regularly, and taking medication.
Don’t Abuse Drugs
Both legal and illegal drugs can cause all sorts of kidney issues because the kidneys are the body part responsible for filtering out waste products. If you repeatedly abuse drugs or take an overdose of drugs, you may damage your kidneys beyond repair. Even over the counter medications like ibuprofen can cause kidney damage when used for long periods of time, and illegal drugs like cocaine can be even worse for you. Try to only take medications your doctor recommends, and read the package carefully to follow all dosage instructions.
Manage Your Blood Sugar
Another major cause of kidney issues is high blood sugar from untreated diabetes. The glucose builds up in the blood and damages many parts of the kidneys if you do not treat your diabetes. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes need to follow their doctor’s instructions for taking medications and eating a healthy diet without excessive sugar. It can take quite a bit of time and effort to pay attention to blood sugar levels, but the consequences may be quite severe if you ignore it.
Exercise Regularly and Eat Healthily
In general, if you want healthy kidneys you need a healthy body. Things like being physically inactive or obese put far too much strain on your kidneys. Therefore, it is important to eat a balanced diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, seafood, and whole grains and try to reduce your intake of saturated fats, sugars, and sodium. Current healthcare guidelines recommend that all healthy adults aim to get at least 2 ½ hours of aerobic activity per week, which you can do by just walking or running for 20 minutes a day.
Avoid Tobacco Use
Those who are not using tobacco products should make an effort to avoid using them. If you are currently smoking, it is important to stop. Smoking is a big problem because it damages the circulatory system and keeps the kidneys from getting enough oxygen rich blood. All other sorts of tobacco products, including vape pens and chewing tobacco, have the same negative effect. Nicotine is highly addictive, so it can be quite challenging to stop. In general, tapering to a reduced amount works better than attempting to stop use suddenly.
Drink the Right Amount of Water
Since the kidney’s main function is filtering fluids, the amount and type of liquid you drink makes a huge difference to your overall health. In general, most people do not drink enough water. Staying hydrated helps the kidneys to move toxins out of the body and expel it through urine, so it is very important to get at least eight cups of water per day. However, too much water can actually put a strain on the kidneys, so do not over do it. You can tell whether or not you are drinking the right amount by looking at your urine. It should be a pale yellow or almost clear color.