Taking measures to promote kidney health is a smart health decision. This is particularly true in view of the alarming statistics associated with kidney failure, or end stage renal disease. According to the National Kidney & Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), more than 527,000 kidney patients were receiving treatment for end-stage renal disease as of the end of 2007.
Additionally, for every 1,000 end-stage kidney patients, 157.3 patients died due to the disease during the same year. Fortunately, you can promote kidney health by implementing healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine.
Kidney Health and Water Consumption
Not drinking enough water dehydrates the kidneys and diminish their function. Failure to drink sufficient water on a regular basis could eventually lead to kidney failure. In contrast, drinking the recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water daily would provide your kidneys the fluid they need to carry out their many processes, like getting rid of toxins.
Credit: MorgueFile.comHowever, the recommendation to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily is for individuals with healthy kidneys. If you are already experiencing kidney disease symptoms, it is crucial that you consult your physician regarding your water intake, as excessive water retention could lead to serious health complications like a heart attack.
Regular Exercise Promotes Kidney Health
Another way to promote kidney health is by exercising regularly. Exercise keeps your weight in check. According to the National Kidney Foundation, women who have more than 30 percent body fat and men with 25 percent or more body fat are considered obese. Being obese or overweight increases your chances of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, which can lead to chronic kidney disease.
Additionally, exercise improves circulation, which aids in organ function, including the kidneys. Fat around the kidneys puts added strain on the organs, which could diminish kidney function.
Regular exercise such as walking, biking, aerobics or playing a sport can reduce the risk for developing kidney problems. It can increase circulation, oxygenate your body, increase your energy level and improve general well-being, all of which contribute to keeping your kidneys healthy.
Ward Off Kidney Disease Through Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy foods, such as plenty of vegetables and fruits, play an important role in keeping your kidneys healthy. Avoid diets high in protein and carbohydrates. Instead, eat balanced meals. Nutritionists generally suggest including a serving of steamed vegetables and a green salad with a serving of lean protein. View protein as a side dish instead of the main dish. Credit: Jeltovski (MorgueFile.com)
Substitute refined carbohydrates with whole grains. For example, replace white rice with brown rice. Choose 100 percent whole grain bread instead of white bread. If you have to eat out or on the run, opt for grilled or broiled chicken and request a salad in place of French fries.
Additional Kidney Health Tips
- Avoid wearing tight clothes or belts, as these could bruise your kidneys and cause damage.
- If you suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes, keeping your blood pressure and sugar levels within normal range can reduce your risk for kidney disease.
- Consume fruits and vegetables that contain potassium. Some examples are bananas, pineapple, watermelon, celery and parsley. Potassium helps the kidneys process salts and keep blood pressure within normal range, which in turn promote kidney health. If you are a kidney failure patient, your physician will likely recommend cutting back on potassium-rich foods. In such case, your potassium intake would depend on your urine output since the body gets rid of excess potassium through the kidneys.
- Avoid sugar as much as possible. Sugar causes your blood to become sticky and makes your kidneys work harder.
- Avoid processed foods whenever possible. Processed foods are high in salt and contain artificial preservatives. A high salt intake can make your body retain liquids, increase blood pressure and puts added strain on your kidneys. Artificial preservatives and chemicals also make your kidneys work harder, as they have to filter out toxins.
- If you drive for a living, it’s a good idea to use a seat cushion to absorb some of the shock from bumps and reduce stress on the kidneys.
- Avoid medications as much as possible.
- Drink filtered water. Unfortunately, the drinking supply in many areas contains radiation, which could cause kidney failure.
Because the kidneys play such an important role in keeping you healthy, it is important to do all you can to keep them functioning at optimum level. People often associate kidney disease with high blood pressure and diabetes. Unfortunately, high blood pressure and diabetes are not the only causes of chronic kidney disease. Other causes include an inactive lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, prolonged and unmanaged stress, as well as medications and inflammation. If your kidneys are healthy, taking preventive measures such as the ones mentioned above can promote kidney health and keep your kidneys functioning efficiently.
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