Kidneys are bean shaped organs which reside against the back muscles in the upper abdominal cavity. Their main purpose is the extraction of wastes from the blood, urine as well as helping in important functions of the human body such as maintaining of bodily fluids etc… If an individual’s kidneys are not performing the following tasks, it means that he/she is suffering from a kidney failure and must undergo kidney transplantation. Here is the brief explanation about some of the major functions performed by the kidney:
WASTE EXCRETION: We consume a lot of things that our body doesn’t need. so, our body tries to excrete them through the process of filtration. The kidney takes care of these processes by filtering our blood for toxins, excessive salts and urea which is created in the liver while metabolism.
REGULATION OF BLOOD PRESSURE: kidneys require constant blood pressure for filtering the blood. If and when the pressure is reduced, the kidneys produce angiotensin which signals the body to retain sodium and water. This in turn helps in attaining the normal blood pressure.
REGULATION OF RED BLOOD CELL LEVELS: the kidneys regulate the levels of red blood cells in the body by producing erythropoietin which signals the bone marrow to produce more oxygen carrying red blood cells to make sure that the kidneys get enough oxygen
ACID REGULATION: acids are produced in our body when metabolism happens. The food which we consume might increase these levels or reduce them but if the body is to perform normally, these levels must be maintained at a nominal level. The kidneys do that for us.
BALANCING THE WATER LEVELS: the kidneys help excrete the excess water from our body through urine. They have to adjust as per the water levels in the body i.e if the water levels are low, the kidney will adjust to it and help leave water in the body rather than excrete it.
Here are some of the ways that you can harm your kidneys
- Excessive fluoride in the water supply.
- Using Teflon coated(non-stick) household items.
- Exposed to toxic mould at home or elsewhere.
- The usage of pesticides and harmful cleaning agents.
- Artificial sweetenersof all types.
- Consumption of fructose, sodas and candies.
THESE ARE SOME TIPS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY KIDNEY:
EAT HEALTHY FOODS: Our kidneys can tolerate a wide variety of dietary habits but statistics suggest that most of the kidney problems arise due to other medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes etc… which are the results of bad eating habits. So, we are suggested to eat healthy and moderate eating habits to control your blood pressure and sugar levels in order to have a healthy kidney.
DRINK ENOUGH WATER: its always a good idea to drink enough water to stay healthy. Drinking enough water to have a healthy kidney. However, drinking excess of water with an aim of improving the kidney function is of no use as it does not help kidney perform any better.
WORKOUT ON A REGULAR BASIS: regular exercise can not only shave off the excess fat but also help you maintain your blood pressure. But you should be careful about the amount of exercise that you get as you might not be conditioned for it and it might put strain on you kidneys.
ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO: be careful about the levels of alcohol consumption as it has direct impact upon the kidney, try to quit smoking if you do smoke as it decreases the blood flow to the kidney and kidneys cannot function at optimal levels when they do not have enough oxygen supply.
BE CAUTIONATE ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL REMEDIES: high consumption of protiens and vitamins is harmful for the kidneys. So, be careful about the protein intake and try to talk about it with your doctor before you consume any proteins.
CAREFUL WITH OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES: be careful with the over the counter medicines as some of them might contain harmful elements which might harm your kidney. If you are suffering with pain in the kidney, you must consult a doctor rather than going for over the counter medications.
GET REGULAR SCREENING: if you are a patient of either diabetes or blood pressure problems, you must have regular check-ups for kidney dysfunction inorder to avoid the severity.
REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: more than 50% of people with diabetes end up having kidney functioning problems. So it is very important to get regular check-ups as early detection can help reduce kidney damage by controlling sugar levels with the help of your family doctor.
CAUTION ABOUT GLUTEN: more and more members of the population are becoming gluten intolerant and you must be careful and ask your doctor about gluten intolerance cause malabsorption of nutrients is a secondary disease for the gluten intolerant. This is also one of the reasons for kidney failure these days.