Grace is having her second baby and she appeared all sharp in the hospital ward. “How are feeling madam?”, the doctor asked. “I am alright and ready to push”, she replied. After getting examined by the midwife, Grace spotted an old friend of hers lying on the bed next to hers who had been admitted three days ago with a full-term pregnancy, but was anxiously awaiting her labor to begin.
As humans, we often focus our health consciousness on body parts we can see or feel, and many times, organs like the kidneys are overlooked until something goes wrong. The Kidney has one of the most important functions in the body: filtering wastes off the blood. Now imagine if wastes are allowed to build up in the body without an effective clearing system? The answer to this should make you pay more attention to your kidney’s health.
Here are important, yet simple tips to maintaining the health of your kidneys.
Reduce salt intake: Salt is a necessary ingredient as it contains essential minerals. Over 90% of humans consume excess salt unknowingly, as salt is hidden in every food, and it’s necessary to know and measure the sodium limit. Excessive sodium in the body elevates blood pressure which may affect blood flow to the kidneys, which, in turn, could damage the kidneys.
Stay Hydrated: Increase water intake is beneficial to kidney health. We often experience extreme weather conditions causing heat stress and frequent dehydration. Regular water intake helps the kidneys do their jobs optimally, aiding to flush out toxins, chemicals, and other harmful substances. The color of your urine is an indicator; transparent or pale urine shows proper hydration whilst dark or yellow urine indicates dehydration. At least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily are needed to keep the kidneys flushing out wastes optimally.
Quit smoking: Tobacco companies state in their ads that smokers are liable to die young, and we could not agree more. Smoking introduces toxic substances into our bodies and also damages blood vessels in the kidneys, causing damage to the kidneys at a young age. If quitting smoking is difficult, seek help from a doctor or a licensed addiction physician.
Eat healthy foods: Aside from lowering your body fat and blood pressure, an intentional change to your diet can improve your kidneys’ health. Kidney-friendly nutrition should include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, grapes, herbs like garlic. Whole grains, such as wheat and bulgur, as well as plant-based foods are packed with minerals and essential vitamins that improve kidney function. Other kidney-friendly foods are nuts, fruits, and pepper.
Reduce medication use if there are underlying or recurrent ailments, it’s important to manage your medicinal use by discussing with your health care providers. Over-the-counter drugs might seem harmless but prolonged use could be fatal to the kidney, as pain relievers can trigger the risk of kidney diseases. At intervals, we all get sick; but certain medications, including antibiotics and simple pain killers, can cause kidney injuries if taken indiscriminately. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.
Your kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body, and just as care for your vehicle engine and exhaust system is important to your vehicle, so should your kidneys be to you. Cleansing your kidneys is integral to improving your health and prolonging your life. Stay active and keep your kidney-friendly!