Kidney health is very important. The kidneys provide the vital function of removing toxins from the blood and releasing them out of the body. When your kidneys are not functioning properly, toxins can stay in the body, causing a systemic mess. Kidneys are also responsible for helping to regulate levels of calcium and potassium, so your body’s levels of these may be in flux with kidney dysfunction. There are ways to keep your kidneys in prime working order, such as:
Hydrate – One of the best things you can do for your kidneys is to drink plenty of water every day. You want to make sure you are keeping your filtration system super pumped with fluids. When you have concentrated urine (when it is moderately to severely yellow in color) your body is needing more water, listen and hydrate accordingly. Your urine should be straw colored to clear. Whenever it is darker, it is your body’s way of showing you that you need more fluids.
Lower the Sodium – By reducing salt in your diet you are able to help your kidneys. Salt really taxes the kidneys and makes it work harder, since the body isn’t able to eliminate it as quickly as other items. When salts build up in the kidneys, they can create stones. Look into your spice rack and take out salt based ones and replenish with good spices such as basil, sage, and oregano. By replacing your salt shaker with a salt-free alternative, you are keeping the flavor without adding sodium into your body.
Watch Your Blood Pressure – Blood pressure that stays high can negatively impact your kidneys. By keeping a watchful eye on these numbers and keeping hypertension at bay, you are delaying or even preventing kidney failure in the future. Since this is taken at the doctor’s office with every visit, it is easy to keep track of. There are also blood pressure monitors in many local stores.
Limit Vices – If you smoke and/or drink, take steps to limit the amount or to quit completely. Smoking and drinking both make the kidneys work harder. Alcohol is very dehydrating and can make kidney function lessen, while smoking can make existing kidney problems worse. If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney issues, limit all alcohol and cigarette intake.
Control Your Sugar – Whether you are diabetic or not, controlling your blood glucose is vital. While non-diabetics won’t see the severe spikes and valleys as a diabetic will, having high blood sugar consistently will lead to kidney damage. Kidney failure is a very real problem for life-long diabetics, and they should keep a watchful eye on their urine output.
These are all simple tips for you to remember to keep your kidneys healthy. A simple dietary change and a monitoring of any pre-existing conditions is a great start to making sure your kidneys stay healthy and functioning. 24-hour urine samples can be monitored if you start to show signs of decreased urine output or beginning kidney disease. This test will collect urine over a day to check for problems.
Matthew Wallace, MD advises physicians and business owners on how to incorporate sound financial planning principals into their busy lives and protect against the real threat of losing one’s income due to disability. Prior to entering the financial planning profession, for eight years Matthew practiced Family Medicine before being severely injured in an auto accident that left him unable to continue his medical career.
He lives in Orange County, CA and is married with three beautiful children. Matthew is an avid chess player, an aspiring chef and writes for his website www.doctordisability.com.