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National Kidney Month: 7 Ways to Maintain Your Kidney Health

Portrait of young woman standing with hands on waist and looking at camera.

Your kidneys perform many essential functions in the body. For example, they act as efficient filters that help eliminate excretory waste products and harmful substances such as toxins and drugs from the body. They regulate and balance the body’s fluids and release hormones that affect blood pressure. Also, they handle the production of the active form of vitamin D, keeping your bones healthy and strong. In short, your kidneys perform vital functions in your body, so ensuring optimal kidney health is essential.

Seven Ways To Maintain Optimal Kidney Health

Making sure your kidneys perform adequately not only plays a role in your overall health and wellbeing, but it also prevents the occurrence of abnormalities and diseases. Here are seven ways you can maintain your kidney health. 

Engage in Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activity helps keep you healthy and makes you feel energized throughout the day. Besides building up cardiovascular endurance, being active also aids in immunity response that can significantly reduce your risk of acquiring illnesses like kidney disease.

Horizontal photo of attractive woman jogging on treadmill at health club for kidney health.
Besides Building Up Cardiovascular Endurance, Being Active Also Aids In Immunity Response (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes the accumulation of high blood sugar within your body. Your kidneys have to work even harder to reduce sugar in your bloodstream and, hence, can become damaged over time. To avoid this, you must periodically monitor your blood sugar levels and ensure that they remain within the optimal range. The best way to manage diabetes is by making healthy lifestyle choices, including the food you consume and the physical activities you undertake. 

Manage Your Blood Pressure

The standard healthy blood pressure reading stands at around 120/80. If your blood pressure remains above this limit, then that might be a cause for concern, as it can damage your kidneys and other organs. In addition to consulting your GP, you can make some changes to your routine to better manage your blood pressure. For example, you may opt for a less stressful job, choose low-sodium foods, go on walks, meditate, and take prescribed medication to manage your blood pressure levels.

Smiling nurse checking senior patient's blood pressure.
120/80 Is The Standard Blood Pressure Reading (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can pose severe threats to your life by increasing the risk of many diseases and health conditions, along with significant damage to the kidneys. With the right mindset and sustainable healthy habits like increased physical activity and necessary dietary changes, you can achieve a healthy weight.

Minimize Consumption of Processed Meats and High-Sodium Foods

Maintaining a healthy diet cannot be stressed enough. It is essential to feed your body all the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for proper functioning. According to studies, reducing processed meats and sodium is an excellent step toward better kidney health.

Addicted man secretly eating sausages at night near fridge, unhealthy nutrition.
Reducing Processed Meats And Sodium Is An Excellent Step Toward Better Kidney Health (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Stay Hydrated

The kidneys help maintain water balance in the body and perform blood purifying functions. They clear out excretory products, toxins, and sodium from the body, provided you are drinking sufficient water every day. Hence, it is necessary to stay well hydrated to ensure optimal kidney health. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking can cause countless ongoing complications within the body, along with significant long-term effects. Smokers are more prone to heart-related diseases such as stroke and coronary heart disease. Smoking also damages the body’s blood vessels, resulting in inefficient blood flow throughout the body, including the kidneys. Aiming to quit smoking can diminish the risk of these health complications.

Female quitting smoking cigarettes.
Smokers Are More Prone To Heart-related Diseases Such As Stroke And Coronary Heart Disease (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney Dialysis, and Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney disease is the most common type of kidney disease and is characterized as having decreased kidney function over months or years. There are many causes of chronic kidney disease, including high blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure is the leading cause of this disease, and it can also result in many other complications, such as strokes and heart attacks. Another leading cause is consistent high blood sugar levels due to diabetes, which makes diabetes prevention very important.

Mid adult female nurse injecting patient for dialysis treatment in hospital room.
Dialysis Is A Process That Purifies The Bloodstream, Performing The Kidneys’ Job (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The constant pressure on the kidneys can cause their functionality to decline where dialysis would be required. Dialysis is a process that purifies the bloodstream, performing the kidneys’ job. If someone is not a candidate for dialysis, then the only option left is a kidney transplant.

Acute kidney failure occurs when kidneys stop working abruptly, without any potential warning signs. Some common causes of chronic kidney failure include high blood pressure, infections, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

You must conduct regular tests to detect signs of kidney diseases as soon as possible for prompt treatment. Timely treatment can prevent the disease from advancing to a more severe health condition.  

Stay Hydrated: The Benefits of Drinking Adequate Water

Water has long been the elixir that sustains human life. It makes up 60% of your total body weight and aids in removing excretory products and toxins from your bloodstream. You should stay hydrated, as it has an immense impact on both your physical and mental health. 

Man drinking some water from a bottle while sitting and resting after training.
Water is Great For Your Kidneys, As It Flushes Out Toxins So Your Kidneys Can Perform Well(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Staying hydrated can make your skin healthier, improve alertness, activate digestion, and regulate body temperature. It is also great for your kidneys, as the water flushes out toxins so your kidneys can perform well.

Drinking an adequate amount of water is necessary for keeping your kidneys healthy. The recommended water intake is 2.7 L for women and 3.7 L for men. But there is no hard and fast rule that this should apply to everyone. For example, suppose you are consuming fruits and vegetables every day. In that case, you are supplementing your water intake with the natural water content in your produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables have a high water content, so consuming foods like cucumbers, celery, and watermelon is an excellent way to help meet your daily hydration needs. 

Your goal is to prevent dehydration, a condition that, if not promptly treated, can lead to the formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Mild to severe forms of dehydration can produce various symptoms like yellow urine, tiredness, dryness in the mouth and lips, a rapid heartbeat, and headache. If left untreated, it can damage your kidneys. Hence, it is recommended that, as soon as you feel thirsty, you must drink as much water as necessary to quench your thirst. 

If you find it challenging to stay hydrated, here is a five-minute YouTube video with hacks on staying hydrated throughout the day.

Staying Hydrated | 5 Tips To Healthy Hydration – Warrior Made

Kidney Health Promotes Full-Body Wellness

Your kidneys play an important role in your physical and mental wellbeing. They help filter out toxic substances and waste products from your body, produce regulatory hormones, and maintain optimal body fluid levels. However, your kidneys need you to drink an adequate amount of water every day to stay healthy and perform their functions. Additionally, to maintain optimal kidney health, you must monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly.