Kidneys are amazing organs, with the ability to sustain adult human life at only 20 percent of its normal functioning power. The kidneys control hormone production, transform minerals and vitamins in the body into usable forms, cleanse the blood, balance PH and produce urine.
Gradually decreasing kidney function often goes unnoticed until it is too late. So developing healthy habits and paying close attention to kidney health is essential to living a long and happy life.
1. Cut Down on Soda Consumption
Too much sugar is disastrous for your overall health. The body can only process so much sugar before diabetes and kidney disease catches up with you.
According to The Kidney Fund, two or more sugary soft drinks, whether they’re diet or regular, can lead to the development of kidney disease. In addition, the caffeine contained in these drinks can also lead to soaring blood pressure, which can lead to kidney damage.
2. Drink Enough Water
Dehydration is nearly as bad for the kidneys as too much sugar intake. The kidneys can’t complete their job if they aren’t hydrated properly. Without proper hydration, toxic substances can build up in the bloodstream, leading to amalgams of diseases.
The National Kidney Foundation advises us to drink 12 eight-ounce glasses of water daily. If your urine is dark yellow, orange, or any color other than clear to light yellow, get more water into your body at once.
3. Stop Living a Sedentary Life
Despite what most of us feel like when we first start exercising, boosting your heart rate and working your muscles is excellent for your overall health. Sitting at work, driving home and then watching TV until bedtime is a recipe for disaster.
Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise has proven to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones in post-menopausal women by up to 31 percent. Additionally, your body will feel better, you will be energized, and the rest of your internal organs will thank you with a much longer, happier life.
4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can be fun and even healthy, but not when too much is consumed. Most of us know that too much alcohol can destroy the liver and lead to cancer, but drinking too much can also lead to kidney damage.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is probably the number one health-destroying activity you can participate in legally. Smokers have reduced kidney function that can lead to more serious illnesses. Kidneys aren’t the only organs that take a beating.
Smoking leads to hardened blood vessels, dramatically decreased lung capacity, blood toxicity levels that almost certainly lead to fatal diseases, depression, and a reduced ability to perform many physically taxing activities.
6. Take Vitamins and Eat a Healthy Diet
Vitamins and minerals are essential to maintaining good health. Vitamin B6 is very important for kidney function. A deficiency can lead to kidney stones, depression, low red blood cell count, lethargy, and more. To be sure you are getting enough B6, eat fish, liver, starchy vegetables, fruits, and potatoes. You can also consider taking a multivitamin designed for your sex, age, and health.
Magnesium, which is included in multi-vitamins, helps your body absorb calcium rather than having it build up in the kidneys and lead to stones. Salads, beans, nuts, and seed rich foods along with vitamins can help ensure you aren’t deficient in magnesium.
7. Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation affects millions of Americans every single day. When you miss out on a full nights’ sleep on a regular basis, it can lead to decreased kidney functions and a host of other diseases. Kidney tissues are regenerated while we sleep. Less sleep equals fewer new kidney cells. Turn off the TV, cut out caffeine after 2PM, and go to bed on a regular schedule to help you form new sleeping habits.
8. Quit Holding It In
Avoiding urinating may seem innocent enough in our minds, but it can actually be very harmful to your health. Not only does holding in urine lead to discomfort and infections, it increases pressure on the kidneys, which leads to renal failure. Additionally, it can lead to urinary incontinence later in life.
9. Put the Salt Shaker Down
Many of us never taste our food before picking up the salt shaker. By pouring on salt to foods that are salty enough already, we raise our blood pressure. Chronic high blood pressure is terrible for the kidneys. Remember to read food labels for sodium content. For best results, try to keep our salt intake to 5.8 grams or less daily.
10. Stop Taking Too Many Painkillers
We all experience pain on a daily basis, and over the counter pain remedies are a convenient way to combat discomfort. Popping a couple pills to feel better is fine, but taking double doses is not ok. According to the FDA, overdosing on painkillers can lead to kidney damage or failure, so be sure you’re dosing yourself correctly.
Taking proper care of your kidneys now can help you avoid kidney failure later on in life. Eat healthy foods, get enough exercise, listen to your doctor, and get more sleep at night. Following these instructions will not only save your life later on down the road, it will help you lead a healthier, happier, and more comfortable life.