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How to Improve Kidney Function

Four Methods:Eating HealthilyDrinking HealthilyControlling your Weight and Exercising RegularlyLearning about how Kidney Problems Develop

Your kidneys are among one of the most important organs in your body. They have important functions in the regulation of your blood, your blood volume, blood pressure, and blood pH. They are also responsible for filtering your blood plasma, and separating waste from the useful chemicals.[1] Take good care of your kidneys to improve your overall health and reduce your chances of illness. Many things can go wrong but if you follow some simple tips, you can make it less likely that you will suffer from things such as Kidney stones, kidney infections and or failure.

Method 1
Eating Healthily

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    Eat a balanced diet. A healthy balanced diet is a major factor to good overall health, and kidney health is no exception. Avoid fatty and salty food, and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you are unsure about what a balanced diet might look like, look at the food groups identified in the food pyramid and go from there.
    • The original food pyramid has been criticised by public health experts, so you may want to look at the more recent healthy eating pyramid which combines healthy eating with weight control.[2]
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    Lower the amount of salt in your diet. It is very common for people to have diets which exceed the recommend amount of salt, or sodium. Diets which are high in sodium can have particularly bad effects on your kidneys, as a high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. Over time, having high blood pressure will damage your kidneys and could make you more vulnerable to serious kidney problems.[3]
    • Choosing fresh rather than packaged foods will most likely mean that you are consuming less sodium.
    • When buying pre-packaged food, keep an eye out for those labelled ‘no added salt’ or something similar.
    • Get into the habit of reading food labels and finding out the sodium levels in foods.
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    Eat kidney-friendly foods. The most important thing is to have a balanced and healthy diet, but there are some foods out there which are particularly beneficial for your kidneys and kidney function. Foods with antioxidants, typically fruit and vegetables, can be a boost to your overall health and you kidneys. Some of the best ones to ensure you have regularly on your shopping list are cabbage and cauliflower, berries (especially cranberries), red bell peppers, and onions.[4]
    • Although cranberries are very good for you, cranberry juice you buy in a carton might have an awful lot of sugar in.
    • Asparagus is thought to be especially good for the kidneys.[5]

Method 2
Drinking Healthily

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    Drink lots of water. Staying well-hydrated has big benefits for your health. Being well-hydrated will mean that your urine is more diluted which will help maintain kidney function and health. Some doctors recommend eight glasses a day, but in some cases more than this is recommended. Water helps to flush toxins and waste from the body so being hydrated aids the kidneys with this task, as well as regulating body temperature.[6]
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    Drink water at regular intervals. Drinking water frequently throughout the day, rather than gulping down half a litre twice a day, could also contribute to improved kidney function. The kidneys keep fluid in your body regulated, so it is easier for them to do this if you drink a little and often.[7]
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    Only drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking a lot of alcohol can have very serious negative consequences for your kidney functionality. One of the kidney’s main tasks is filtering out harmful substances from your blood. Alcohol is one of the harmful substances that the kidney deals with, and excessive alcohol can negatively impact on the kidney’s ability to do this.[8]
    • Alcohol also dehydrates you, and this has a negative impact on your kidneys just as staying well-hydrated has a positive one.

Method 3
Controlling your Weight and Exercising Regularly

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    Control your weight. It is important to keep to a healthy weight, as being overweight can increase your blood pressure which in turn puts more strain on your kidneys. Having a healthy and balanced diet and taking regular exercise should be enough for you to maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure down.
    • Being overweight can also lead to diabetes, which, together with high blood pressure, are the two major causes of kidney disease.[9]
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    Get plenty of exercise. Being active and exercising has a wide range of beneficial consequences for health, and plays and important part in losing and controlling weight. It helps improve circulation and mobility which is good news for the kidneys which work to regulate blood in the body. Regular exercise can help you to prevent diabetes and control blood pressure, which decrease the strain on your kidney and lowers the likelihood of kidney disease.[10]
    • If you are not used to regular exercise it’s important to make a part of your normal routine to feel the long-term benefit and improve kidney function. This might seem hard to achieve if you are very busy, or a bit lazy, but you should try hard to find a way to do it.
    • Finding a sport or activity that you really enjoy is probably the best way to make exercise fun for someone who isn’t used to it.[11]
    • Exercising with friends or your partner might make it a lot more fun and laid back if you don’t want to join a club or a team.
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    Get a good vitamin D supply by exercising outside. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to kidney disease. One of the jobs of the kidneys is to activate vitamin D, so getting out in the sunshine and taking vitamin D in from the sun lowers the pressure on the kidneys.[12]
    • A minimum of fifteen minutes in the sun a day can help your kidney function.
    • Vitamin D also helps with the regulation of the calcium and phosphorous levels in your body.

Method 4
Learning about how Kidney Problems Develop

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    Understand what kidneys do. The first thing to do is to read up a bit and educate yourself a little about how kidneys function and what there purposes are. The kidneys play a large role in maintaining healthy blood, and thus facilitating the crucial transportation of nutrients around the body, as well as protecting against disease and maintaining a pH balance.[13] If you think about this, you will realise how important healthy and high functioning kidneys are to your overall health.
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    Know how kidney problems come about. Once you have a grasp of the functions and importance of healthy kidneys, find out a little about how problems with kidneys can be caused. The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.[14] There are numerous other potential causes, including poisoning and physical damage or trauma. For example, kidney disease could develop after a particularly heavy blow to the kidneys.
    • Some painkillers used regularly for a long time can cause kidney problems, so if you take them regularly check with your doctor.[15]
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    Ask your parents if there is a history of kidney problems in the family. Kidney problems are often hereditary, so if your family has a history of kidney-related health problems you could be at a higher risk.[16]If this is the case, you can talk to your doctor to get more specific medical guidance on how to avoid hereditary kidney problems.

Article Info

Categories: Urinary Health