Kidneys are the body’s filtration system, responsible for cleaning the waste and toxins from the blood and flushing it out in urine. They also help regulate the production of red blood cells and control the balance of acid in the body.
Our kidneys are in the lower back area, on either side of the spine. They are vital to our overall health, and if they are not in good working order then over time some serious health problems can ensue. Keeping our kidneys in tip-top working order should be an important part of any preventative health program.
Serious Kidney Health Problems
Kidney failure has no obvious early warning symptoms. The tiny and essential structures in the kidneys called nephrons can be gradually damaged over time, leading to possible kidney failure.
Two main causes of kidney failure are high blood pressure and diabetes, so those diagnosed with these problems should be extra conscious about caring for their kidneys. It may be years before the damaging effects of kidney disease are noticed, but by then the problem may be too advanced to treat, so it pays to be a little more kidney-conscious.
Nephrotoxicity is when drugs or toxins damage the kidneys so they can no longer function efficiently. First signs of nephrotoxicity are rises in blood electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium. Swelling of ankles, face and hands may occur and there may be pain when passing urine.
5 Kidney Health Tips
- Drink plenty of water
Liquid, especially pure water, keeps the toxins in our bodies moving to avoid any build up. Fluids flush through the body and the kidneys filter out and remove undesirable substances to maintain a whole healthy body.
- Minimize caffeine intake
Coffee and caffeine-high sports drinks and sodas can put the kidneys under extra pressure. Caffeine works as a diuretic, causing the body to become dehydrated which means the kidneys have to work harder to remove harmful toxins.
- Protect kidneys from bruising
Driving frequently over rough terrain can cause kidney bruising and damage. It is a particular hazard for taxi drivers, 4WD riders, truck drivers and those operating mechanized equipment. A good quality seat cushion will add comfort and reduce harmful vibrations.
- Keep active
Sedentary work and driving for hours is bad for your circulation in many ways. It is also not good for the kidneys which need good circulation to operate. Take regular breaks to stand, stretch and walk to the water fountain and back, killing two birds with one stone!
- Obey nature’s urges
When you feel an initial need to visit the restrooms, don’t put it off. Postponing urinating means the body starts to reabsorb some of the toxins which the kidneys have already filtered out.
With all this in mind, take good care of your kidneys and they will better be able to take care of you.