When was the last time you thought about kidney health? Maybe never? You’re not alone. But the fact of the matter is that you cannot and should not dismiss the health of these very important organs.
In this article, we are going to look specifically at the kidneys, what makes them incredibly important, and how you can improve kidney health.
What Are the Kidneys and Where Are They Located?
If you were to make a fist and put them on both of your sides towards the bottom of your rib cage, that would be almost the exact location and size of your kidneys. The shape of your kidneys resembles a “bean” shape, which is another reason why you have a certain bean called a “kidney bean.”
While having multiples of organs isn’t common (sure, you have the lungs being multiples, but the majority are singular when looking at organs such as the liver, heart, brain, etc.), you can live with only one kidney. It wouldn’t be ideal to have a need to remove a kidney, but if one were to fail or get injured, it could be removed, and you could live a normal life with only one.
What Do the Kidneys Do?
The kidneys wear a bunch of hats and serve many purposes. It’s for that reason that kidney health should be a priority of yours and a main reason why you should focus on keeping them healthy.
The kidneys are responsible for helping:
- Filter waste and toxins from the blood
- Manage the body’s fluid levels
- Regulate pH levels
- Regulate salt levels
- Regulate potassium levels
- Produce hormones
- Manage blood pressure
- Produce red blood cells
Signs of Kidney Problems
Unfortunately, the kidneys can get beat up pretty badly before you start to feel and notice any symptoms. For instance, those who suffer from high blood pressure but never knew it could die due to the kidneys failing. Kidney disease is a serious condition, and many times, the severity of the kidney issue is so great that by the time symptoms appear, the damage may already be irreversible.
Some of the common signs of kidney problems include:
- Puffy eyes
- Swollen hands, feet, face, ankles
- Foamy urine
- Extreme fatigue
- Painful urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Dark (blood) urine
- Increased thirst
Disclaimer: It should go without saying, but if you feel you may have kidney issues, seek out the guidance of a medical professional. This article is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. Additionally, this information should never supersede a doctor’s diagnosis or replace any medications you may be on.
7 Ways to Help Manage and Improve Kidney Health
It should go without saying, which is why we’ll get it out of the way now, as it shouldn’t come as any surprise, but you want to quit smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption. Both of these can increase your risk of kidney disease.
Getting what should seem like a no-brainer out of the way, below are seven ways that you can support kidney health.
1. Exercise and Stay Active
If you ever want to know how to improve the health of anything, exercise and increasing your activity level will generally do the trick. When it comes to kidney health, it’s no different. If you want to maintain kidney health, put more focus on exercise and staying active. Unfortunately, more than 60% of American adults are overweight, which puts them all at a higher risk for kidney disease, but if only they could live a more active lifestyle, they would have a better chance at managing their weight and overall health.
By exercising and staying healthy, you can help lower blood pressure which is a significant contributor to kidney issues.
2. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
The second way to help improve kidney health is by having a clean diet. Again, this should come as no surprise. Those who are in a caloric surplus and consume most of their calories from unhealthy fat and carbohydrates have a higher probability of gaining weight and storing body fat. The cycle then repeats itself as what was mentioned in number one.
Pay close attention to your sodium levels as they can directly affect the kidneys, cause them to work harder, and can even cause damage.
3. Drink More Water
Other than the obvious hydration benefits, drinking water throughout the day is great for kidney health. When you drink water, it helps flush out the toxins and excess sodium. Drinking enough water can also help prevent kidney stones from forming.
There is a great debate on how much water you should consume daily. Some say to take in at least a gallon a day, some say eight glasses is good enough, and others say to take 0.55 and multiply it by your body weight to figure out how many ounces you should be drinking.
One way to ensure you drink adequate water is to carry around a water bottle. Sip on it throughout the day and when it’s empty, fill it back up. Those who are physically active during the day, exercise regularly, or live in a hot climate, should focus on drinking even more water to help prevent dehydration.
4. Stay on Top of Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major issue and, if undetected, could lead to severe kidney damage or even death. High blood pressure is commonly referred to as “the silent killer.” If you notice consistently high blood pressure, you should speak to your doctor about what options you have.
In many cases, high blood pressure can be managed by cleaning up your nutrition, exercising, and drinking adequate water. If nothing seems to help, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication to get it under control.
5. Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
When it comes to kidney health, an abundance of glucose in the system is similar to an abundance of toxins in the body. If your body is unable to manage the amount of glucose, the kidneys need to work extra hard to control and manage it.
Those who are diabetic or even pre-diabetic need to pay close attention to kidney health. If these conditions are controlled, or you don’t have either of these conditions, you can dramatically reduce your risk of showing signs of kidney damage.
6. Take Caution with Over-the-Counter Medicine
Do you regularly use over-the-counter pain medication? If so, you are at a higher risk for kidney damage. If you need to use pain medication, you may want to speak with your doctor to see if there is another option or therapy you can use. As with most things, overuse and abuse heighten the likelihood of health issues, and the use of OTC medications is no different.
Now, if you occasionally use OTC pain medications such as ibuprofen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for headaches or aches and pains, your risk is much lower.
7. Utilize a Kidney Support Supplement
If you are concerned about kidney health and you want to stay on top of keeping your organs in good working order, a kidney support supplement would be a great addition to any supplement regimen. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to speak with your doctor before utilizing such as supplement (especially if you have existing kidney issues).
That being said, kidney support supplements can be extremely beneficial from a kidney health standpoint and have the ability to help the kidneys function optimally. One supplement that was specifically formulated to help improve kidney health is Simple Supplements Kidney Support Formula.
Through the help of this powerful supplement, you have the ability to help the kidneys eliminate toxins, provide nutritional support for the kidneys, aid in flushing out excess uric acid, help normalize fluid balance, and support urinary tract health.
Whether you were told to use kidney supplements to improve your kidney health or simply want to stay on top of your organ health, Simple Supplements Kidney Support Formula can be the perfect addition to a sound workout, nutrition, and supplement regimen.