Maintaining Kidney Health

Have you ever considered what your kidneys do? And how we can keep them healthy or get back to optimal health? Well, these bean shaped “filters” can run through hundreds of liters of blood every single day. They pull toxins and wastes out of your body and excrete it through urine. Another crucial function of the kidney is maintaining homeostasis with the balancing of minerals, vitamins and salts. Furthermore they secrete hormones that regulate blood pressure and control red blood cell production. One of those mechanisms is the creation of Vitamin D.

Now that we know some functions let’s talk about keeping them healthy and monitoring their health with your doctor. The two ways you can keep your kidneys in optimal performance are 1) Lifestyle choices 2) Routine checkups. Let me explain.

Lifestyle Choices:

Keep Hydrated: Without the right amount of H2O your kidneys will struggle to perform their basic functions. Drink enough water to prevent thirst but also monitor the color of your urine. The goal is for an apple juice colored urine. Some antibiotics or vitamins may darken the color of urine such as Vitamin B complex or multivitamins.

Balanced Diet: There are many foods that can promote or inhibit the normal functions of your organs. Sometimes we can strain our bodies with an excess amount of processed foods. For the kidneys in particular a diet full of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats can be very beneficial. And it may be a surprise but a majority of Americans are known to be deficient in these groups.

Exercise Daily: Moving and exercising promote healthy circulation of blood into muscles and organs. Specifically aerobic exercise can improve the vascularity of blood vessels and blood sugars. And as you will come to learn the 2 major risk factors for kidney disease being hypertension and diabetes.

Routine Check Ups:

Blood Pressure: As discussed beforehand, one of the leading causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure or also known as Hypertension. Know your readings and when you should seek further medical care. A blood pressure monitor can easily help you track your numbers at home. If you know you are at risk or have history of high blood pressure this is an easy decision for your kidneys and overall health

Blood Sugar: Another high risk factor for kidney disease is Diabetes. As your blood becomes more concentrated with glucose (sugar) your kidneys will struggle to filter and function normally. A blood glucose monitor can easily help you check your sugar levels before eating, 2 hours after eating, and before bedtime. These devices are also widely available and economical.

*Please consult with your physician for medical diagnosis and management*

Progression of kidney disease can be silent while damage over time may be irreversible. Let’s be advocates for our health and our loved ones following a healthy lifestyle and routine preventative care.

-Andrew Ossa, RD

Published by Andrew Ossa, RD

Hello! I'm Andrew, a bilingual dietitian and nutrition coach. I help people discover how to eat for performance and diabetes by building an individualized nutrition and lifestyle plans. My philosophy is based on the concept that food is fuel and heals our bodies from the inside out. Finding a well-balanced diet is much easier than you think. Follow me and my clients as they heal and optimize their health.

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