Understanding the potential causes of kidney problems as well as knowing about symptoms indicative of kidney disease can be very helpful for prevention purposes. However, people who are already suffering from kidney related problems or kidney disease may also be interested in some practical information which can guide them in their way towards recovery and betterment. Therefore, in this article we would like to present seven simple tips that can help improve kidney function in a natural manner. Just remember, whenever you are in doubt about trying something out which may affect your health, always make sure to consult with a qualified medical practitioner first.
Tip 1: Monitor and consider reducing your protein intake
If you are experiencing kidney related problems and tend to consume large amounts of protein on a daily basis, then you should monitor and consider reducing the amount and types of protein you are putting into your diet. There are many factors involved in determining what an appropriate amount of protein intake should be for an individual. These include gender, age, level of physical activity and of course medical conditions. To get an idea of how much protein you should be consuming each day, you can take a look at this article from the Nephron Information Center. However, the best way to determine the appropriate amount of protein you should be consuming on a daily basis is by consulting with a physician or dietitian.
Once you know how much protein you should include into your daily diet, you can determine whether you are eating too much or too less by examining the labels of the foods you ingest and calculating the amount of protein contained in each portion.
The reason why too much protein can negatively affect the function of the kidneys is because a diet high in protein can put the body into a state of ketosis, which means that the body is producing ketones that end up in the bloodstream. Ketones are produced when fat is broken down for energy instead of carbohydrates, which may happen when you are following a diet high on protein and low on carbohydrates. When the body is in a state of ketosis this can result in dehydration which is not good for the kidneys as it inhibits their proper functioning.
Tip 2: Consume Iron-Rich Foods
Chronic kidney disease can result in iron deficiency and place your body in an anemic state. Kidneys play a role in producing red blood cells and if they are not working properly your red blood cell count may be too low. As a result your energy and concentration levels might suffer. Eating iron-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables and eggs can help you increase your iron intake and combat the symptoms of anemia.
Tip 3: Drink water slowly (simple yet helpful)
Often times we may go for long periods of time without drinking water just to make up for it by gulping one or more glasses of water down in an instant. While it is certainly important to make sure to consume a sufficient amount of water each and every day (usually at least around 2 liters), drinking large amounts of water in one sitting may place extra pressure on the kidneys. This is because the kidneys will be required to balance out excessive amounts of water by producing urine, and when a lot of water is consumed at once the kidneys will have to work overtime to accomplish this. It should be noted that people suffering form kidney disease (usually in the later stages) may have to restrict the amount of water they consume each day.
Tip 4: Drink freshly pressed juice (controling for sugars)
The functioning of your kidneys may also be supported by consuming freshly pressed juice (preferably homemade in order to avoid added sugars). If you don’t have a juicer at your disposal, then you should consider getting one if you can. Aside from the fact that juicing contributes to your daily fluid intake, you will also benefit from the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which are contained in the fruits, herbs and vegetables you will be putting into your juice. Though, if you are suffering from diabetes, you should control the amount of fruits you are adding to your juice because of the natural sugars contained in them. In addition, if you have high potassium levels in your blood you should also take this into account when selecting the ingredients you put into your juice.
Tip 5: Avoid drinking alcohol
A more obvious way to help your kidneys improve their functionality is to avoid consuming alcoholic drinks. It shouldn’t be a problem to have a drink once in a while, since a little bit of poison won’t kill you, however, if you can stay away of alcohol altogether it would certainly be the more healthy alternative. Just as is the case with cigarettes, alcohol in its purest form is a poison to the body and this is why it is best to be avoided. However, in the end it each person must decide on his own whether the benefits he/she may experience from drinking alcohol outweigh the damage that it inflicts his/her body.
Tip 6: Enjoy a healthy amount of sun
If the environment in which you live in allows it, you should try to spend about 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight exposure. This is because direct exposure to sunlight activates receptor cells in the skin which will produce the hormone Calcitriol, also known as the active form of Vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits for our bodies which include: facilitating the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, regulating our immune systems, and even lowering the risk of developing cancer. Furthermore, one of the functions of our kidneys is to activate Vitamin D as well. Consequently, by getting your daily dose of sunlight exposure you effectively take away extra work from your kidneys.
Tip 7: Engage in regular exercise
Exercise is an irreplaceable activity necessary to ensure our overall health and well being, and chances are that you are not getting enough of it. If this is the case, you should stop finding excuses and make sure to incorporate a regular amount of exercise into your weekly schedule.
Our bodies are very complex systems of interrelated processes and mechanisms, meaning that a problem in one area can often lead to developing problems in other areas, just as is the case with illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Regular exercise in combination with a healthy and balanced diet can often be enough on their own to successfully combat and help prevent a variety of diseases. Therefore, provided you don’t have any medical conditions that may prevent you from doing so, you waste no time and start to engage in a regular exercise activity. For instance, you could join a gym, a yoga class, or if possible drive a bicycle more often. You could even just start doing body weight exercises from the comfort of your home. Just start doing something and keep doing it regularly. Looking back, you will be glad you did!
Those are our seven simple tips that can help you to improve kidney function in a natural manner. Consistency and perseverance are crucial for success, thus, your results will largely depend on the degree to which you decide to follow and apply any of the presented ideas. Remember, if you do not really wish to make a change to the circumstances you find yourself in, then no one else will do this for you!