Kidneys are amazing organs—but they often get the least attention compared to their neighbors. Did you know that more blood flows in that organ than any other? Our entire blood supply is filtered through it about four times each day to make sure our blood is clean.
The Kidney’s Role in Our Body
Among other functions, the kidneys also regulate blood pressure, control the production of RBCs, and the final activation of all types of Vitamin D taken in by the body, whether it’s from food or absorbed by the skin. These filtering machines are so tough that we will only feel symptoms of a damaged organ when its function drops to 20% or below. When such an event happens, an individual may experience numbness, swelling of hands and feet, and even darkness of skin.
Fortunately, our bodies are designed to survive with only one kidney. Of course, it is still a healthier practice to keep both as healthy as possible.
Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Kidney
Here are some tips on keeping your organs in tip-top shape:
- Prepare or bring your own lunch for work to limit your sodium intake. High levels of salt cause kidneys to draw out more water, making patients more dehydrated. The increased sodium in the blood attracts more water into the blood vessels from the surrounding cells, causing higher blood pressure.
- Cut down on soda consumption. Carbonated drinks are harmful for the body because of its high sugar content. Excessive amounts of sugar promote the development of osmotic diuresis—increased urination—and interstitial damage—swelling in between the kidney tubules. The risk that carbonated drinks pose is greater for people with Chronic Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Injury. On top of the copious amounts of sugar, soda also has high levels of phosphorus may cause grave health conditions, such as heart and bone disorders, as well as hardening of the tissues.
- Don’t self-medicate. Taking large amounts of over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can damage your kidneys. If you need to take meds, consult your doctor and follow strict instructions.
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Aside from increasing your muscle strength and endurance, physical activities can help regulate your blood pressure and control your body weight. Try to at least squeeze half-hour’s worth of simple activities like brisk walking or cycling in your schedule.
The most important thing you can do to keep your body healthy is educating yourself on proper diet and wellness techniques fit for you. Visit the ManilaMed website and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ManilaMed to know more about how you can keep your kidneys healthy.