7 lifestyle hacks to maintain healthy kidneys

If you're wondering how to keep kidneys healthy, read on to know simple lifestyle hacks that can keep them in check.
kidney diseases
You can care for your kidneys a little every day. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Pankaj Shah Updated: 16 Mar 2022, 16:00 pm IST
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Kidneys are fist-sized organs that are located at the bottom of the rib cage. A healthy kidney is able to filter a total of about 200 quarts of blood daily, thereby removing impurities, chemicals, toxins, and excessive water. These waste products are stored in the bladder and later expelled via urine. This expulsion is necessary to avoid the body from being slowly poisoning itself, and for one’s overall health, general well-being and survival. That is why kidneys are known as Master Chemist. And it is imperative to know how to keep kidneys healthy.

However, when the kidneys are not optimally functioning, it can cause chronic health complications. Chronic kidney disease is recognized as a major medical complication that is one of the highest contributors to global morbidity and mortality rates. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates over 85 crore patients suffering from kidney diseases globally and forecasts that by 2040, more than 5 million kidney failure patients would die prematurely due to lack of proper and timely treatment.

kidney disease
You can save yourself from kidney damage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Experts define this as a lack of awareness on fatality as about 60 percent of fatal kidney failure cases can be prevented by early detection. Often, there is a lack of awareness about acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease until the disease has progressed beyond repair and treatment. Since there is not a single ‘unique’ solution for preventing kidney problems, early identification and healthy home remedies are some of the ways to prevent kidney diseases.

Here’s how to keep kidneys healthy:

1. Engaging in regular physical activity

Regular exercise benefits your whole body and also helps ensure a healthy kidney. Physical exercise increases muscular strength and functioning while also lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Adapting your exercise routine to your health can aid in the prevention of diabetes, as well as the health of your heart, which is vital in the prevention of renal disease.

2. Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids

Water makes up around 60-70 percent of our body weight and is required by the body to function properly by eliminating toxins from the body. Water consumption aids the kidneys in eliminating wastes and pollutants from the blood in the form of urine. Consuming adequate fluids reduces the chance of developing chronic kidney disease and is the most effective strategy to avoid kidney stones. If you are looking up how to Maintain kidney health, don’t miss consuming the recommended 8-10 glasses of water each day. However, over-hydration is not a good way to improve kidney function.

3. Eating healthy goes a long way

Kidneys play a huge role in maintaining our bodies in good shape and healthy. However, a poor diet can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and other kidney-harming disorders over time. Consuming nutritious meals aids in proper maintenance and protects these organs from damage and injury. Plant-based foods, such as vegetables and grains, have been shown in studies to help prevent chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Fruits like cranberries are high in nutrients and benefit the kidney while grapes and peanuts are high in beneficial plant compounds.

cranberry benefits
Cranberry is a great fruit for preventing kidney problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Understanding the risks of tobacco (and vaping!)

Tobacco destroys blood arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow to vital organs such as the lungs, kidneys, and, most significantly, the heart. Cardiovascular disease can potentially raise the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack. Smoking, in addition to nicotine, enables additional hazardous chemicals into the body. It increases the risk of kidney and urinary bladder cancer by roughly 50 percent. While vaping does not expose users to the carcinogens found in tobacco smoke, nicotine is nonetheless highly addictive and hazardous to the body.

5. Don’t overdo the intake of over-the-counter medications, supplements and herbal remedies

Non-prescription medications, often used to treat headaches or minor discomfort, might cause kidney damage if taken on a regular basis. Excessive use of some vitamins and herbal extracts can increase the risk of renal disease. It is always important to see a physician before taking any medication and to take it exactly as prescribed. Many kidneys have failed due to excessive use of painkillers, and so you must know the right quantity if you want to maintain kidney health.

6. Give up hurries, worries and curries

Lead a stress-free life and control your diet. Practice, yoga, pranayam and meditation.

Also Read: 5 signs of kidney diseases you should not ignore

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kidney health
Stay positive! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Stay positive

Positive thinking towards life and towards kidney disease goes a long way for recovery if diagnosed with kidney disease. A person with positive thinking finds solution in the problem where as a person with negative thinking will find problem in solution.

The last word

Healthy kidneys keep the body’s fluid levels in check and balance minerals like sodium, phosphorous, and potassium in the body. Living an active lifestyle and staying well hydrated will enable the kidneys to remain healthy and functional. Kidneys work diligently for the body on a daily basis and are critical to one’s general well-being. They are responsible for many critical body functions and need an active and healthy lifestyle to function at their optimal levels.

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About the Author

Dr Pankaj Shah, HOD, Shalby Institute of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation Shalby Multispecialty Hospitals, Ahmedabad ...Read More

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