Caring for your kidneys

September 14, 2018| Health and Wellbeing /

The kidneys play a vital role in keeping your body healthy, but how can we look after this underrated organ?

The kidneys are a very special organ. I mean, why else would nature give us two of them just in case we lost one to injury. In many ways, the kidneys are just as important as our heart and our lungs, yet many people don’t understand exactly what they do.

The kidneys play several important roles in maintaining our health and wellbeing. They are responsible for regulating blood pressure, balancing the water in our bodies, cleaning our blood to remove waste and toxins, and managing the production of vitamin D.

All this means that protecting your kidneys is essential to keep your body working at its best. Luckily, there are many ways that you can adjust your lifestyle in order to look after this incredible organ.

 

Blood pressure

First of all, it’s really important to have regular blood pressure checks. High blood pressure has no symptoms but it can increase your risk of kidney and heart problems. To keep an eye on your blood pressure, make sure you speak with your doctor and find out if you’re at high risk of kidney disease. If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, the doctor may prescribe medication to lower it.

 

Diet

A balanced diet is an essential part of keeping your body at a healthy weight and reducing the risk of high blood pressure. A balanced diet will give your body the important vitamins and minerals that you need, so try to limit foods that have a high percentage of sugar, salt and saturated fats. You should also ensure that your diet contains lots of fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain bread and rice, as well as lean meat like chicken and fish.

 

Exercise

Exercise is another important factor for keeping any kidney issues at bay. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. With that in mind, it’s recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week to increase your strength, stamina and energy.

 

Hydration

Another easy way to look after your kidneys is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help your kidneys to function properly. It’s also important to make sure that in hot weather or when doing high intensity exercise, you make up for loss of fluid due to sweat.

 

Lifestyle

It’s essential to note that smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can be really damaging for the kidneys. Excessive amounts of alcohol can greatly increase the risk of high blood pressure and those who smoke are three times more likely to have reduced kidney function. To look after your kidneys, it is recommended that you quit smoking and drink less than two standard drinks per day.



Isabel Stewart

Contributor

Join the conversation on The Village



November 10, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

How to look after your bladder and bowel after childbirth

Getting your bladder back to normal function after having a baby is essential, whether you have had a catheter or not.

November 4, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Polycystic ovarian syndrome + nutrition

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder which can present as a combination of symptoms.

November 1, 2019| Our Community/

Team recipes - tarte flambee

Recipes brought to you by the Epworth team. Tarte Flambee, the french pizza perfect for school lunches.