The kidneys are important organs of the urinary system.
They act as a sifting process that separates the blood from any unwanted substances.
But they do much more than produce urine.
It is essential to have healthy kidneys in order to maintain good blood pressure.
They keep our electrolyte levels in check and produce a hormone that raises the amount of red blood cells.
Then, how can I improve my kidney function naturally?
This piece of writing will cover how a person can maintain their kidney health by making adjustments to their lifestyle and following advice from medical professionals.
But first, let’s make a few concepts clear. How do you know you have kidney problems?
What Does It Mean When Your Kidney Function Is Low?
The kidneys are located close to your lower back on both sides of the spinal column. They are about the size of your closed hands and boast components known as nephrons.
Different kinds of cells come together to form a tube-like structure, allowing blood particles to move in and out. Once the exchange of elements has occurred in the nephrons, your kidneys will manufacture urine.
A decrease in nephron activity in the kidneys results in impaired kidney function. It is possible that this is because of a medical condition that causes the body’s own immune system to attack itself, such as glomerulonephritis.
No matter what the source of the problem is, the nephrons get hurt and stop the job of filtering blood generally. At times, the susceptible kidney gets damaged like a cracked strainer, which results in the presence of protein in the patient’s urine.
The glomerular filtration rate indicates how your kidneys work. With chronic kidney disease, the amount of urine produced tends to decrease over time, and it eventually reaches a point of total cessation, which is the final stage of the condition.
In other words, patients can no longer urinate. They require renal assistance to accomplish their duties utilizing dialysis.
What steps can be taken to maintain kidney health and stop this from occurring? What are the indicators of kidney dysfunction that should be looked for prior to discussing ways to maintain kidney health?
Signs of Low Kidney Function
You can observe several indications and manifestations if your renal function is deteriorating. Included among the symptoms are a decrease in muscle strength, loss of body weight, spasms in the legs, easy bruising, water retention leading to swelling, intolerance to coldness, and a feeling of sickness with or without exhaustion.
Is there a precise way to determine if you have this issue? That is through blood tests and urinalysis.
A kidney health check will give you the following signs:
- A blood test will give you high creatinine levels. This is a waste product, and healthy kidneys easily handle it. Blood creatinine levels increase when kidney function decreases.
- Another test is the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This is an estimated measure of how much blood is processed by the kidneys. When the glomerular filtration rate drops, it is due to chronic kidney disease or another problem.
- In a urinalysis, kidney disease gives a positive result for protein because you’re losing albumin in the urine.
Diet & Nutrition for Adults with Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease
Why are diet and nutrition important for adults with advanced chronic kidney disease?
Healthy kidneys balance salts and minerals in the blood. With CKD, the kidneys are unable to effectively purify the blood as they are supposed to. The food and beverages you consume can help your kidneys keep an appropriate equilibrium of minerals and salts in your system and make you feel more comfortable.
It is beneficial for CKD sufferers to consume a diet that is low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, which may help prevent or put off some health issues. The foods and beverages you consume may have an influence on the efficacy of your kidney illness cures. Knowing the influence of calories, fats, protein and liquids on the body is indispensable for people with severe CKD.
As CKD advances, nutritional needs change. Your health care provider may suggest that you be mindful of the foods you select and may recommend that you work with a certified nutritionist to come up with a diet that caters to your specific needs.
What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Registered dietitians can provide you with nutritional advice in order to help you achieve your health objectives. This is known as medical nutrition therapy. MNT may slow down further deterioration in CKD, keep any related issues from arising, and make life more comfortable overall.
Nutrition experts who focus on providing dietary advice for those with Chronic Kidney Disease are referred to as renal dietitians. You can discover an accredited nutritionist from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics online or through your health care provider who is experienced in kidney illness.
Why Is Knowing About Calories Important?
The energy your body receives is from the food and drink that you consume. The energy is measured in calories. If you eat less than your body burns, you may experience weight loss. Losing too much weight can make you sicker.
Individuals who have CKD might choose not to consume food because they lack an appetite or because items and drinks do not have the same taste. If you have little appetite, it is important to have a conversation with a professional such as a nutritionist or medical doctor to ensure you are consuming enough calories from healthy foods. You can ask your dietitian or medical professional to aid you in discovering nutritious ways to get an appropriate amount of kcal in your eating regimen.
Why Is Knowing About Protein Important?
Proteins are necessary for constructing and sustaining muscle tissue, bones, dermis, ligaments, inner organs, and circulation. Protein also helps fight disease and heal wounds. The breakdown of the protein by your body creates a residue which must then be filtered out of the bloodstream by your kidneys.
Medical experts suggest individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) have a moderated amount of protein in their diet. Not getting sufficient protein may lead to the development of malnutrition, a condition where the body does not obtain the essential nutrients it needs. A nutritionist can show you how to modify the amount and origin of protein in your meals.
Why Is Knowing About Fat Important?
Fat provides your body with energy, assists in controlling cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and helps the body absorb vitamins. Fat is essential for providing vital nutrients and should be included as part of a balanced diet.
It is important to include some fat in one’s diet, however, too much or types of fat that are not good for you can lead to the accumulation of cholesterol in your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. Those suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease are more vulnerable to heart ailments, so they should restrict the amount of fat they eat. Substitute fats like canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil, which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, for saturated and trans fats, which are better for you. Consuming too much saturated fats and trans fats can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels and block the flow of blood in vessels. Foods that contain saturated fats, including red meat, poultry, and butter, will usually be solid when at room temperature. Foods like pastries, doughnuts, and fried foods typically contain trans fats, as do hydrogenated vegetable oils like margarine and vegetable shortening.
To improve heart health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, switch out saturated fats and trans fats for healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Discuss with a nutritionist or medical specialist what healthy methods you can use to incorporate fat into your food regimen.
Why Is Knowing About Sodium Important?
Salt comprises of a mineral called sodium which is responsible for balancing the quantity of liquid in the body. Having an excessive amount of sodium puts stress on your kidneys and heart because it causes your blood to hang onto liquids, resulting in high blood pressure and swelling.
The U.S. The Food and Drug Administration advises adults to keep their sodium consumption to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams per day. Your doctor or nutritionist can assist you in deciding the proper amount of sodium you should be consuming, based on your present condition of kidney illness and overall health. They are also able to assist in discovering methods to lessen the consumption of sodium in one’s diet.
A lot of the salt that Americans eat comes from pre-made meals. You can check the sodium content of foods and beverages on the Nutrition Facts label located on the packaging. A considerable measure of salt can be found in canned goods, certain frozen items, and the majority of processed meats. Processed snacks like potato chips and soda crackers contain a lot of salt. Salt, some spices, and sauces like soy and teriyaki sauces contain significant levels of sodium.
Why Is Knowing About Potassium Important?
Kidney disease can make it more challenging for the kidneys to flush out potassium levels from the bloodstream, potentially leading to excessively high potassium levels. Having an imbalance in potassium levels, whether it be too high or too low, can have adverse effects on the heart and muscles. Those living with CKD should frequently monitor their blood for proper potassium levels.
What you consume in terms of food and beverage can impact your potassium levels. Discuss with a nutritionist or healthcare provider how much potassium is suitable for your kidney condition.
Why Is Keeping Track of How Much Liquid I Consume Important?
Your body needs liquids to function properly. People with later stages of CKD must be cautious about the amount of liquids they have, as their kidneys may not be able to process surplus fluids. Drinking an excessive amount of liquid can lead to swelling, an increase in blood pressure, and more effort from your heart. Drinking too much fluid can be an indication that you have consumed an excessive amount of salt.
An expert in nutrition or a healthcare specialist can assist you in figuring out the amount of fluids that is most suitable for you. Reach out to your medical provider if you detect any puffiness in your face, arms, legs, or stomach.
10 Natural Ways to Improve Your Kidney Function
Once you have been told that you have kidney disease, it is likely that you would like to take steps to maintain the health of your kidneys. You only possess two kidneys, and the process for a kidney transplant is very intricate.
But how to improve kidney function naturally? These recommendations may contribute to repairing your kidneys naturally, especially if your condition is not yet severe:
1) Drink enough water.
Water intake is essential if you have kidney problems. Drinking lots of fluids is essential to maintain healthy functioning of the kidneys and avoid any further damage. It will help them work properly and not have to strain too much. You are more likely to avoid getting kidney stones when you take advantage of this bonus.
2) Keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Kidney failure is often a consequence of diabetes. It is critical to keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar if you are living with this illness.
Consuming a large amount of fruit and vegetables is essential, even if you don’t have diabetes. These are some of the suggested nourishments that can help improve kidney performance.
3) Monitor your blood pressure.
Cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure damage the kidneys. Most of the time, it is not noticeable that elevated blood pressure is damaging your kidneys. It is crucial to keep track of your numbers, even if you have no indications of illness.
If you have elevated blood pressure, take action to reduce your salt consumption and inform your physician if your blood pressure does not return to desired levels.
4) Engage in regular exercise.
Engaging in exercise can invigorate the kidneys by addressing multiple factors that lead to kidney illness. It can aid in raising your glucose levels, lower your blood pressure, and avert kidney damage.
5) Maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity is associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. They are responsible for the most kidney harm and injury.
Keeping your weight at a healthy level will help to protect your body from negative effects on your metabolism. Be sure to get your healthcare provider’s approval before participating in any intense workout.
6) Stop smoking.
If you wish to boost kidney performance, you must quit smoking. Is it possible to restore the health of your kidneys when something else is having a negative effect on them?
Consuming tobacco is associated with an approximate 50% increase in the chances of being diagnosed with kidney cancer. It also restricts blood flow and increases cardiovascular risk.
7) Use over-the-counter medications sparingly.
Be vigilant with medications if your kidneys are not performing optimally.
Ibuprofen, which is available without a prescription, can harm your kidneys even more. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may require changes to your dosage.
8) Get enough sleep.
Your body engages in self-repairing processes during sleep every night, including for your kidneys. The majority of advancements in kidney wellbeing due to cellular renewal occur when a person is asleep.
You should adhere to good habits concerning bedtime every day to achieve between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
9) Consult your doctor regularly.
You cannot tell just by looking that someone might be suffering from kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. What steps can be taken to help protect the kidneys when the damage done to them is not always immediately obvious? Consult your doctor regularly.
10) Adopt a kidney diet recipe as instructed by your doctor.
Depending on what health state you are in, your physician may suggest cutting down on protein-rich foods. A diet low in protein is suggested to help reduce acidity levels and make it easier for the kidneys to do their job.
Taking steps to safeguard your kidneys can be achieved simply by making a few lifestyle changes. The outcome of what you are trying to do could be contingent on how bad your kidney sickness is.
Studies show that improving kidney health is possible. Primarily, we should be aiming to thwart further harm by taking care of the root causes of conditions like diabetes and hypertension. You can further boost your health by including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.