Although we tend to take our kidneys for granted, these important organs deserve a little consideration now and then. Often, we don’t pay much attention to them until there is a problem. When a kidney malfunctions, you will definitely know it. We’ve all heard tales of excruciating kidney stones or a painful kidney infection, which, if left untreated, can turn into sepsis that pervades the body and cause substantial harm.
To keep your kidneys functioning as they should, include a few management tips in your health routine. It won’t take much time or effort to add these tips to your lifestyle, and the payoff may help to keep you off dialysis in preventing kidney failure later in life.
1. Drink plenty of fluids. We’ve all heard that drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day promotes better health, but do you know why? Imagine a riverbed that, due to a drought, sinks to low levels and even exposes muddy areas in spots. Debris like tree limbs, large stones, and even flailing fish can be seen floating in the lifeless stream and perhaps sticking to the banks in passing around bends. Then imagine a reservoir with low water levels. It may look dry, dusty, or shallow, with many objects bobbing on the surface that otherwise might be carried off downstream. This grim image is a picture of your bloodstream and kidneys when you don’t drink enough fluids. Although the kidneys act as more of a filter than a reservoir, toxins can build up if there isn’t enough water pressure to push them through to the urinary tract for excretion.
2. Avoid caffeine. While a couple of cups of tea or coffee, and a little bit of chocolate, may not be bad for most people, don’t get hooked on drinking multiple cups of caffeine beverages each day. Your kidneys will be forced to work harder and pump out fluid and toxins when they become dehydrated by caffeine’s purging effect and more active by its metabolism-boosting powers. If you find that you are urinating several times a day more than you used to, try cutting back on caffeine products to see if that helps. Too much caffeine isn’t good for your body in many ways, and kidney stress is one of them.
3. Cut back on bumpy road rides. Long-distance truck drivers may have a higher incidence of kidney bruising or damage than people in other occupations. Until the possible link is confirmed or disproved, try to take long rides in comfortable seats, and stop for frequent breaks to get out of the vehicle and stretch your legs, which will be good for your back as well as your kidneys and other organs.
4. Eat cleansing foods. Some experts believe that cranberry juice helps to reduce bacteria in the urinary tract by keeping it from sticking to tissues where it can build up and cause an infection. A few glasses of this refreshing beverage each week might be enough to promote better kidney health. Some practitioners claim that white rice is a good food for cleansing the body. You may want to include this in your diet on occasion, as well.
You will feel better about taking control of your health when you use tips like these to protect your kidneys.