Learn exactly how you can care for your kidneys because our kidneys are a most precious organ that works hard 24/7. Their role is often underrated when we think about our health. Here’s what you need to know to protect your kidneys and minimise any future complications.
Here’s what your kidneys do for you:
Did you know – approximately 180 litres of fluid are filtered through the kidneys every single day. This is 3 litres filtered 60 times, in each 24-hour period or you can think about it as half a cup of fluid every minute. The two kidneys are each the size of a fist and are tasked with cleaning and clearing toxins out, regulating mineral balance and blood pressure, all day and all night, every day. Thankyou kidneys!
In the early stages of kidney damage, there may not be any signs or symptoms. One early sign of kidney disease is an increased excretion of albumin in the urine, which means a yearly test is a good idea. However, the following signs and symptoms appear if your kidneys are placed under increased strain:
- Worsening blood pressure control
- Protein in the urine
- Swelling of feet, ankles, hands or eyes
- Increased need to urinate, particularly at night
- Reduced need for insulin or diabetes medicine
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent itching
How high blood sugars affect your kidneys
When you have high blood sugar levels in your blood, it results in damage to your kidneys over time, known as kidney nephropathy. This damage can occur long before you have symptoms. However, for many people, one of the first signs of high blood sugar levels is frequent urination (polydipsia) as the kidneys try to desperately push the excess blood glucose through the urine. It is also this same reason that contributes to frequent bladder infections (UTI’s). Over many years, the condition slowly damages your kidneys’ delicate filtering system.
Actions for kidney health
- Track your own blood glucose levels regularly to know what affects rising levels and so you can manage them at healthy consistent levels. This will reduce any excess blood sugar your kidneys need to process. Use a home self-testing blood sugar kit from the pharmacy. Staff will guide you on healthy results to aim for
- Manage high blood pressure that can increase your risk of kidney disease
- Maintain a healthy weight to keep your organs working well, without stress or overload
- Track annual kidney tests for uric acid and albumin in the urine (and know what the results mean)
- Keep cells hydrated everyday with water so that your kidneys can more easily carry out their many functions for you 24/7.
A crucial key to kidney health is to be well hydrated with water
By creating a consistent intake of water, your kidneys can work more effectively at flushing out waste and toxins. Try this particular strategy for optimum results and work at establishing it as a daily habit.
First thing each morning, drink 2 glasses of water consumed on an empty stomach, then wait 15 minutes before any food is added.
This allows the water to go directly through the digestive tract to act like batteries to fire up the cells for the day. The water also activates digestive enzymes from the liver, so that nutrients can better be absorbed from the food.
The body uses water in every cell, organ, and tissue. Water helps to regulate body temperature and maintain a whole bunch of bodily functions. Water is so essential to life and our wellbeing. We can live without food but we cannot live without water and our kidneys are greatly affected by our water intake.
Look after your kidneys and they will look after you.