The kidneys fulfil the all important role of filtering our blood to remove waste products. This means that they are crucial for the regulation of our toilet habits, and it means that they are crucial for removing the waste from our blood – without our kidneys alcohol wouldn’t leave our blood and we would stay drunk. Likewise the water balance in our bodies would be incorrect, and kidney failure can result in many problems including cancer, sepsis and dehydration. However, while the roles the kidneys perform are highly important, they do also tax them over time so that after too much use they don’t work as well as they once did. This is why alcoholics find that their kidneys are damaged severely over time.
However while not all of us are alcoholics, few of us treat our kidneys as well as we could either and all the junk we allow into our bodies has to be deal with by our poor kidneys. As such then it is crucial that we make up for this by taking lengths to ensure we have good kidney function. Here are some tips to do just that.
Or at least seriously limit your alcohol intake. Removing alcohol from the blood stream is something that requires a lot of effort from the kidneys and one of the fastest ways to damage them. After a while not drinking your kidneys will start to recover and will function much better as a result.
Drink lots of water
You should really be drinking around eight glasses of water a day. This helps to remove waste faster by ‘flushing’ it through the body, dilutes the blood to make it easier to treat and it also reduces your chances of developing kidney stones.
Your kidneys also need to clear waste in the blood stream that comes from the breakdown of food, so eating lots of ‘junk food’ will increase the amount of work your kidneys have to do. In particularly you should aim for a diet that keeps your cholesterol low. Cholesterol is caused by fat depositing in your arteries to create ‘arterial plaque’ and this then forces the blood to become thicker as it tries to push past those areas. By eating a diet that is high in water and fibre, and low in saturated fats you can make the role of the kidneys much easier. Fibre is particularly good as it passes through your system as small grains, thereby collecting and clearing out any debris as it goes. This can help to clear out the arteries and the digestive tract.
There are many medications available both over the counter and on prescription that aim to improve kidney function. These include ACE inhibitors that slow down kidney disease, and diuretics which help the body to clear out excess fluid. Consult a doctor however before beginning any course of medication.
See a doctor
If your kidneys are not behaving the way they should then you may require medical attention. For example you may benefit from surgery that aims to unblock the renal artery which supplies the kidneys with blood. If you have kidney stones or kidney disease they can also recommend the correct treatment.