The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine. They are responsible for filtering and removing waste products from the body (as urine via the bladder). Your kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys also remove acid that is produced by the cells of your body and maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals—such as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium—in your blood. Without this balance, nerves, muscles, and other tissues in your body may not function normally.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help:
Kidney damage can be fatal - and there is no cure. Approximately 1 in 10 adults have some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD).
CKD is a gradual loss of kidney function over time, and is most common in older people and women. Unfortunately it's not easy to detect as most people don't show any symptoms until they lose up to 90% of their kidney function.
What's more, there is no cure, although treatment such as dialysis can slow the progression of the disease and prevent more serious conditions from developing.
In summary, the kidneys are highly complex organs that carry out essential tasks to keep our bodies healthy. It is therefore extremely important to take care of your kidney health. Here are the seven golden rules to follow for healthy kidneys:
Keep fit and active: Regular exercise is a must for overall health. It will not only help you stay in shape but lower the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. It also improves heart health which is important for preventing kidney damage. You don’t need to hit the gym every day for regular exercise. 15-30 minutes of brisk walking or light cardio will do the trick.
Keep regular control of your blood sugar level: When you consume excess sugar, your kidneys have to work extra hard to filter the unused glucose in your blood. Over years of exertion, this can lead to fatal damage. Diabetic care is thus important for healthy functioning of your kidneys.
Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure can cause kidney damage. The high pressure may damage the vessels in your kidneys. Damaged vessels will hamper the functioning of the kidneys, preventing removal of excess waste from your body. Visit a doctor near you to get examined.
Eat healthy and keep your weight in check: People that are overweight or obese are at high risk of kidney damage. You need to ensure that you have a balanced diet with reduced consumption of processed and packaged foods.
Maintain a healthy fluid intake: It is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Staying hydrated is extremely important for proper functioning of the kidneys. Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease.
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking damages your body’s blood vessels which slows down the flow of blood through your body. Smoking can also increase the risk for kidney cancer. Regular drinking has been found to double the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. Alcohol also affects the ability to regulate fluid and electrolytes in the body.
Get Regular Preventative Check Ups: It is important to get regular check ups as the symptoms for Kidney Damage may not appear until it’s too late. A regular kidney function test is a great way to know your kidney’s health and to check for possible changes. Getting ahead of any damage can help slow or prevent future damage.
Kidneys are vital for our overall health. They regulate and control the proper functioning of our body. Taking care of your kidneys can prevent life threatening damage. We, at A.J. Hospital, have a well established urology department that provides regular preventative check ups and exceptional care in case of damage.