Healthy Internal Organs- Kidney

12 Dec

Here is information about maintaining a healthy kidney. If you need more info contact a health care professional.

  • KIDNEY

Given the extreme importance of the kidneys in maintaining good health, the topic of kidney health must be closely examined. Kidney care is extensive and incorporates principles of health that is not only confined to the kidney but impacts on a wide range of general principles of health. It is important to remember that the kidneys are only one part of a very complex human biological system. Each element of this system is in some way connected or related to the other elements within this system. In looking at kidney care, therefore, one has to expand the scope beyond just the kidneys. An example of these interactions is described by Andrew Davenport: The kidney and the brain play a major role in maintaining normal homeostasis of the extracellular fluid, and as such regulate intracellular volume, by controlling sodium and water balance. However, both hyponatraemic and hypernatraemic states commonly account for acute medical admissions, and also frequently occur during hospital in-patient stays. Both acute and chronic kidney damage can not only affect sodium and water homeostasis, but also the accumulation of uremic toxins; impairs cerebral higher functions and the ability of the brain to adapt to extracellular changes. Healthy Kidney Diet

Healthy kidneys ensure the removal of fluids and wastes from our bodies. Many vital body functions are controlled by the kidneys. A healthy kidney diet is important, because when the kidneys are affected by any disease, their functions begin to fail to the point of becoming fatal.

Our kidneys, that are located below the rib cage on either side of the spine, work as filters to remove waste products and excess water in the body through urine. Several symptoms may be noticed, if the condition of the kidneys begin to deteriorate for several reasons. Some of these symptoms are, itching all over the body, general tiredness, discoloration or blood and pus in the urine, reduced urine amount, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting. The hands and feet also tend to swell because of water retention. Muscle cramps and darkened skin are other symptoms of kidney disease. In order to control the deterioration of the kidneys, it’s imperative that one follows a healthy kidney diet. It is also important to understand when one may be at risk of developing a kidney disease, in order to be able to follow a suitable diet. When Are You at a Risk of Kidney Disease? One may be at a risk of kidney disease, when one suffers from any of the following:

  • The most common way of contracting a kidney disease is when one suffers from diabetes.
  • People suffering from high blood pressure may develop kidney problems.
  • Chain smokers are bound to suffer from kidney dysfunction.
  • If one has a family history of kidney disease, one is more prone to suffering from the same.
  • Kidney disease is also common in people who are obese, and in people who are above 50 years of age.

By following the below mentioned diet for healthy kidneys, one may reduce the risk of contracting Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Even for those who already endure the same, this diet will help reduce the effects of the disease.   Healthy Kidney Diet  Persons with CKD are required to follow a diet low in proteins, which should also be low in sodium and potassium. For those who have diabetes along with CKD, one must also follow a low-carb diet. Mentioned below are some guidelines to avoid certain nutrients, and consume some others in order to be able to follow a diet for healthy kidneys. Sodium Sodium is a nutrient that controls blood pressure and also the fluids in the body. When the intake of sodium is high, it leads to water retention, thereby causing excess water to collect in the kidneys. Thus affecting the kidney functions. To control sodium intake:

  • Limit the intake of table salt in the food you eat.
  • Apart from table salt, there are various foods high in sodium levels such as crisps, crackers and processed foods. Try to avoid the intake of such foods.
  • It is wise to read the nutrition facts of any food product before purchasing it. These facts enlist the exact amount of sodium present in the product.

Proteins Impaired kidney function is caused by excess consumption of proteins. It is true that proteins help build muscle and repair tissues in the body. However, excess proteins increase the stress on the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney dysfunction.

  • Surplus proteins have been detected, mainly in non-vegetarians, as meat contains significant amounts of protein. As such, it is sensible to abstain from eating such products.
  • By consuming more vegetables and fibrous foods, the kidneys can work towards eliminating the extra protein as well as toxins in the body. The intake of vegetables will also help lower the risk of high blood pressure and excess weight, two other factors that are responsible for kidney dysfunction.

Thus, limiting the intake of protein will help decrease the stress on the kidneys.  Increased Water Intake: Kidneys tend to become unhealthy, when there is lack of water in the body, as their primary function is to filter wastes and eliminate toxins through urine. As such, they require enough water to perform this function.

  • It is important to drink at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of fluid in a day. Doing so will help flush out all the unnecessary toxins in the body.
  • Several fruits and vegetables are also high in water content. Some of them are watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and tomatoes, which have about 90% water.

An increased intake of these vegetables high in water content along with required amounts of fluid can significantly control any kidney problems and constitute the elements for a healthy kidney diet. Calcium and Phosphorus: These two minerals strike a balance when working together and help keep teeth and bones strong. When the kidney fails, there may be a collection of phosphorus in the kidneys, which is unsafe, while calcium may become low. As such, limiting foods high in the same, is essential.

  • Some examples of foods high in phosphorus are almonds, meat, lentils, dried fruits and cheese.
  • Similarly, foods high in calcium such as bananas, tofu, spinach and broccoli need to be consumed. However, dairy products should be avoided as they are high in phosphorus
  • In some cases, additional supplements will be required to adjust the level of both calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Potassium:  Potassium is a mineral that helps the kidneys function normally. When the kidneys fail, there may be a collection of potassium in the blood, which is bad for the muscles and mainly, the heart. As such, it is advisable to avoid potassium rich foods.

  • Salt used to flavor meals, that are available in the market are very high in potassium. Try to substitute salt with other flavoring agents such as lemon and herbs.
  • Other potassium rich foods to be avoided are papayas, white bread, oat bran, raw garlic and more.

Calories: Calories are important to health as they provide the energy that help us with our daily functions, and also help stabilize our body weight. When a diet is followed, it controls the risk of one becoming overweight, which in turn, helps control the risk of contracting kidney disease. In short, it is important to keep a watch on calories so as to control weight gain.  Foods to be Included for Healthy Kidney Diet Here are some foods that you may include in your diet for healthy kidneys.

  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Apples
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cranberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Asparagus
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggplant

By including these foods in your diet, you will be able to control any kidney problems or dysfunction. By Puja Lalwani

EXERCISE TO HELP KIDNEY DISEASE

Physical exercise is another important factor to consider for optimum kidney health. It is a major piece of the health puzzle. Unfortunately, many of us sit behind a desk for eight or more hours almost every day. Further, when we leave our work places, we are so tired that it becomes easy to simply recline in our favorite chair and look at television.

This sedentary lifestyle contributes significantly too many health problems including obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney failure. Without regular and consistent exercise, health cannot be optimized and disease cannot be prevented.

How can exercise help to optimize kidney health? Well in a number of way but especially by helping to lower or control blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity, to prevent against type II diabetes (adult onset diabetes). As you might be aware, diabetes and hypertension are two leading causes of kidney failure. By implementing a program of regular exercise, you will help to prevent or control these two deadly diseases, and preserve and improve kidney health. Of course, if you think you have a medical problem, talk to a competent  health professional about your concerns. Comprehensive-Kidney-Facts.com ———————————————————————————————————————————————————— While there are other organs in the human body these are the major ones. However, we must remember also that TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) rightfully emphasizes that the organs don’t work separately and that the health of one affects all. Remember the Kidney example: It is important to remember that the kidneys are only one part of a very complex human biological system. Each element of this system is in some way connected or related to the other elements within this system. In looking at kidney care, therefore, one has to expand the scope beyond just the kidneys.

Or this statement: There isn’t an organ in the human body that operates in a shell, without influences from other organs. Some very basic interactions include the nervous system and it’s interactions with every organ (sympathetic, parasympathetic) and of course musculoskeletal control. One of my undergrad prof’s used to call the liver the “most unselfish” organ, because almost everything that it does (gluconeogensis, metabolism of waste products, etc) is done for the benefit of other organs. The kidneys share also a very close role with the heart through the cardiovascular system.

However, in Western health, we still tend to separate organ functions but one sees a trend in all the examples of maintaining healthy organs. In short these are, avoid: excess protein consumption; excess sugar and salt; avoid excess alcohol; avoid toxins – both environmental and in the food or drink; avoid high fat food and trans fats; avoid being overweight and avoid excessive stress. On the other hand do eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily; do eat fiber and whole grains; eat foods high in antioxidants; do gentle exercise daily; get a good night’s sleep; drink water often daily and eat “good” fats. Also, there are certain foods that are more directly beneficial for each organ.

While the emphasis and theory is different between TCM and Western health, one can still benefit by following examples given by Western health experts in the maintenance of a healthy body through healthy organs. Qi Gung exercise is an excellent source of “gentle” exercise for the whole body which, of course, includes the organs. I hope this blog brings to focus what can be done in a proactive healthy lifestyle which includes a conscious choice to consider the vital organs.

To end, I give this explanation on “fitness”:  What does physical fitness really mean? Many people believe that physical fitness is building muscle and developing a well-defined figure. We tend to focus on the aesthetic benefits that we lose sight of the importance of getting and remaining “fit” on the inside, as well. Physical fitness means just that: fitness in every sense of the word, both internally and externally. Physical fitness is really about having all of our vital organs, bones, and blood circulation performing at their optimum and working together as a whole, achieving overall health. Often, we are not even aware that our body is not functioning at its optimum. We get an occasional ache and pain, and before long, we become accustomed to living with it. The 1996 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health concluded that exercise is beneficial to almost every organ and system in your body. This includes your digestive system, your kidneys, your bones and your brain. Exercise increases intestinal motility, the speed with which food passes through the gut, and reduces the incidence of many gastrointestinal disorders. One can see a reduction in gallstones and diverticulitis, a painful inflammation that results when food is trapped in pockets in the intestinal wall. Exercise also cuts the risk of colon cancer by almost half. Audrey marlene

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