5 Golden Rules to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

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Did you know that Pakistan ranks eighth in the prevalence of kidney diseases worldwide? According to a report by Dawn News in 2019. 20, 000 Pakistanis die every year due to kidney diseases. This means, almost 55 Pakistanis die every day (on average) due to kidney diseases. This could be you or your loved ones and your poor lifestyle and lack of attention towards your health will be the culprit. So if you want to keep your kidneys healthy this might be just the read for you.

All you should know about your kidneys and their health.

Kidneys are the filters that work for you their whole life without ever retiring! And like any employee, they also need care, attention, and investment to be healthy and their best selves, don’t they? Everyone deserves to have healthy kidneys.

Causes of kidney diseases include low water intake, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, kidney stones, excessive use of medicine, consuming junk, and low quality of food as well as self-medication.

Before we talk about ways to keep your kidneys healthy, let’s pause for just a second. If you or your loved ones are struggling with kidney pain or stones and don’t want to miss on living the healthiest life, then you’ll probably find great help in talking directly to a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

Visit our Department of Nephrology.

1. Exercise Well And Stay Active

Being physically active reduces your blood pressure and hence the risk of chronic kidney diseases. You don’t have to go to the gym every single day, or do 1 hour of workout if you are just starting out.

Start with small, doable exercises. Just exercise for 2-5 mins daily when starting out and you can increase when your exercise skills have the difficulty level of 2-5 mins.

Don’t have time to go to the gym, start exercising at home. Use apps like the 30 Days Fitness Challenge, Home Workout, Nike Training Club App, etc. which guide you through exercises, track your progress.

Exercise increases the rate of blood that’s filtered through the kidneys. It also helps muscle function, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, keeping a healthy body weight, and improving sleep.

2. Stay Hydrated

Stop drinking water for a week and your kidney pain itself will tell you that your kidneys need water to stay healthy. Water is great for your kidneys if you stay hydrated throughout the day. But drinking too much water isn’t healthy. Although people rarely over-hydrate, they mostly under-hydrated.

Research shows staying that hydrated reduces the risk for kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Water helps the kidneys to remove wastes from the blood in the form of urine, it also helps blood vessels to stay open so that blood can travel freely to kidneys, and deliver essential nutrients to them.

The color of urine can indicate if you’re hydrated or not. If it’s deep yellow-colored, then you need to drink water. If it’s pale yellow or transparent (white) then it means you’re hydrated.

Here is a guide to determine your hydration levels through your urine color. 

Do you struggle with staying hydrated?

Keep a water bottle with you. It serves as a visual reminder. Keeping the water just a few inches will take less activation energy to drink, in contrast to getting up and fetching a glass of water.

3. Be Careful With Medication

Next time you have pain somewhere in your body, talk to your doctor instead of taking that Panadol. You can have a video consultation and appointment with the best general physicians in your city.

Take medication as the doctor recommends, or as instructions read. Be careful about medicines that can cause kidney damage if used in long term including painkillers. Self-medication is one of the main reasons for kidney diseases in Pakistan.

If you are taking certain medicines for chronic pain or arthritis, talk to your doctor about better ways to manage the pain and monitoring your kidney health.

4. Eat Healthy

Most kidney diseases are caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (diseases of blood and heart). Eat healthy because it’ll help in maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Prevention against diabetes and high blood pressure would keep the kidneys healthy.

Reduce your salt intake to 5-6 grams daily (around a teaspoon). Let go of junk and low-quality or at least reduce their consumption.

If you really want to start eating healthy consult a nutritionist now.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking slows down the blood flow in blood vessels which in effect decreases the flow of blood in the kidneys. When kidneys don’t get enough blood flow, they can’t function at optimal levels.

Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer (by 50%) and high blood pressure (which also damages the kidneys).

So if you smoke, this is the time to let go. Try to talk to a doctor to plan how you would quit. Create a system that replaces your old smoking habits, and helps you cope with or manage triggers.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, drink plenty of water, always take a healthy and nutrient-rich diet, exercise regularly, monitor blood pressure and sugar levels (if you are struggling with these), don’t consume tobacco in any form. Also, avoid excessive salts, sweets, junk food, beverages, and self-medication especially painkillers and antibiotics. Always, talk to the doctor if you are having a medical problem. Don’t ignore pain in kidneys, prostrates, problems in urine and bladder.

Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with top Nephrologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online appointment booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.

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Hiba Batool

Hiba Batool

She is a nutrition graduate from Kinnaird College, Lahore. She is a nutritionist by profession. Her interests lie in medical research and writing. She masters in all topics related to nutrition and health.

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