The kidneys are organs that filter the blood to remove wastes and toxic products. The substances removed from the bloodstream are expelled from the body in urine. Kidney functioning can be impaired by damage to the kidneys or by chronic kidney disease. It can also be improved by drinking plenty of water, controlling your weight, eating well, and getting plenty of exercise. All of these are good prescriptions for health in general, of course, but here are some of the specific ways in which they help the function of the kidneys.
How do the kidneys work? In the kidneys, blood passes through narrow channels where it is filtered and cleansed.
For this to work at its best, the blood should have the proper proportions of solid elements to water. Also, the amount of toxins to be filtered out of the blood should not be higher than the kidneys can easily handle. Finally, the kidneys themselves should be in good health and undamaged.
One of the simplest and best ways to improve kidney function is to make sure that you drink enough liquids, especially plain water. Dehydration is the most common cause of kidney stones, because it super-saturates the blood with minerals by reducing the amount of water in which mineral substances are dissolved. The function of the kidneys is water-dependent and so drinking plenty of water is crucial to having the kidneys do their jobs properly.
Another way to increase kidney function is to get your weight under control. Being overweight increases the total blood volume and hence the total amount of work the kidneys have to do to keep it cleansed. In addition, obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes and for high blood pressure, either of which can significantly impair kidney function.
One of the main causes of chronic kidney disease is high blood pressure. High blood pressure creates a condition in which the kidney are subjected to increased internal stress, which damages them over time and impairs kidney function. Blood pressure can be reduced by diet, exercise, reduction in consumption of sodium, and medication.
Excessive drinking has a heavier effect on the liver, where alcohol is largely processed, than on the kidneys, but it can have an effect on kidney function as well. Alcohol is a factor in high blood pressure and it also acts as a diuretic, reducing the body's available water.
Vitamin D And Iron
Vitamin D is actually produced by the kidneys and helps in the metabolism of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can be a symptom of poor kidney function rather than a cause, but inadequate vitamin D also plays a role in high blood pressure which can cause chronic kidney disease.
Iron deficiency or anemia is also associated with kidney disease, but again as a symptom or complication (particularly of late-stage renal disease) rather than a cause.
Asparagus is a diuretic that increases urinary flow. The vegetable has been prescribed medicinally to treat kidney diseases and urinary blockage for centuries. It is also excellent nutritionally, being a good source of zinc, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Exercise is a good prescription for health in general and for treatment of most illnesses and disorders other than those that require rest for recovery. Exercise helps to control body weight and blood pressure. It improves blood circulation and helps the performance of just about every organ in the body, including the kidneys.
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