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10 proven ways to improve kidney health

10 proven ways to improve kidney health

Our kidneys are vital organs that perform many functions in our body. They filter our blood, remove waste and excess fluid, balance our electrolytes, produce hormones, and regulate blood pressure. But in today’s day-to-day life, managing a healthy kidney is quite challenging and at last, we tend to search for the proven ways to improve kidney health.

Kidney complications can vary from person to person, so let’s understand the basics of the signs and causes of the kidney problem. Keep in mind this article isn’t only limited to focusing on issues but also sharing the insights of 10 Proven ways to improve kidney health.

Look out for the following problems:

  1. Swelling in your feet, ankles, or face
  2. Changes in your urine color, frequency, or amount
  3. Fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath
  4. Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  5. Itching, dry skin, or rashes
  6. Back pain, flank pain, or abdominal pain
  7. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, family history, or aging

Fortunately, there are many natural ways to prevent or improve kidney health. In this blog post, we will share with you 10 proven ways to take care of your kidneys and keep them functioning well. These are simple and effective tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Let’s get started.

1. Keep active and fit

Exercise or any sort of mobility plays a vital role in our health. A indivisual who wants to keep their heart and kidney or even overall health then a regular exercise should be the main factor. Physical activity can also help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent diabetes, and improve your mood and energy levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, playing games, or dancing. You can also do some strength training, stretching, or yoga to enhance your muscle and bone health. If you are starting your exercise then please don’t forget to warm up before the exercise and keep water intake in check. 

2. Manage your blood sugar

High blood sugar can damage the kidneys over time, especially if you have diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the world, affecting about 40% of people with kidney disease. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels and follow your doctor’s advice on medication, diet, and lifestyle. Some of the ways to control your blood sugar are:

  1. Eat a balanced diet that is low in refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats. Choose foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, lean meats, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
  2. Avoid skipping meals and eating large portions. Instead, eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable.
  3. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they can affect your blood sugar and blood pressure.
  4. Check your blood sugar regularly using a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor. Keep a record of your readings and share them with your doctor or dietician.
  5. Take your prescribed medication as directed by your doctor. Do not stop, start, or change your dosage without consulting your doctor.
  6. Consult your doctor if you notice any signs of high or low blood sugar, such as thirst, hunger, dry mouth, blurred vision, headache, dizziness, sweating, shakiness, or confusion.

3. Monitor your blood pressure

High blood pressure can cause kidney damage, especially if you have other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol. High blood pressure can make your kidneys work harder and damage the blood vessels in and around them. Over time, this can lead to kidney scarring, reduced function, and eventually kidney failure. Aim for a healthy blood pressure reading of around 120/80. Check your blood pressure regularly using a home monitor or at a pharmacy or clinic. Take steps to lower your blood pressure if needed, such as:

  1. Reduce your salt intake. Salt can raise your blood pressure by making your body retain more fluid and increasing the strain on your kidneys. The recommended daily intake of salt is less than 6 grams, which is about one teaspoon. Avoid adding salt to your food and limit your consumption of processed foods, fast foods, canned foods, sauces, dressings, snacks, and pickles, as they are high in sodium.
  2. Eat adequate potassium-rich foods. Potassium can help lower your blood pressure by balancing the effects of salt and relaxing your blood vessels. Some of the foods that are high in potassium are bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, (most fruits vegetables, beans, and lentils), and salmon.
  3. Manage your stress. Stress can hurt your blood pressure, as it can trigger the release of hormones that constrict your blood vessels and increase your heart rate. To manage your stress, you can try some relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or massage. You can also find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as talking to someone, writing in a journal, or doing something you enjoy.

4. Monitor your weight and eat a balanced diet

Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of kidney problems. Excess weight can put more pressure on your kidneys and make them work harder. It can also lead to other health issues that can affect your kidneys, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Therefore, it is important to monitor your weight and eat a balanced diet that supports your kidney health. Some of the tips to achieve this are:

Some of the tips to achieve this are:

  1. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference to determine if you are within a healthy weight range. The ideal BMI for most adults is between 18.5 and 24.9, and the ideal waist circumference is less than 94 cm for men and less than 80 cm for women. If your BMI or waist circumference is higher than these values, you may need to lose some weight.
  2. Set realistic and achievable goals for your weight loss. Aim for a gradual and steady weight loss of about 0.5 to 1 kg per week. Avoid crash diets, fad diets, or extreme calorie restrictions, as they can harm your health and metabolism.
  3. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and low-fat dairy products. These foods can provide the nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants your kidneys need. They can also help you feel full and satisfied, preventing overeating and cravings.
  4. Avoid processed foods, trans fats, salt, and added sugars, as they can increase your calorie intake and damage your kidneys. Processed foods are those that have been altered from their natural state, such as canned foods, frozen meals, chips, cookies, cakes, and candies. Trans fats are a type of unhealthy fat that can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Salt can raise your blood pressure and make your kidneys retain more fluid. Added sugars are those that are not naturally present in foods, such as table sugar, honey, syrups, and sweeteners. They can spike your blood sugar and contribute to weight gain and diabetes.

5. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water and avoid sodas and fruit juices. Water helps the kidneys flush out toxins and waste from the body. It also helps regulate your body temperature, blood pressure, and digestion. Aiming to drink good amount of water isn’t only keep you hydrated but it will assure your kidney health. You can also drink coconut water, or lemon water to hydrate yourself and add some flavor.

Sodas and fruit juices, on the other hand, can harm your kidneys and your health. Sodas are high in sugar, caffeine, and phosphorus, which can increase your calorie intake, blood sugar, blood pressure, and kidney stone risk. Fruit juices are also high in sugar and calories, and low in fiber and nutrients. They can cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar and increase your appetite. If you crave something sweet, opt for fresh fruits instead, as they have more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

6. Stop smoking

Smoking can harm the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the kidneys. This can impair their function and increase the risk of kidney disease. Smoking can also worsen other conditions that can affect your kidneys, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Quitting smoking can improve your kidney health and overall well-being. Some of the benefits of quitting smoking are:

  1. Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  2. Improved blood circulation and oxygen delivery
  3. Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress
  4. Enhanced immune system and wound healing
  5. Reduced risk of cancer, stroke, and heart attack

Quitting smoking can be challenging, but not impossible. You can seek help from your dietician doctor, family, friends, or support groups. You can also try some natural remedies, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, or herbal teas, to curb your cravings and calm your nerves. Most importantly, you need to have a strong motivation and determination to quit smoking for good.

7. Monitor your OTC pill intake

Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics, can affect the kidneys if taken too often or in high doses. These medications can interfere with the blood flow to the kidneys, cause inflammation, or trigger allergic reactions. They can also interact with other drugs or supplements that you may be taking. The main thumb rule is to follow your health professional instruction and make sure to read the medicine or any product level before your use. Consult your doctor before taking any medication.

Some of the tips to monitor your OTC pill intake are:

  1. Avoid taking OTC medications. For example, do not take painkillers or anti-inflammatories unless prescribed by your doctor. Pain is a sensation that tells us there is a problem in our body, not treating the problem and taking painkillers not only increases the given health issue but also creates new trauma for kidneys. 
  2. Avoid taking more than the recommended dose of any medication. For example, do not take more than 4 grams of acetaminophen (paracetamol) or 3.2 grams of ibuprofen per day, unless prescribed by your doctor.
  3. Avoid taking multiple medications that contain the same active ingredient. For example, do not take acetaminophen and cold medicine that also contains acetaminophen, as this can increase your risk of liver damage and overdose.
  4. Avoid taking medications that are known to be harmful to the kidneys, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, naproxen, diclofenac, and celecoxib, unless prescribed by your doctor. These drugs can reduce the blood flow to the kidneys and cause kidney injury or failure. If you need to take them, use the lowest effective dose and for the shortest possible time.

One cannot avoid them if an underlying disease requires treatment. Hence, if the doctor gives 4 days of medicine and asks to visit in 5 days, do not omit the visit and continue the medicine for ages.

  1. Avoid taking antibiotics without a prescription or for conditions that do not require them. Antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your gut and increase the risk of infection and resistance. They can also cause allergic reactions or side effects that can harm your kidneys. Only take antibiotics when prescribed by your doctor and for the exact duration and dosage.

8. Test your kidneys

If you have any risk factors or symptoms of kidney problems, you should get your kidneys tested regularly. A simple urine or blood test can detect any signs of kidney damage or disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent or slow down further damage.

Some of the tests that can check your kidney function are:

  1. Urine test: A urine test can measure the amount of protein, blood, sugar, and bacteria in your urine. These substances can indicate kidney damage, infection, or diabetes. A urine test can also measure the specific gravity, pH, and color of your urine, which can reflect your hydration status and kidney health.
  2. Blood test: A blood test can measure the levels of creatinine, urea, and electrolytes in your blood. Creatinine and urea are waste products that are filtered by the kidneys. High levels of these substances can indicate reduced kidney function. Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for your body’s fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. Abnormal levels of electrolytes can indicate kidney problems or dehydration.
  3. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR): GFR is a calculation that estimates how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. It is based on your age, gender, race, and creatinine level. A normal GFR is above 90 mL/min/1.73 m2. A GFR below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 for three months or more can indicate chronic kidney disease. A GFR below 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 can indicate kidney failure.
  4. Kidney ultrasound: A kidney ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of your kidneys. It can show the size, shape, and position of your kidneys, as well as any abnormalities, such as cysts, stones, tumors, or blockages.

Risk factors to look out

The tests should be performed as per Doctor’s guidance. You should get your kidneys tested at least once a year if you have any of the following risk factors:

  1. Diabetes
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Heart disease
  4. Family history of kidney disease
  5. Older age
  6. Obesity
  7. Smoking
  8. Ethnicity 

You should also get your kidneys tested if you have any of the following symptoms:

  1. Swelling in your feet, ankles, or face
  2. Changes in your urine color, frequency, or amount
  3. Fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath
  4. Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  5. Itching, dry skin, or rashes
  6. Back pain, flank pain, or abdominal pain

9. Use natural remedies

1. Ample Water Intake:

Hydration is key to maintaining healthy kidneys. A good amount of water per day to help flush out toxins and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Sometimes add lemon or cucumber slices for a refreshing twist!

2. Adequate Protein Intake:

While protein is essential for overall health, excessive consumption can strain the kidneys. Opt for lean sources of protein such as dairy, Pulses and legumes, fish, and poultry, and avoid high-protein diets unless prescribed by a healthcare professional.

3. Regular Physical Activity:

Engage in regular exercise to improve blood circulation and support kidney function. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week. Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga are excellent choices.

4. Avoid Prolonged Infections:

Untreated infections can lead to kidney damage over time. Be proactive in treating infections promptly, whether they are urinary tract infections or respiratory illnesses. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience persistent symptoms.

5. Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

Manage conditions like hypertension and diabetes, as they can contribute to kidney problems. Adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

6. Incorporate Turmeric into Your Cooking:

Turmeric, a potent anti-inflammatory spice, can benefit kidney health. Add it to your favorite dishes or try turmeric milk for its healing properties. Be mindful of its strong flavor and include small amounts.

7. Choose High-Fiber Foods:

Fiber-rich foods support digestion and help maintain kidney health. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your diet to promote optimal kidney function.

8. Avoid Unnecessary Supplements:

While certain supplements may claim to improve kidney health, it's important to take them only if a medical condition demands their intake. Any person who can eat food by themselves and does not have any severe nutritional deficiency does not require supplements. Avoid unnecessary supplements and only take those prescribed by ethical doctors.

10. Reduce stress

Stress can have a negative impact on your kidney health, as it can raise your blood pressure, affect your blood sugar, and weaken your immune system. To reduce stress, you can try some relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or massage. You can also find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as talking to someone, writing in a journal, or doing something you enjoy. Playing games, working on hobbies, and having regular family and friends time are all helpful. Some of the benefits of reducing stress are:

  1. Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  2. Improved blood circulation and oxygen delivery
  3. Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress
  4. Enhanced immune system and wound healing
  5. Improved mood and mental health

Conclusion: In this blog post, we have shared with you 10 proven ways to improve your kidney health. These are natural and effective tips that you can easily follow in your daily life. By taking care of your kidneys, you can also improve your overall health and well-being. Remember to consult your dietician or doctor before changing your medication, diet, or lifestyle. We hope you found this blog post helpful and informative.


Q: What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

Some of the symptoms of kidney disease are swelling in your feet, ankles, or face, changes in your urine color, frequency, or amount, fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite, itching, dry skin, or rashes, back pain, flank pain, or abdominal pain.

Q: How can I prevent kidney stones?

Some of the ways to prevent kidney stones are drinking an adequate amount of water and avoiding sodas and fruit juices, reducing your salt and animal protein intake, eating more calcium-rich foods, or taking calcium supplements. In case kidney stones are already present, avoid foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, nuts, and chocolate, and take medications or supplements (as prescribed by a doctor) that can help dissolve or prevent stones, such as potassium citrate, magnesium, or vitamin B6.

Q: What are the treatment options available for kidney failure?

Some of the treatment options available for kidney failure are dialysis, kidney transplant, or conservative management. Dialysis is a process that filters and purifies the blood using a machine or a catheter. A kidney transplant is a surgery that replaces a damaged kidney with a healthy one from a donor. Conservative management is a choice to forgo dialysis or transplant and focus on treating the symptoms and complications of kidney failure with medications and palliative care.
The best way is to avoid the disease since most chronic cases in India are caused by lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension. These can be avoided by a good diet and lifestyle.

Q: What are the different stages of kidney disease?

Kidney disease is divided into five stages, based on the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is a measure of how well the kidneys are filtering the blood. The stages are:
Stage 1: GFR is 90 or higher. Kidney function is normal or slightly reduced. There may be no symptoms or signs of damage.
Stage 2: GFR is 60 to 89. Kidney function is mildly reduced. There may be some signs of damage, such as protein or blood in the urine.
Stage 3: GFR is 30 to 59. Kidney function is moderately reduced. There may be some symptoms, such as fatigue, swelling, or back pain.
Stage 4: GFR is 15 to 29. Kidney function is severely reduced. There may be more symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or itching.
Stage 5: GFR is less than 15. Kidney function is very low or has failed. There may be serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath, confusion, or coma.

Q: What are some natural remedies that can help improve kidney health?

Ans: Some natural remedies that can help support your kidney function and prevent kidney stones are 
Ample water intake
Adequate protein intake~ avoiding excess, 
Regular physical activity, 
Avoiding prolonged infections
Healthy lifestyle choices to avoid/ manage hypertension or diabetes
Using turmeric in cooking
Choose high-fiber foods
Avoid unnecessary supplements, take only if prescribed by ethical doctors
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