When we embark on a health kick, most of us are just focusing on a couple of things. These tend to be losing weight (the primary reason behind most people going on a diet) or getting physically fitter. Both of these goals are largely aesthetic – but what if we started to focus our minds on actually keeping specific parts of our bodies healthy? Often, the parts we can’t see are actually the things most integral to our overall health, and the things that will enable us to live a long and happy life. Two of the most important organs that we have in our bodies and ones that we need to care for are our kidneys. Situated around our lower backs, the kidneys are vital to the everyday workings of our bodies. They help to break down waste products, produce Vitamin D and balance the body’s fluids, amongst many other uses. So, they are pretty incredible things! With this in mind, what can we do to make sure our kidneys stay healthy for as long as possible, and when should we see a doctor about them?
Most people will find that they go through their whole lives without ever having an issue related to their kidneys. Some of us, though, may end up having to see a doctor in relation to a kidney problem that we end up having. The most common kidney issues are kidney stones and kidney infections. The symptoms of this are often hard to pinpoint, but you should definitely see a doctor if you have a pain in your lower back or abdomen, and also if you have trouble going to the toilet/there is blood in your urine. Kidneys can also be susceptible to heavy blows, so if you have been kicked in the lower back at any point, you should see a doctor to make sure your kidneys are not damaged as a result.
One of the easiest ways to keep our kidneys healthy is to stay hydrated. The primary function of the kidneys is to rid the body of waste, and that includes any potentially harmful chemicals or infections. The process by which they do this is integral to our everyday lives and without it, we simply wouldn’t be able to survive. Pay close attention to the color of your urine, especially if you are on vacation somewhere hot. If it is dark, you may be dehydrated, which can prove dangerous for your kidneys. Drink a lot of water and also look into the health benefits of dandelion root – detoxifying herbs such as this can often be drunk in a tea.
Another amazing function of the kidneys is that they help to regulate certain chemicals and substances in the body – like acid, potassium and salt. In addition, they also help with the production of red blood cells. To ensure that they keep doing this, we need to be mindful of our weight. Too much salty food can overwhelm the kidneys and they can cease to function, and high blood pressure can also raise your risk of developing a kidney disease. These amazing organs are at the very centre of our everyday lives, even if we don’t realize it. So invest some time into keeping them healthy and they will, in turn, invest more time into you.