Kidney Health

Good day House of Buckle readers! Summer is in full swing and it has been scorching hot out there lately! With all the heat and sunshine, its really important to stay hydrated. I was recently working around the yard and sweating profusely in the process. As I started to think about water intake and maintaining electrolyte balance it got me thinking about my kidneys and kidney health in general and that is what I want to talk about with you today. So grab a tall glass of water, find a shady place to kick back and read on!

Basic Kidney Function

Most of us have two kidneys. These bean shaped organs are generally about the size of a closed fist and they are located on either side of the spine. At the end of the day our kidneys filter waste/toxins from our blood and move that waste out of our bodies when we urinate. Our kidneys perform the crucial role of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. Looking at that even closer, approximately two quarts are eliminated from the body in the form of urine, while the remainder, about 198 quarts, is retained in the body. Obviously the job our kidneys perform is vital and as such, kidney health is crucial. When our kidneys aren't working properly, it can lead to big problems. It is estimated that over 37 million Americans are living with kidney disease. How do you know if you have potential kidney issues? Read on for some tell tale signs.

Kidney Problem Warning Signs

  • Constant fatigue: Kidneys produce a hormone that tells your body to make red blood cells (called erythropoietin). If this hormone isn't being produced as it should, it can lead to lower red blood cell count which means your blood is not delivering the level of oxygen to your brain and muscles that it should be, and fatigue is a side effect of this. Properly functioning kidneys and the addition of NADH can do wonders for chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Swollen face/feet: If your kidneys are not getting rid of sodium properly, fluids can build up in your body. This can lead to swollen hands, legs, feet, ankles, etc.

  • Bad breath: Toxin build up in your body can cause a condition called uremia (raised level in the blood of urea and other nitrogenous waste compounds) which in turn can cause a smelly mouth. Yuck!

  • Muscle cramps: cramping in your legs can be a sign of poor kidney health. This comes from imbalances in calcium/sodium/potassium levels. This in turn can interrupt how your muscles and nerves are working. Drink plenty of water and I recommend magnesium malate for muscle cramp issues.

  • Brain fog: If your kidneys are not filtering waste out of your body properly, the toxin build up can affect your brain. You could feel foggy, have trouble concentrating, and even feel dizzy. In addition to good kidney health, you can also help your brain health by such supplements as NADH or magnesium L-threonate.

  • Poor sleep: There is a link between poor kidney health and sleep apnea.

  • Bloody or foamy urine: healthy kidneys are able to keep the blood cells in your body when filtering wastes from the blood to create urine, but if the kidney is not filtering properly, it is possible for blood cells to leak into the urine. Additionally, if you have excessively foamy urine, it is an indicator of protein in the urine. Another sign that your kidneys are not filtering properly.

Steps for Good Kidney Health

  1. Drink plenty of water daily: how much exactly depends on how active you are but aim for at least 64 ounces a day.

  2. Keep active: It is important to get some level of fitness regularly; not just for kidney health but for your health in general. I tell people that an absolute minimum would be 20-30 minutes of exercise, three times a week. This can be brisk walking, riding a bike, jogging, swimming, etc. etc.

  3. Watch your blood sugar level: Keeping blood sugar levels in check is critical to good kidney health. If this is an area you struggle with, you may want to look at supplements like Chromium Picolinate or Cinnamon. They are both great at blood sugar control.

  4. Your Diet: the more you can cut out or at least limit processed foods, dairy, sugars, and alcohols the better. In place, up your raw fruits and vegetables game!

  5. Watch your OTC pill intake. This is especially true for NSAID's (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium. The regular use of these items can hurt kidney health over time.

Foods that are Great for Kidney Health

  • Blueberries

  • Egg whites

  • Cauliflower

  • Sea Bass

  • Garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Cabbage

  • Bulgar

  • Bell Peppers

  • Turnips

  • Onions

  • Cranberries

  • Shiitake Mushrooms

Kidney Health Care

As always, if you think you may be battling kidney disease, or if you think your kidney health is in jeopardy, I suggest you go see your primary health care provider for a check up.

That's all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and make sure and take care of your kidneys, they are kind of a big deal! At Bucklebury we believe the best wealth is your health and until next time, good day!