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How To Make Kidney Healthy

Kidney Bean Nutrition And Benefits

What can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?

Kidney beans are one of the healthiest plant-based sources of protein. Eating kidney beans on a regular basis can improve your overall health by reducing cholesterol and lowering your risk of heart disease. Kidney beans are also known to help prevent colon cancer, thanks to its high fiber content. These beans are also high in minerals like iron and folate, as well as Vitamin B1.

How To Maintain Healthy Kidneys

This article was medically reviewed by Ankush Bansal, MD. Dr. Bansal is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician in Florida. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Christiana Care Health Services in 2007. He is licensed in 19 states and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and senior fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 80% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 199,954 times.

Monitor Your Diabetes Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Levels

In the United States, diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure.

Diabetes is vastly driven by obesity, which can cause high blood pressure and cholesterol, Peev says. And diabetic kidney disease is the No. 1 reason for developing end-stage CKD, so its important that you have it under control.

Further, a study by the National Kidney Foundation found that people with high cholesterol are twice as likely to develop CKD.

If you are overweight and can lose weight through changes in your diet and activity level, Peev says you can significantly reduce your risk of CKD.

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Tests To Identify Kidney Disease:

  • Complete urine examination:Urine will be checked for the presence of protein, blood or any abnormal elements. Normally urine has very small amount of protein. Any increase in protein in urine will suggest presence of kidney disease in the appropriate clinical context. Presence of red blood cells in urine also point towards the presence of kidney disease requiring further tests to confirm.
  • Blood test:Blood will be checked for levels of urea and creatinine which are elevated in the presence of kidney disease. Creatinine values are used to calculate GFR in the clinic.
  • Ultrasound:It will help us to identify the location, number, size and appearance of kidneys. Helps in examination of ureters, bladder and the presence of stones in urinary tract. Patients with chronic kidney disease may have small kidneys, abnormal kidneys or obstructed kidneys.

Reduce The Intake Of Phosphorous In Your Diet

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When kidneys fail to work properly, accumulation of phosphorous takes place in the body of humans and cause serious conditions, which include heart and bone disorders, along with hardening or calcification of the tissues. Phosphorous remains present in most of the food items, but carbonated soft drinks, processed and prepared foods especially come with high amount of phosphorous. A normal person requires only 800mg to 1200m of the total phosphorous daily. Thus, healthy kidneys flush out higher amounts of phosphorous from the body.

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The Best Foods For Kidney Health

Kidneys are small organs located underneath the rib cage, on each side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering waste out of the blood and excreting it out of the body through urine. Kidneys also balance the bodys fluid and electrolyte levels and play a significant role in overall health. Some foods may boost the performance of the kidneys, while others may place stress on them and cause damage. Eating foods rich in certain vitamins and nutrients may help the kidneys function properly and prevent damage to them. However, some foods that generally help support healthy kidneys may not be suitable for people who have an existing kidney disease. Check with your doctor or dietitian if you have an existing condition to find out which foods are best for you.

1. Dark leafy greens

Dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium, and many other important minerals. Kale also is a significant source of carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin K. Spinach is high in vitamins A, C, K, and folate. The beta-carotene found in spinach is important for boosting your immune system and a good source of magnesium. Try replacing that nutritionally challenged iceberg lettuce with some dark leafy greens.

2. Berries

3. Cranberries

4. Sweet potatoes

5. Olive oil

6. Fatty fish

7. Cabbage

Managing The Risk Factors For Kidney Disease

People at high risk of kidney disease should do the following to prevent the development of kidney disease:

  • Diabetes: A growing number of kidney patients are people with diabetes, Meet blood sugar targets, Get HbA1c level checked to see your average sugar control in last 3 months
  • Hypertension: Regular medicines to keep your blood pressure in target, Uncontrolled high blood pressure can speed up the natural course of any underlying kidney disease, Low salt diet and more of fruits and vegetables in diet
  • Overweight and obesity: Regular physical activity to lose your weight
  • Be very careful about taking non-prescription medications, particularly painkillers
  • Management of other conditions like renal stone disease, autoimmune disease, repeated urine infection etc.,
  • Regular check up for kidney function with blood and urine tests along with ultrasound examination.

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Tests To Check Kidney Function

When kidney function is decreased, substances such as urea, creatinine, and certain electrolytes begin to build up in the blood. The following tests measure levels of these substances to show how well your kidneys are working.

  • A blood creatinine test helps to estimate the glomerular filtration rate by measuring the level of creatinine in your blood. The doctor can use the GFR to regularly check how well the kidneys are working and to stage your kidney disease.
  • A blood urea nitrogen test measures how much nitrogen from the waste product urea is in your blood. BUN level rises when the kidneys arent working well enough to remove urea from the blood.
  • A fasting blood glucose test is done to measure your blood sugar. High blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the kidneys.
  • Blood tests measure levels of waste products and electrolytes in your blood that should be removed by your kidneys.
  • A blood test for parathyroid hormone checks the level of PTH, which helps control calcium and phosphorus levels.
  • Urinalysis and a urine test for microalbumin, or other urine tests, can measure protein in your urine. Normally there is little or no protein in urine.

Talk To Your Doctor About Whether You Need To Limit Phosphorus And Potassium

13 Foods That Make Your Kidneys Healthy

Phosphorus and potassium are minerals that your body needs for certain processes. Phosphorous helps build strong bones, while potassium helps regulate your heartbeat and keeps your muscles working properly.

If you have CKD, however, these minerals they can build up in your blood, causing problems throughout your body. High levels of phosphorus can pull calcium from your bones, making bones weak and more likely to break, and may cause itchy skin and bone and joint pain. You may need to limit foods high in phosphorous, such as animal protein, dairy, and dark-colored sodas. High levels of potassium can cause heart problems. Your doctor will run blood tests to check your potassium and phosphorus levels. Be sure to ask if youre not sure whether you need to keep tabs on your intake of these minerals.

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Maintain A Healthy Diet And Weight

Research shows that a kidney-friendly diet and regular exercise, may help protect your kidneys from the risk factors that can lead to kidney damage.

A kidney-healthy diet is low in sodium and carbohydrates and includes lots of fruits and vegetables, Peev says. If you follow this type of diet consistently, it can help prevent weight gain and avoid obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are major risk factors for kidney disease.

Additionally, incorporating 30 minutes of exercise each day, such as walking, jogging and biking, among other activities, as well as drinking plenty of water, can also keep your kidneys healthy.

Dehydration reduces blood flow to your kidneys, which can damage them, so make sure to drink enough water throughout the day around eight glasses, Peev says.

If you need additional support, Peev suggests working with a dietitian who can provide a kidney-healthy diet fit for your individual needs.

Limit Your Salt Intake

Sodium sneaks its way into all sorts of places you wouldnt imagine, especially packaged foods such as soups and breads. Limiting your sodium intake helps keep your blood pressure under control. Aim for 2,300 mg per day, according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration thats about 1 teaspoon of table salt.

If youre at risk of or already have high blood pressure, Maruschak suggests following a low-sodium diet specifically the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan. Also try these tips to keep your sodium in check:

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Watch Your Blood Pressure

Have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure has no symptoms, but it can increase your risk of kidney and heart problems.

You can get a simple, quick and painless blood pressure check free of charge at your GP surgery and many high street pharmacies.

If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, a GP can suggest lifestyle changes or, if necessary, prescribe medicine to reduce your blood pressure.

An ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

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Drinking too much alcohol can harm many parts of the body, including the kidneys.

The National Kidney Foundation warns that regular heavy drinking affects the kidneys and their function and doubles the risk for kidney disease. Consuming more than three drinks a day for women and more than four drinks a day for men is considered heavy drinking, according to the foundation.

A small amount of alcohol one or two drinks every now and then tends not to have any serious effects, Peev says. But its important to remember that drinking in moderation is key.

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How To Keep Your Kidneys Strong

The number of people with chronic kidney disease is likely to rise. Your kidneys are responsible to support many body functions they are so vital to keep you alive. Therefore, its important to look after them! Naturally, their function decrease with age. However there are also plenty of natural ways to help keep them strong and healthy, preventing them from failing.

Choose Complex Carbs Over Simple Carbs

Carbohydrates are your bodys main source of energy, and those that occur naturally in fresh foods are filled with fiber to support heart and gut health and keep your blood sugar levels steady. However, simple carbs such as added sugars in desserts, sweetened beverages, and many packaged foods can spike blood sugar and increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

As part of an overall healthy diet, you should limit sweets and foods with added sugars , says Maruschak. Healthier carbohydrate choices include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils.

If you have diabetes and are on insulin, you may need to be even more careful about your carbohydrate intake. It is likely that people will need to count carbohydrates at meal times so they can dose their insulin correctly, says Maruschak.

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Signs Of A Kidney Infection

What does a kidney infection feel like? According to the NIDDK, the most common kidney infections symptoms are:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • But depending on a persons age, they may not experience all of these kidney infection symptoms. Children younger than two may only experience high fever as a sign of kidney infections, the NIDDK says, and people older than 65 might only present with cognitive issues, like confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.

    Tips For Healthy Kidneys

    How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy: 10 Ways To Fight Kidney Disease!
  • Be fit and active: Regular exercise maintains blood pressure and helps control blood sugar
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid carbonated soft drinks
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid over the counter pain killer intake: Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can damage your kidneys
  • Certain other medications, toxins, pesticides and illegal drugs can also cause kidney damage
  • Take medications as directed
  • Keep your blood pressure in the target range
  • Stay in your target cholesterol range
  • Eat foods lower in salt
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Keep your weight in target range
  • Limit alcohol intake: Heavy alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure and add calories
  • Get enough sleep
  • Getting a check-up? Make sure to get your kidneys checked too with urine, blood and ultrasound tests
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    White Kidney Bean Recipes

    • Easy White Kidney Beans and Spinach Soup: Tired of the same old boring soup recipes? Try something totally new with this flavorful and nutritious white kidney bean and spinach soup.
    • Easy White Bean Dip: Enjoy this gluten-free, hummus-like dip with chips, crackers or toast. This recipe is great for vegans or anyone following the Mediterranean diet.
    • White Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic: This simple recipe makes a delicious vegan-friendly side dish for so many of your favorite meals. All you need is a can of beans, seasonings and thirty minutes.
    • Easy Cannellini Bean Salad: If you have five minutes, you have enough time to make this simple, satisfying salad. Bid adieu to boring bean salads forever!

    Watch Out For Signs Of Kidney Disease

    A person with kidney disease has progressive loss of function of their kidneys. Kidney disease is sometimes called a silent disease because it often doesnt cause symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. Its not uncommon for people to have lost up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing symptoms of kidney disease.

    Keep an eye out for the below signs and symptoms of kidney disease, and if you have any concerns, see your doctor.

    Signs of reduced kidney function can include:

    • high blood pressure
    • change in how often you need to go to the toilet and how much urine you produce
    • changes to your urine for example frothy or foaming urine
    • blood in your urine

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    When Should I See My Doctor

    If you notice any of the symptoms above, see your doctor. If you have one or more of the risk factors for kidney disease, it is particularly important to look after your kidney health and get your kidney function checked every 1 to 2 years.

    The body can cope with the kidneys not working properly for quite a while. People can lose 90% of their kidney function before they experience any symptoms. This makes it particularly important to take notice of any symptoms that do appear, and seek medical advice.

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    Fruits And Vegetables In The Diet

    13 Foods That Make Your Kidneys Healthy

    An overall healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is a smart choice for keeping your kidneys in topnotch shape. Fresh produce is not only high in water content, but it also contains powerful nutrients like vitamin C and flavonoids that support the health of all your organs, including the kidneys. If your doctor advises a low-potassium diet for your kidney health, focus on fruits and veggies that are significantly lower in this mineral. Your best veggie options include:

    • Cabbage
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant

    Avoid seasoning your vegetable dishes with salt and salt substitutes, and opt instead for dried or fresh herbs, chopped garlic or onion and a splash of olive oil.

    Among fresh fruits, you have a lot of delicious low-potassium options, including:

    • Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Watermelon

    Stick to recommended serving sizes, though, because too much of any low-potassium food can end up having a lot of potassium.

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    What Can I Do To Keep My Kidneys Healthy

    You can protect your kidneys bypreventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The steps described below may help keep your whole body healthy, including your kidneys.

    During your next medical visit, you may want to ask your health care provider about your kidney health. Early kidney disease may not have any symptoms, so getting tested may be the only way to know your kidneys are healthy. Your health care provider will help decide how often you should be tested.

    See a provider right away if you develop a urinary tract infection , which can cause kidney damage if left untreated.

    Consume Apples And Apple Juice

    Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys to maintain acidity in the urine, possibly inhibiting further growth of bacteria. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial in helping the kidneys to heal following the infection. Learn more about the many health benefits of apples.

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    Living A Healthy Lifestyle

  • 1Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Staying properly hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your kidneys healthy. Without adequate water, your kidneys can lose some of their ability to filter your blood, and may even become damaged throughout your lifetime.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Drinking water helps your kidneys flush sodium, urea, toxins, and waste out of your body.
  • Increasing your fluid intake to approximately 2 liters of water each day can help maintain proper kidney function. You may wish to increase your intake even further if you are outside in the heat or do not have air conditioning in the summer months.
  • Some individuals may need more or less water, depending on factors like regional climate, level of physical activity, and certain medications taken on a regular basis.
  • Talk to your doctor about your specific hydration needs.
  • If you’re currently overweight, talk to your doctor about a healthy weight-loss plan involving a restricted diet and increased exercise.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source You may also want to ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can help you plan meals that will help you achieve your weight loss goals while ensuring you get all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs.
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