Kidney health is just as important as liver, heart or brain health. Kidneys are often compared to two beans weighing up to 150 grams each. However, despite their size, the role of the kidneys is particularly important for the health of the whole body.
Read on to find out how much your kidneys do for you, how much you’ve underestimated their importance and discover what you can do to protect their health.
- Kidney disease – What are the main causes and common symptoms?
- Kidney health through exercise and nutrition
1. Kidney disease – What are the main causes and common symptoms?
The kidneys keep the body clean by removing waste products in the urine that block blood flow and can cause inflammation. The health of the kidneys is also important for their function in regulating potassium and calcium in the body.
Calcium is vital for a strong bone system, even more so if you’re an active person or play a competitive sport. Potassium keeps your heart rate and blood pressure within normal parameters, supports digestive function and prevents muscle contractions and more. The kidneys balance the amount of fluids in the body, electrolytes and control the production of red blood cells. Thus, kidney health is vital because it keeps the body away from heart disease, high blood pressure, toxin buildup, gastrointestinal problems and more.
Because the kidneys regulate calcium in the body, this makes the bones resistant to shock, preventing injuries and speeding up the recovery period after training. By detoxifying the body of metabolic waste and inhaled toxins from the outside environment, you keep the blood clean so it can carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
What are the factors that sabotage kidney health?
Unhealthy eating habits, diabetes, genetics or blood pressure are the main enemies of perfectly healthy kidneys. Apart from genetics, the other causes can be influenced to reduce the risk of disease. Sick kidneys only start to hurt when they have reached an advanced stage of disease. By this time you need to watch out for a few symptoms that show your kidney health is vulnerable.
These symptoms include unexplained states of persistent exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, frequent urination, sleep disturbances, swollen ankles, dehydrated skin or blood in the urine. Most are common with symptoms of other conditions, so a visit to the doctor’s office to identify the cause is even recommended.
2. Kidney health through exercise and nutrition
Whether you are already experiencing problems or want to prevent risks, the kidney-friendly diet should include olive oil, fish meat, blueberries, apples, cranberries, bell peppers and egg whites. At the opposite end of the spectrum are foods that sabotage kidney health and which you should cross off your list or reduce your intake. These include sauces, semi-prepared foods, preserves, pastries and other foods high in sugar and fat.
Eating right is not enough if your routine is predominantly sedentary. You don’t have to take up the gym or performance sports. Your kidneys appreciate any kind of effort on your part, whether it’s going for a walk or a bike ride, doing yoga, Nordic walking, stretching or relaxing massage. The best Japanese full-body massage chairs are a good start to your body function care routine. Whether it’s about correct body posture, leg muscles, preventing lower back pain, or whether you want an in-depth or relaxing massage, you can opt for a full-body massage or programmes focusing on specific areas only.
The reflexology roller massage programme presses those points on the sole that communicate directly with the kidneys or other important organs, improving their functionality. Shiatsu massage also improves the connection with the kidneys by stimulating energy areas on the surface of the body.
Moreover, massage helps to balance emotions, replacing the accumulated nervousness of the day with a general state of calm. This brings blood pressure and heart rate within normal parameters, reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions that make it difficult for the kidneys to function.