Like any other biological system elimination of toxins and waste is very important for a healthy body and this job is done to some extent by our kidneys. They keep working constantly to keep our body clean and healthy, so what are the aspects we should be aware of to keep our kidneys healthy should be known by every individual.
Our body consists of a pair kidney bean shaped organs, 4 to 5 inches long and it is located behind our abdomen. This organ contains around one million tiny microscopic filters called as nephrons which help to remove unwanted toxins and substances from our body. The two pairs sit opposite to each other on either side of the spinal cord and the right kidney lies a little lower than the left kidney so that it can make some space for the liver to sit. This organ is a powerhouse which actually maintains homeostasis and performs many vital functions of our body.
Some facts about this wonderful organ
- They weigh only around 5 ounces or 0.5% of the body’s total weight.
- Healthy kidneys work full around 365 days to clean our body without totally any rest.
- Our kidneys filter 50 gallons of blood through 140 miles tubes.
- 25% of the blood pumped by the heart is received by the kidneys for purification.
- The total blood supply of our body circulates 12 times per hour through the kidneys.
- About 2 gallons of blood is purified by our kidneys in 2 hours.
- Kidneys are the only organs which can function even after losing 70 to 80% of its functional ability.
- Two quarts of urine is filtered by kidneys each day.
- One healthy kidney can act as a substitute for two failed kidneys.
- The kidney does not produce urine until the amount of body fluid is optimum in the body.
Functions of kidneys
- Kidneys expel many unwanted items out of the body which are not required by it like toxins, excess salts, water and urea.
- This organ helps to maintain the water levels in the body by excreting it as urine or reduce urine production as water intake decreases.
- Helps to balances the level of chemicals in our body.
- Maintain blood pressure in the body by releasing a blood vessel constricting protein called as angiotensin.
- When the kidneys go in short of oxygen they release a hormone called as erythropoietin which stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
- Helps to maintain healthy and strong bones by producing Vitamin D.
- Regulates acids produced by the metabolism and maintains equilibrium.
Do’s for a healthy kidney
- Drink ample amount of water to keep the body hydrated
- Retain a healthy weight and exercise on a regular basis.
- Eat a balanced and a nutritious diet.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Don’t use unnecessary medications without consulting a doctor.
- Avoid smoking and use of alcohol.
- Consume optimum amount of proteins which is required for a day.
- Do not over eat or eat less as both can be dangerous.
- Urinate at regular intervals
What can damage your healthy kidneys?
1) Holding urine for a longer time – emptying the bladder after a long time will cause infections and other issues like uremia and UTI’s so it’s always better to urinate regularly.
2) Insufficient water – drinking an optimum amount of water is very necessary for elimination of toxins and waste. Lack of water will cause blood to remain concentrated and improper flow to the kidneys will occur ultimately impairing the purification process.
3) Consuming too much salt – the daily intake of salt should be around 6 grams per day; any amount above this will cause a rise in the level of sodium in the body. Kidneys help to eliminate sodium from our body so excess sodium will cause the kidney to work hard which results in damaging kidney functions. Excess salts in body cause water retentions and ailments like edema.
4) Improper nutrition – not eating enough is a major problem which can cause digestive and other organs like kidney to fail. Not supplying your body with essential nutrients and vitamins may cause malfunction of organs and it may lead to autoimmune diseases which cannot be reversed.
5) Eating too many proteins – eating excess proteins than the required amount may increase the work load of kidneys. Consuming conventional meat or protein rich diets may cause weak kidneys. An average person should consume only 0.8grams/kg per day of proteins.
6) Delayed treatment for infections – when having infections like tonsillitis or common cold proper treatment should be taken at the right time else it may trigger many reasons which may result in kidney damage.
7) Use of analgesics – over use of analgesic for a long duration may cause improper blood flow and affects kidney functions. Using analgesic for a longer period will cause renal failures and lead to bladder cancer.
8) Use of Alcohol – abusing your kidney with excess alcohol will cause deposition of uric acid in renal tubules and which will increase the risk of kidney failure.
9) Improper rest and stress – increased stress levels cause hypertension and leads to insomnia. Lack of sleep may increase blood pressure and that can result in kidney damage.
10) Smoking – this is a bad habit which causes narrowing and hardening of blood vessels. When blood vessels are affected the blood supply will be limited to all the vital organs including kidneys.
11) Drinking soft drinks – those who consume large amount of soda based drinks are known to have a higher risk of acquiring kidney diseases. Such beverages can increase the protein content in the kidney which can trigger damage.
12) Vitamin B6 Deficiency – this vitamin is very essential for preventing kidney stones. So those who are not having a diet rich in this vitamin may have serious health issues. A normal person should consume 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily for a healthy functioning kidney.
Conclusion: if you want a healthy body then you should look after the requirements of the body in a balanced way by providing essential nutrients and other elements. Kidneys are a major part of our body so make sure you don’t practice any bad habits that may cause danger for its existence. Live a life in a balanced way so that you can ensure well being of your kidneys in an apt manner.