Kidney Health 101
Your kidneys have a very important job. They clean the blood, and produce urine to get rid of waste in the body. They also help balance the levels of calcium, potassium and sodium in our blood stream. On top of all that, kidneys help produce hormones to make red blood cells and adjust blood pressure levels.
Unless you or a client have ever had kidney stones, kidney cancer or kidney failure, you’ve probably never really given your kidneys a second thought. Here are a few facts about kidneys, and some ways you can take care of these important organs and prevent and problems down the road.
Here are some of the top issues:
1 in 10 Americans will suffer from a kidney stone at some point in their lifetime. Since they work day and night to literally filter our blood to make urine, some of the minerals it tries to filter out can build up in the kidney, which the body must get rid of right away. Kidney stones cause a blockage in your kidneys, and can cause extreme painful as they pass through the body. Individuals who eat foods with a lot of salt, animal protein, or are obese have a high risk of developing a stone. Certain medications or health conditions can lead to stones as well, so be sure to talk to your doctor if what you are taking is safe, especially if kidney stones run in your family.
Doctor’s tip: Drink a lot of water each and every day. This is by far the smartest and easiest way to keep your kidneys healthy, and body hydrated and energized. In terms of foods, be sure to maintain a healthy diet. Limit sodium, eats high protein foods like fish and legumes, and always incorporate fruits and vegetables that are, ideally, low in dietary oxalates.
Kidney cancer is the same as renal cancer, which forms in the kidneys. The most common form is renal cell carcinoma. Symptoms include blood in the urine, lower back pain or a lump in the lower back or side.
Doctor’s tips: If you or a client every experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Thankfully once a kidney cancer is found in the body, doctors can tackle it head on before it spreads to other organs or tissues.