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How To Keep Kidneys Healthy: 11 Ways To Keep Your Kidney Healthy

Kidneys are vital life-sustaining organs. They are bean-shaped, and fist-sized, each one is about 10-15 cm long located just below the rib cage, and on either side of the spine. The kidney plays a major role in filtering about half a cup of blood every minute and removing waste and excess water. The waste products are collected inside the bladder and expelled through urine. In addition to this, kidneys give rise to hormones that control the production of RBCs. It regulates blood pressure, potassium, and pH levels in the body. 

The kidney is a remarkably complex organ, that acts as the filter system of the body, by maintaining its chemical balance, performing renal function, regulating the body’s fluid levels, and activating vitamin D to sustain healthy bones. Each kidney is made up of nephrons which include a glomerulus that filters the blood and a tubule that removes waste from the body. 

Maintaining the kidney’s health and its functioning is important for the general well-being, and overall health of the body. Taking care of health conditions that can cause kidney damage and following the preventive measures to stay fit, and healthy is crucial.  There are several ways How To Keep Kidneys Healthy? 11 of them are given as follows: 

  • Eat A Balanced Diet: A balanced diet and a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, can help in reducing the intake of kidney-damaging. Maintaining an active and health-conscious lifestyle is vital for keeping kidneys healthy. 
  • Exercise Regularly: just like an appropriate diet, Exercising on a daily basis keeps a person fit and healthy. It helps in maintaining blood pressure control blood sugar levels. 
  • Ways to Keep Your Kidney HealthyDrink Enough Water: Water helps in getting vital nutrients, and clears the toxins and sodium from the kidneys. The waste moves to the bladder in the form of urine and is excreted out of the body. Aim for at least 1.2 to 2 liters of water intake daily. 
  • Limit Antibiotics Intake: Intake of excess amounts of OTC (over-the-counter) pain medication, or drugs like penicillin, cephalosporins, and sulfonamides can damage the kidney. Take medicines as directed and avoid taking painkillers such as ibuprofen, and naproxen. 
  • Monitor Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure: People with pre-existing illnesses like diabetes or hypertension are more susceptible to kidney damage. It is necessary to do regular monitoring of BP and blood sugar levels to reduce risk and follow preventive measures. 
  • Get Screened: Specific kidney tests are a necessary part of regular checkups to reduce the risk for kidney disease. 
  • Say “No” To Alcohol: Deciding to stop drinking alcohol is a positive choice as alcohol can cause serious kidney damage and possibly lead to long-term health issues. 
  • Stop Smoking: Smoking puts kidneys at a high risk and damages blood vessels in the body, slows down the blood flow throughout the body, and kidneys. 
  • Maintain Body Weight: Overweight people have a high risk of bad health conditions that can damage kidneys. 
  • Avoid herbal supplements: Before consuming any herbal supplement, consult with a doctor as it can be harmful to pre-existing kidney disease. 
  • Get Enough Sleep: The kidney function is maintained and regulated by the sleep-wake cycle and helps in coordinating 24 hours workload. People who sleep less have a rapid decline in kidney function. It is necessary to get proper sleep because nocturnal patterns can affect chronic kidney disease. 

Types Of Kidney Disease 

Kidney disease can occur due to improper care or pre-existing medical illness. It can be a short-term (acute) or a life-long disease (chronic). There are various types of kidney diseases and some of them are given below: 

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD): It is the most common type of kidney disease that occurs due to a condition that impairs kidney function and it gets worsens for months or years. One of the major reasons for CKD is diabetes and hypertension. People need to follow medication including diuretics in case of a failing kidney, dialysis is necessary to filter fluid and waste out of the blood.  
  2. Glomerulonephritis: It is an inflammation of the glomeruli that can be caused due to drugs, infections, and autoimmune diseases. The damaged glomeruli lose their ability to remove waste and fluid from the blood. 
  3. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD):  It is a genetic disorder that causes cysts, round sacs of fluid to form on the kidneys, and other distinct organs cysts lower the kidney’s ability to filter waste and excessive fluid from the body. PKD cannot be cured but treatment can slow down the damage. 
  4. Cystinosis: It is a rare disorder that most commonly occurs in young babies. Cystinosis permits cystine to build up inside the body and cause kidney failure and other major health issues.
  5. Kidney Stones: Few substances in the blood may form stones, or solid particles that are usually present in the urinary tract and pass out of the body during urine ejection.
  6. Urinary Tract Infections: These are bacterial infections present anywhere in the urinary system like the urethra or urinary bladder.  If these infections remain untreated, they can spread to the kidneys and lead a person to kidney disease or failure.

What Is A Kidney Transplant? 

A kidney transplant is a surgery performed to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy one received from a donor. It is typically done to treat kidney failure. The new kidney is placed on the lower side of the abdomen and it performs regular functions inside the body. 

Who Needs A Kidney Transplant?

Patients with severe conditions, dealing with end-stage renal failure, chronic kidney disease, and completely non-functional kidney require either dialysis or a kidney transplant to sustain a prolonged and better quality of life. 

What Are the Requirements For Kidney Transplant? 

For Kidney Transplant In India, Every hospital has its own criteria for accepting people as kidney transplant recipients. The patient must have either of the issues like end-stage renal failure, or late-stage chronic kidney disease and must be on dialysis. Patients must have a life expectancy of at least 4-5 years. There is no age limit but most likely kidney transplant recipients are between 40-65 years of age. 

Helpful – Best Kidney Transplant Hospital in India

What Happens During A Kidney Transplant? 

The Placement of a healthy kidney into the body with the removal of a diseased one, to perform the functions that a failing kidney cannot. The newly placed kidney is then connected to the blood vessel and urinary bladder. The veins and arteries of the new kidney get connected. It takes roughly four hours to implant a donor’s kidney. 

What Happens After A Kidney Transplant? 

After surgery, a patient is taken to the recovery room to stabilize and monitor blood pressure, breathing, and pulse rate but in a day or two, gets shifted to a regular nursing unit and he/she will be able to get out of bed. A kidney from a living donor may start forming urine but It is possible that you will have to undergo dialysis until the urine output is normal. Once the vital signs are normal, one can go home from the hospital, and the transplant team will guide the caretakers to look after the patient’s health, follow the precautionary measures, and do post-operative care after the kidney transplant.

References: 

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