“Written By / Weng Shu Chen”
Our kidneys are essential for various metabolic reactions.
“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”, this saying highlights the importance of maintain our renal health, as damages done to our kidneys often leads to irreversible health impacts.
Hence, it is a lifelong lesson to take good care of our renal function.
Kidneys are also known as our “blood purifier”. Let’s first have some insights of what our kidneys are capable of:
- Remove and excrete waste products from our body, such as uric acid, toxic by-products from drugs, etc.
- Regulate water and tissue fluid balance
- Maintain electrolyte balance
- Produce and secrete hormones, such as:
a. Renin – controls blood pressure b
b. Erythropoietin – produces red blood cells
c. Activated vitamin D – maintains bone mineral density and bone health
To kick start with taking care of our renal health, we must first prevent overworking our kidneys:
- Stop smoking – smoking inhales free radicals into our body and causes high blood pressure at the same time. These damage nephrons, the functional unit of kidneys.
- Do not stay up late – staying up late affects body metabolism and detoxification, which could overburden our kidney.
- Do not hold your urine – holding your urine promotes the growth of bad microorganisms in your urinary tract, which leads to inflammation or infection. If urine backflow occurs, it may cause pyelitis (inflammation of renal pelvis), which damages your kidney.
- Do not follow traditional remedies – certain metabolites from drugs require kidneys for excretion. Thus, reduce medicine intake unless necessary, especially drugs with unknown origin.
- Get rid of your beer belly – obesity causes toxins to accumulate in our body and slows down metabolism, which in turn burdening our kidneys.
- Increase intake of fiber, water, fruits and vegetables – High fiber foods attract salt in diet, as well as promoting bowel movement and metabolism. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals are good antioxidants and aids metabolism. Sufficient water intake helps excretion of metabolites and relieving renal burden.
- Less salt, fat and sugar – Excessive intake of salt, fat and sugar burdens our metabolism and affects renal health
- Sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acid – omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties; hence it could relief proteinuria caused by nephritis. It could also improve glucose intolerance, blood lipid levels and high blood pressure.