For the human body, the importance of the kidneys can never be underestimated. From serving as the main purifiers of our bloodstream to maintaining optimum water and nutrient levels, kidneys and their proper functioning is essential for our body’s health. And that’s not it, as they also take care of our blood pressure levels and produce an active form of Vitamin D that keeps our bones healthy.
Now, given the absolute importance of our kidneys, the fact is that most of us will never be able to give them the attention they deserve. The daily routines of most, which would include diet, physical exertion, recreational activities and general lifestyle, are not as health-oriented as those of the rapidly growing segment of health buffs.
A study published in April 2013 in The American Journal of Kidney Disease focused on the effect of everyday lifestyle factors on the proper functioning of kidneys. It involved 15 years of research on a total of 2,300 young adults and, basically, proved that people who are obese, smoke and have diets high in red or processed meats, sugary drinks and salt, but low in fruits, nuts, low-fat dairy and whole grains, are most likely to develop chronic kidney disease at some point in their lives.
The details of the data present the evidence in an even more hard-hitting manner. For instance, only one percent of the participants who had none of the lifestyle problems developed kidney problems. The lesser the bad habits, the lower the chances are as 13 percent of those who had three unhealthy lifestyle factors were affected. Plus, it was no surprise to learn that obesity alone increased chances of kidney problems by a hundred percent.
So, now that we know that our kidneys can become damaged due to diet, life choices and disease, what remains is to learn what the effects of damaged kidneys are on the human body. Basically, if your kidney functions are hindered, your chances of developing acute kidney failure, a largely uncommon but potentially fatal condition, or chronic kidney disease (CKD) increase tenfold.
The latter, though a slow developing condition, can eventually lead to a build up of fluids and toxins in the body that can progress to dangerous, fatal levels. Moreover, CKD also increases blood pressure levels and increase chances of strokes and heart attacks. Thus, in essence, CKD can ruin your quality of life, although, with the correct treatment and efforts on your part, its progress can be delayed and kept in check.
So, without further ado, we must delve into the measures and remedies that nature has bestowed upon us to maintain proper functioning of our kidneys:
- We start off with the most simple and obvious remedies, which is water. A basic need and necessity of life that is essential for basic sustenance, water is the best way to cleanse one’s kidneys.
- Vegetables, nature’s dreaded produce that every child has been force fed at one point or another, have also been proven to be greatly beneficial for protection of kidney functions. They not only contribute to the general well-being of the human body, but also specifically contribute towards improved kidney functioning.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most potent natural sources to fight kidney disease. It helps lower blood pressure levels through the vitamins part of its composition, including Vitamins C, A, E, B1, B2 and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium and copper. It has also been proven helpful in breaking up kidney stones while, due to its alkalinity, also improving your body’s pH levels.
- Similarly, for kidney and urinary infections and the prevention of stone formation, cornsilk is another natural remedy that has been used throughout the ages. The tassels of the corn cob, which are normally discarded, have been proven to be effective in the treatment of kidney related problems.
- Kidney stones, another condition that can afflict your kidney and lead to grave complications, have been known to be countered by an intake of watermelons. This traditional remedy is said to be extremely effective in breaking down the stones.
- According to British researchers, baking soda or the common sodium bicarbonate is also an effective treatment for kidney diseases. Studies have proved that its natural properties help slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease to a great degree.
- Bearberry leaf tea is another method used for kidney cleansing and may help prevent all kinds of kidney related disorders. It is known to improve immune functions and proven to be effective in reducing kidney stones and other problems such as gallbladder complications and an enlarged spleen.
- The dandelion, a herb that is deeply imbued in the history of Native Americans, is also known to be helpful in countering the effects of kidney disease. The roots and leaves of the dandelion are boiled and used to improve kidney functions.
The use of fish and flax seed oil, as well as taurine and garlic, are also recognized remedies for kidney diseases. They help bolster the immune system and decrease the kidney’s susceptibility towards infections.