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The kidneys perform many essential duties that keep humans healthy. They filter blood to remove waste, produce urine, and control blood pressure. Kidneys also regulate a number of vitamins and hormones that promote bone, tissue, and organ health. It is crucial to keep the kidneys in proper working order to ward off kidney disease and prevent numerous related health problems. There are many different ways to improve and preserve renal function, such as exercising regularly, following dietary guidelines set by a physician, and limiting the use of over-the-counter and prescription painkillers.
Making simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve renal function and overall health. By exercising regularly, giving up smoking, and maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern, the kidneys are able to better regulate hormones and vitamins in the blood. Individuals who exercise drink plenty of water, and avoid smoking are less likely to experience high blood pressure, a major cause of chronic kidney disease and renal failure. Getting enough sleep helps to reduce stress levels and stabilize the immune and digestive system.
One of the best ways to improve renal function is to maintain a healthy diet, as suggested by a physician or licensed nutritionist. Individuals' bodies have different dietary needs, so a trip to the doctor is important to determine which foods to eat and which to avoid. In most cases, doctors suggest that people at risk of kidney problems maintain a diet that is low in sugar, salt and potassium. Ingesting too much salt and potassium puts strain on the kidneys, affecting their ability to filter out waste materials. Many doctors encourage people to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, while avoiding sugary snacks that can lead to diabetes and eventual kidney disease.
A popular home remedy to improve renal function is drinking a glass or two of cranberry juice each day, while avoiding excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol. Cranberry juice helps to cleanse the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract by flushing out harmful bacteria. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as sodas dehydrate the body and increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Finally, people can improve renal function by lowering their intake of painkillers, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. Most doctors agree that using painkillers in moderation does not adversely affect renal function in healthy individuals, though large doses or daily use can cause irreversible damage. Overuse of painkillers can lead to significant health problems, as they restrict enzymes that allow blood to flow properly through the kidneys.