The kidneys are located in the small of the back and they are shaped like beans. Although there are two of them, you can still get by if you only have one. Some of their main functions are to store electrolytes, minerals and salts, and to eliminate wastes from the blood in the form of urine. When the kidneys become dysfunctional, the body can experience lethargy, a loss of appetite, drowsiness and muscle cramps. The way to increase kidney function is by making some adjustments in your diet and lifestyle.
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Keep your weight under control. If you are overweight or obese, you run the risk of developing diabetes which is a risk factor for kidney disease. Avoid high calorie, high fat foods and processed carbs. Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seeds and nuts instead.
Get some exercise. Exercise can help improve circulation and mobility, and it can work in conjunction with your diet to keep your weight under control. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least three days a week. Some examples are swimming, biking, running, weight training and walking. Moderate levels of exercise should give you a feeling of being slightly winded.
Control your blood pressure. Having high blood pressure, known as hypertension, can also contribute to kidney disease. To avoid this from happening, keep your intake of salt to low levels.
Leave the toxins out of your body. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the consistent use of over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications and illegal street drugs can cause damage to your kidneys. Avoid all of these along with foods that have chemicals and pesticides.
Watch your protein intake. If the kidneys are working properly, wastes get removed and protein stays in the blood. But when the kidneys are weak, the protein may not get separated from the wastes. If you have low kidney function, do not eat high amounts, as would be the case with a high-protein diet. Stick to the RDA protein guidelines of 10 to 35 percent of your total daily caloric intake.