The kidneys play a crucial role in keeping our bodies healthy by filtering waste products from our blood and regulating our blood pressure.
However, they can be affected by various factors, such as autoimmune diseases or chronic kidney disease, which can lead to a reduction in nephron activity and a decline in kidney function.
To keep your kidneys healthy and prevent potential problems, it’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and adopt certain recommendations.
In this article, we’ll explore ten natural ways to improve your kidney function and keep them healthy.
We’ll also answer some common questions, such as how to know if your kidney function is affected, what are the signs and symptoms to look out for, and whether your kidneys can heal over time.
By following these natural tips and leading a healthy lifestyle, you can improve your kidney function and ensure that your kidneys stay healthy for a long time.
Understanding low kidney function
The kidneys are vital organs that filter blood from waste products and help maintain healthy blood pressure.
Found on either side of your spine and each about the size of a fist, you are unlikely to think much about them until you experience low kidney function.
This commonly occurs when there is a reduction of nephron activity in the kidneys, which can be caused by various factors, including autoimmune diseases like glomerulonephritis.
Regardless of the cause, damaged nephrons stop filtering blood and may lead to protein in the urine, which can be an early sign of kidney problems.
Chronic kidney disease may cause a gradual drop in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is an estimated measure of how much blood is processed by the kidneys.
When glomerular filtration rates decline to a level lower than 15 and the kidneys lose more than 90% of their functionality, dialysis is required.
At this point, the kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood circulatory system effectively.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of low kidney function is crucial in preventing further complications.
Symptoms may include muscle weakness, weight loss, leg cramps, easy bruising, edema and swelling, cold intolerance, and nausea with or without fatigue.
None of these symptoms are unique to kidney problems, which is why you might want to check your kidney’s health using either a blood or urine test.
Get Your FREE Diabetes Diet Plan
- 15 foods to naturally lower blood sugar levels
- 3 day sample meal plan
- Designed exclusively by our nutritionist
What is a kidney health check?
There are multiple ways to work out the health of your kidneys.
Your physician might carry out a creatinine test which will ascertain how effectively your kidney is filtering waste products.
Another test is the GFR, which drops when kidney function decreases.
A urinalysis can also indicate kidney disease through a positive result for protein, as you lose albumin in the urine.
Can kidneys heal?
On the whole, yes, kidneys can heal. Only in severe cases, such as when the glomerular filtration rate is very low or there is a high amount of protein in the urine, restoring kidney function may not be possible, and a kidney transplant may be necessary.
However, for those with less severe kidney damage, there are steps that can be taken to improve kidney function and prevent further damage.
Working with a healthcare team is key, as they can provide guidance on lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, increasing water intake, reducing protein and salt intake, and managing other health conditions that may impact kidney function.
Kidneys do not regenerate like the skin and other tissues, but studies have shown that they do have some regenerative potential.
In cases of acute kidney failure, healing is possible, and lifestyle modifications can help boost this potential in other cases of kidney injury.
However, it is important to note that severe kidney damage may limit the regenerative potential of the kidneys.
One study points out that the kidneys repair themselves. The process is prolonged, and they might be unable to regenerate a severely damaged organ. But you can boost the regenerative potential with a few lifestyle modifications (2).
If you are concerned about your kidney health or have experienced any signs of low kidney function, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider and undergo blood tests and urinalysis to assess kidney function.
With proper care and attention, it may be possible to improve kidney function and prevent further damage.
10 natural ways to improve your kidney function
If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease or are just trying to ensure you keep them in great shape, you may be wondering how to improve your kidney function naturally.
There are steps you can take to repair and maintain your kidneys. Here are ten natural ways to help you care for your kidneys and keep them healthy.
1) Drink enough water
Staying hydrated is crucial for kidney health. Drinking enough water helps prevent further damage and provides your kidneys with a constant flow of liquid to avoid overworking. It also lowers your chances of kidney stones.
It’s a good idea to aim for about two liters of water per day to ensure the kidneys stay healthy.
2) Keep your blood sugar levels in check
Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease. Controlling your blood sugar levels by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help prevent further damage.
3) Monitor your blood pressure
High blood pressure damages the kidneys over time. It’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly, even if you don’t have symptoms.
4) Engage in regular exercise
Physical activity helps improve blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and prevents kidney damage.
5) Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is associated with high blood pressure and diabetes, leading causes of kidney damage. Maintaining a healthy weight helps spare your body from metabolic consequences.
6) Stop smoking
Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer by around 50%. It also restricts blood flow and increases cardiovascular risk.
It’s also possible for smoking to reduce the effectiveness of medications that are used in the treatment of hypertension.
As mentioned previously, high blood pressure is a known risk factor for kidney problems.
7) Use over-the-counter medications sparingly
Even over-the-counter meds such as ibuprofen can further damage your kidneys. Consult with your healthcare provider and avoid unnecessary medications.
8) Get enough sleep
Your kidneys, like the rest of your body, need rest to repair and regenerate. Getting enough sleep helps improve kidney function and overall health.
9) Consult your doctor regularly
Kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are not always apparent at first. Regular check-ups with your doctor can help detect and prevent further damage.
10) Adopt a kidney diet recipe as instructed by your doctor
Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend reducing the intake of protein foods. Following a kidney diet recipe can help reduce acidosis and make it easier for your kidneys to work.
These ten natural ways to improve your kidney function can help you care for your kidneys and maintain their health.
While some kidney injuries might be irreversible, adopting these lifestyle changes may help prevent further damage and improve kidney function in some cases.
Consult with your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.
How can I increase my GFR naturally?
According to a study about chronic kidney disease, kidney function improvement is possible regardless of the stage of the disease.
Of course, kidney healing depends on many factors, and it may work better in some people than others. What’s good for your kidneys may not reduce GFR readings in other people.
However, three main recommendations may operate based on the evidence (3):
- Living a healthy lifestyle, especially by adopting a nutritious diet, limiting alcohol intake, exercising, and managing stress.
- Preventing vitamin D deficiency, especially if you live in northern latitude countries, during winter, if you do not receive much sunlight, and if you are dark-skinned or a senior.
- Solving metabolic conditions that may complicate things, especially type 2 diabetes.
What foods can repair kidneys?
Healthy food sources are natural kidney healers and are always available at a low cost compared to medications and medical procedures.
Now that you know what lifestyle is good for kidney health, let’s dive deeper into recommended foods to improve kidney function naturally (4):
This group of fruits includes blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. They fight damage by free radicals in your kidneys through a potent antioxidant activity.
This food is very high in vitamins and antioxidants. It also provides plenty of fiber that modulates blood glucose levels. You can say it is a very complete source of health in case of kidney damage.
This is a highly anti-inflammatory oil with extra antioxidants if you buy extra virgin olive oil.
When autoimmune problems and inflammation contribute to kidney problems, it is an excellent food to include in your diet.
Instead of using salt in your diet, you can replace it with garlic powder. It is much more beneficial and gives you plenty of vitamin B6 and C.
They have low potassium levels and very high vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidant contents.
A variety of fruits
There are plenty of fruits to choose from, but the most important are probably cranberries, red grapes, apples, and pineapples.
- Apples help with constipation and cholesterol rises.
- Red grapes have a potent antioxidant known as resveratrol.
- Cranberries are excellent for preventing urinary tract infections.
- Pineapples have low potassium and salt content while providing plenty of vitamin B.
Protecting your kidneys can be as easy as adopting a few lifestyle measures. However, the results of your attempts may depend on the severity of your kidney problem.
Studies show that improving kidney health is possible. The main focus should be on preventing more damage by treating underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Then, you can help your organism further by adopting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.