How to Flush Your Kidneys
Kidneys filter and remove waste from the body, as well as balancing the levels of salt and other key nutrients.Genetic predisposition and use of toxic substances can reduce your kidney function. Kidney health is very important to your overall health. Flushing your kidneys means that you are essentially rinsing them. If you want to flush your kidneys, there are several steps you can take to make sure that you do so in a way that is healthy and beneficial to your body.
Eating and Drinking for Your Kidneys
Stay hydrated.Long-term dehydration can prevent your kidneys from functioning properly. Drink whenever you feel thirsty, and drink enough to keep your urine colorless or pale yellow.It's a myth that additional water beyond this baseline will help flush your kidneys, but it will help prevent kidney stones in at-risk groups.
Balance your diet.The foods you eat are very important to your kidney health. When you are trying to flush your kidneys, pay particular attention to your diet. You should always aim to eat healthfully, but it is especially important when you are cleansing a major organ like your kidneys.A healthy, balanced diet will help prevent high blood pressure and diabetes, the two major causes of kidney damage.
- Watermelon is a great food to add to your diet. It contains a lot of water, and acts as a diuretic, which will help flush the toxins from your kidneys.
- Eat more berries. Cranberries and raspberries in particular can help rid your kidneys of unwanted substances.
- Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of powerful antioxidants that can help improve kidney function. Consider adding them to your diet as a healthy snack.
Reduce your sodium intake.Diets that are high in sodium lead to a greater risk of high blood pressure. This can result in extra strain on the kidneys. Reducing the sodium in your diet is an excellent way to promote overall health, especially for your kidneys.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh varieties contain lower amounts of sodium than the canned options.
- Read labels. Start scanning ingredient lists to make sure the foods you purchase do not have high sodium content. Canned soups are an obvious one to avoid. Compare products to make sure you buy the one with the lowest amounts of sodium. Look for products that are advertised as low-sodium.
Drink natural juice.Because your kidneys are your body's filtration system, they can collect some build up. Drinking natural juice with no added sugars is a good way to stay hydrated while delivering nutrients to your body.
- Cranberry juice is one of the most effective choices for kidney cleansing, because it helps reduce the amount of calcium oxalate, which can cause kidney stones. Look for juices that are all natural and do not have any added sugar.
- Beet juice is also a great juice. It contains betaine, which can help remove buildup of many substances.
- The natural acidity in lemon juice helps flush your kidneys.Add water to cut the sharp taste.
Take herbal supplements with caution.Many herbs are traditionally used to treat kidney problems, but overusing them or taking them in combination with other herbs or medication can end up causing more harm than good. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any dietary supplement.
- Milk thistle and grapefruit seed extract are all examples of naturopathic kidney treatments. Herbal products are usually best taken as a tea, made by steeping the herb in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Dietary supplements are especially risky if you have a kidney disease, or if you are taking other medication.Even beneficial supplements such as vitamin C or cranberry tablets can backfire if taken in large amounts.
- To avoid contaminated products, look for supplements with a seal of approval from an independent organization, such as Consumer Lab, NSF International, or U.S. Pharmacopeia.
Try a cleanse.A kidney cleanse is a good way to "reset" your body and begin new, healthy habits. Consistent healthy changes are safer and more effective than extreme changes, so don't feel the need to design a strenuous cleansing challenge. A few days — or even just one day — of cleansing can have good results.
- When you are doing a cleanse, you will only eat specific foods and liquids. These includes fruits, such as cranberries, and herbs, such as marshmallow root. Look for recipes that will allow you to integrate these foods into your meals.
- Cleansing means that you also need to avoid certain foods that stress your kidneys, notably alcohol and caffeine. If you are at risk for kidney stones, also avoid chocolate, nuts, tea, wheat bran, beet greens, strawberries, rhubarb, and spinach.
Supporting Your Kidneys
Exercise regularly.Physical exercise can help you avoid weight gain and high blood pressure, both of which put unnecessary pressure on your kidneys. Keeping your body healthy can help your kidneys function properly. Aim to get at least 20 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Look for an activity that you enjoy. For example, if you like to walk, recruit a friend and schedule a standing date to explore your neighborhood. If you like to swim, look for a community pool in your area.
- If you're new to exercise, consult your doctor before beginning any program.
Quit smoking.If you smoke, quitting can help improve not only your overall health, but it will greatly benefit your kidneys. Smoking impedes blood flow to vital organs, including your kidneys. This means that they cannot effectively flush toxins from your body.
- Quitting smoking is hard, but there are many resources you can use. Ask your doctor about medication or nicotine cessation products such as gum or patches.
Take medicines as directed.While there are many benefits to medications, there can also be side effects. Some prescription medications have been known to cause damage to the kidneys. Make sure to discuss this possibility whenever your doctor issues you a prescription.
- Over-the-counter pain killers — especially the NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, Aleve, and Motrin — can also cause damage to the kidneys if taken on a regular basis. They are fine for occasional use, but talk to your doctor about alternatives if you need to treat chronic pain and have concerns about your kidney health.Acetaminophen is a kidney-safe NSAID.
Understanding Kidney Health
Learn why your kidneys are important.You'll be better able to take care of your kidneys if you understand how essential they are for your health. Your kidneys remove waste from your body — think of it as your filtration system. Without your kidneys, your levels of sodium and potassium could reach harmful levels.
- Try to create habits that lead to good overall health. For example, try limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake. You'll see multiple health benefits, and your kidneys will thank you.
Know the risks of poor kidney health.Chronic kidney disease is the most common kidney ailment. If the condition persists, it can cause your kidneys to fail, meaning waste is not being properly filtered. Symptoms of kidney disease include fatigue, nausea, increased or decreased urination, fluid buildup (which may cause shortness of breath), and an increase in potassium levels.
- Chronic kidney disease is typically caused by high blood pressure or diabetes. If you suffer from either condition, have a doctor test your kidney function at least once a year.
- Kidney stones are another common ailment. These are solid particles, frequently formed by minerals, and can be very painful. Symptoms include pain (sometimes extremely severe and stabbing) in the back, flank, and abdomen, as well as and difficulty and pain during urination.
Talk to your doctor.If you suspect you have a kidney ailment, you should seek medical attention. Be sure to describe your symptoms as specifically as possible to your doctor. You can also ask for information about preventing kidney ailments.
QuestionWhat vitamins are good for someone to help flush kidneys?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFocus on drinking water, and stay off vitamins for a few days to give your kidneys a break.Thanks!
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- Talk to your doctor before you start an over-the-counter kidney cleanse, especially if you are at high risk for chronic kidney disease. Your doctor can suggest a reputable and regulated brand.
- Uncontrolled diabetes can also cause harm to the kidneys, and in some cases cause kidney failure; therefore, it is important to treat your diabetes adequately with the help of your doctor.
Sources and Citations
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