The Basics of Kidney Health

When discussing kidney health there is one very important intervention that needs to be mentioned above all others and that is HYDRATION! The majority of my patients report that they do not drink enough water throughout the day. Many of us are so consumed in our daily tasks we forget about drinking enough water, not to mention dehydrating ourselves further by drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Staying hydrated is the best way to prevent the formation of kidney stones. And the best way to ensure you are getting enough hydration throughout the day is to keep your favourite water bottle with you all day long. This way you can refill it throughout the day and measure how much water you are drinking. Just having a water bottle in your sight can help remind you to drink.

Other ways to protect the kidneys include decreasing exposure to environmental and chemical toxins, and heavy metals, which can be hard on your kidneys. I like to use the bucket analogy where the bucket represents our body and the water in the bucket represents toxin exposure. Our bodies are amazing and are able to clear many toxins each day but sometimes the bucket fills up so much that it overflows. The overflow is the point where we end up with symptoms and disease. Although it is impossible and unnecessary to completely eliminate toxin exposure, it is important to be mindful and decrease exposure where possible so that we do not cause overflow.

Finally, another favourite topic of mine – NUTRITION! Nutrients in food give us the building blocks we need for proper function and longevity of all our organs, including our kidneys. The best thing you can do is eat the rainbow to ensure you are getting the diverse range of nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.

If you have any concerns about your kidneys there are lab tests that can be done to assess kidney function. Such tests can be discussed with your healthcare provider. If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your health keep your eyes peeled for my online course coming out in a few months.

-Dr. Janea Wright ND