Kidney health: Is it causing your fatigue, hair loss, and edema?

I have noticed that a large portion of my patients are showing signs of kidney inflammation in the past few months.  So I would like to spend some time talking about how to keep your kidneys working optimally.

You have 2 kidneys located just under your last couple of ribs.  They are responsible for filtering the blood and letting water soluble waste products out of your body.  They also keep the mineral and fluid balance in your body constant so that your muscles and heart work properly without swelling from water retention.

When the kidneys aren’t functioning optimally, your body’s waste products get backed up into your system.  This causes fatigue, difficulty concentrating, joint pain, muscle weakness, hair loss, skin rashes, kidney stones, swelling (edema) and kidney failure.  However, there are some things you can do to support your kidneys and keep them filtering through those toxins.

1. Drink water – you should be urinating every 2 hours while you are awake, and 0-2 times during the night.  If you are not urinating this much then you need to increase your water intake.  For most people this will be 1/3 your body weight in ounces.  For example a 150lb person should be drinking about 50 oz of water per day.  This amount should increase by 8 oz for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage you drink, and every 30 minutes of exercise or heat exposure that causes sweating.

2. Get minerals in your diet-  Minerals come from vegetables.  You should be eating at least 3 cups of vegetables per day.  This can be in soup, salad, as a side dish, or in a smoothie.  Another great source of minerals is bone broth which is tasty and warming on these cold rainy days.

3. Dandelion- Drink Dandelion tea or add dandelion greens to your salad.  The leaves of this very common plant are protective for your kidneys and can help them to stay strong.

Following these tips will help your kidneys stay healthy through the winter.  If you have concerns about your kidney health, please schedule a visit to get you back into optimal health!

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