Can you imagine your house not being cleaned for a day? Imagine no sweeping or mopping, and no sweeper collecting the garbage. The house would start smelling, it will get intense, and eventually there will be decay. Just like our house, the body needs to be cleaned. This essential and unparalleled job is done by a 10 inch organ – the kidneys. The kidneys help in:
- Removing waste and extra fluid from the body (Urine).
- Maintaining a healthy balance of salts, water and minerals like sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium in the blood. It removes acid too!
- They also make hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep bones strong and healthy.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidney is the powerhouse of the body, supplying reserve energy to any organ running low on Qi. Its partner organ is the bladder.
The Kidney’s Job Profile
Each of the kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron includes a filter called the glomerulus and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process:
The glomerulus filters the blood and the tubule returns needed substances to the blood and removes wastes.
A blood vessel runs alongside the tubule. As the filtered fluid moves along the tubule, the blood vessel reabsorbs almost all of the water along with minerals and nutrients your body needs. The tubule helps remove excess acid from the blood. The remaining fluid and wastes in the tubule become urine.
The blood circulates through the kidneys many times a day. In a single day, kidneys filter about 150 quarts of blood. Most of the water and other substances that filter through the glomeruli are returned to the blood by the tubules. Only 1 to 2 quarts become urine.
Each kidney performs the process of reabsorption with great precision. Out of 180 liters of fluid that enters the tubules, 99% of fluid is selectively reabsorbed and only the remaining 1% of fluid is excreted in the form of urine.
By this intelligent and precise process, all essential substances and 178 liters of fluid are reabsorbed in the tubules, whereas 1-2 liters of fluids, waste products, and other harmful substances are excreted.
Urine formed by the kidneys flow to the ureters, and passes through the urinary bladder and is finally excreted out through the urethra.
Did you know that every minute, 1200 ml of blood enters the kidneys for purification, which is 20% of the total blood pumped by the heart? So in one day, 1700 liters of blood is purified!
Here is How You Can Take Care of Your Kidneys
- Drink up! Kidneys balance the electrolytes and fluid levels and hence its essential to drink liquids which are non-alcoholic and not caffeinated. Juices, coconut water, water, smoothies, etc. are your friends
- Check the colour of your urine. It should be the colour of a straw. Any darker means you need to drink up.
- Too much oily and fatty food is a big no! It puts pressure on the kidneys. Greens are your friends!
- Ensure you have a normal blood pressure. It can silently impact your kidneys.
- Alcohol and smoking is a BIG no. There are no two ways about it! Just stop it
- Got diabetes? If you do, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels in check. If they’re not under control, that can cause problems for your kidneys over time. Along with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes is one of the biggest concerns for kidney health.
- Use your meds correctly. Take them as your doctor recommends, or follow the instructions on the package. Be wary of medicines that can cause kidney damage when you take them for a long time, including over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and prescriptions such as lithium and HIV medications. (Street drugs like cocaine can cause kidney disease too).
- Check your weight & exercise regularly.
- Be positive, not just for your kidneys but for your overall health. People who tend to hold negative thoughts especially envious feelings with hatred tend to get kidney disorder as compared to a positive person, as every emotion is linked with an organ.
Yoga and Pranayama are your friends for life!
Nothing beats regular exercise especially yoga and pranayama. These not only help the kidney, but the complete body. Yoga asanas assist in managing water retention in the body which enables sound sleep schedules and hence better rest. It is also one of the best ways to maintain balance in the body. Few asanas facilitate internal cleansing and flush out the toxins. Pranayam is known to relieve stress.
To ensure that the kidneys perform their JD up to the mark, make sure you make your body do the following:
- Setu Bandhasana stimulates the abdominal organs, helps bring high blood pressure under control and relieves the body of stress.
- Bhujangasana stretches and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also raises the immunity level of the body.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana stimulates the kidneys and liver; improves the body’s immunity level.
- Paschimottanasana stimulates the kidney, improves digestion, and relieves menstrual discomfort.
- Naukasana improves digestion and alleviates stress. It strengthens and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Be happy and hope you have happy Kidneys too!