Last week, on the 10th of March, we celebrated World Kidney Day to create awareness about kidney diseases and kidney health. We all know that the kidney has lots of functions and one of the main ones is filtration. The kidney filters out toxins from our system and so, if kidney function goes for a toss our body will not get cleansed properly which will lead to the accumulation of more toxins and that can lead to many issues.
Kidneys can also filter extra salt, extra minerals and excess calcium which we may ingest from our diet and supplements. If the kidney fails to filter them out then we have build up of calcium or other minerals that can form oxalates in our kidney. This collection of minerals, salts, calcium and even uric acid can form hard stones called kidney stones which in most cases do not cause any problem. They can be as small as dots and if we keep hydrating ourselves well, get flushed out easily. If we don’t take care of our hydration and our lifestyle, however, these stones can grow really big causing build up of uric acid or more calcium oxalate or minerals in our system. These stones can travel from the kidney to the bladder in the tube ureter that connects our kidney to the bladder. During its passage in the ureters these stones can cause a lot of problems like pain, fever with chills, discomfort, UTIs, pain in the back etc.
How does one stay clear of this?
Evaluate yourself and check if you have pain in back, pain in belly area, pain at the side of the abdomen and then get yourself checked for kidney stones. Other symptoms can be painful urination or a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy and foul smelling urine, frequent UTIs etc. If you ever notice blood in the urine then you have to meet your doctor immediately to avoid any possible further complications.
Those are the symptoms, but here’s how you can avoid the situation altogether:
■ It’s important to get yourself tested if you have the above symptoms, seek medical advice and see how big the stone is because stones may cause infection and irreversible damage to the kidney. Follow what your doctor says to improve your kidney health in general too.
■ Kidney beans or rajma: Soak it for 18-24 hours, pressure cook it and then make a normal Indian curry with hing and few spices. Kidney beans have the ability to break down kidney stones because it is rich in fibre and also helps in flushing out the kidneys well.
■ Apple cider vinegar or ACV breaks down into acetic acid in the body which can break down stones formed by calcium oxalates, minerals, calcium base and it also keeps your body alkaline which enhances the healing. Mix 1 tbsp of ACV in a glass of water and have it 30 minutes before lunch and dinner.
One tbsp dried basil leaves can be boiled in a cup of water for four to five minutes and drunk thrice a day. Basil breaks down into acetic acid which in turn helps to break down a stone and relieves pain or discomfort. It is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature which helps in improving kidney health.
■ People who have low water intake or are dehydrated have a tendency to allow more stones and minerals to be formed in the kidneys and flushing of kidneys is not done properly. Hydrating yourself is the best way to dilute the stone forming minerals and then eliminating it.
■ Celery juice helps in lowering the toxins from kidneys that contribute to stone formation, plus it is a great kidney detoxifier because it works as a diuretic. Blending 1-2 celery stalks with water and drinking a glass of juice everyday is helpful in flushing out toxins.
Take care of your kidneys and seek medical help whenever needed, be mindful when you start using the above remedies and don’t exchange it with any of your medicines, if you are on any.