I get my inspiration for blog writing in several strange ways.
For example, if I’m waiting in an airport, you can bet I’ll see something to write about. There’s WAAYY too many people around with time on their hands and I’ll surely pick up on something unhealthy!
Same goes for the grocery store. I observe people’s behaviors and of course watch what they put in their cart.
I don’t mean to sound weird, but I need to watch people to know all the ways that they may be sabotaging their health!
But I got a different inspiration recently.
I learned that a friend from college had been diagnosed with kidney failure…and I was reminded that kidney problems are not something people talk about very often, even though they’re the number 9 cause of death in the US.
Truly, the functioning of your kidneys can either kill you or save you.
So, I’d like to talk about them today and help you choose life.
Here’s what I mean.
Amazing feats of filtering
Located in the lower part of your back on either side of your spine, your kidneys (each about the size of your fist) are working 24/7.
Every hour they filter 18 gallons of your blood--in a year that's enough to fill over 6 built-in swimming pools!
They gather wastes and toxins from your blood and produce urine to dump them into, to the tune of as much as 7 gallons a day.
As a result of their hard work, your blood is free of dangerous substances that could make you very sick or potentially kill you.
They're smart too--because your blood also contains good things like vitamins, glucose and minerals. Your kidneys can tell the difference and instead of filtering out the good stuff, it gets reabsorbed into your blood so your body can use it.
It’s all a balancing act
Your kidneys also help maintain your acid/alkaline balance and this is vital.
All your body’s systems work optimally when you have a slightly alkaline blood pH of about 7.365.
But when your pH gets too low and dips into the acid range, your body literally begins to break down. Your organs (especially your heart and pancreas) cannot work as efficiently, inflammation is triggered, and aches and pains pop up.
And you become the perfect home for diseases of all kinds, including tumors and cancer.
Remember this: The ONLY time our bodies are supposed to be acidic is upon DEATH, so we can decompose as Nature intended us to!
Since you probably don’t want to be deep-sixed any time soon, that should give you an appreciation for how crucial your kidneys are.
Plus, your kidneys also convert vitamin D into a form your body can use.
This is critical, because vitamin D deficiency is a factor in heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, cancer and autoimmunity, among others.
So what can go wrong?
Sadly, a lot can go wrong with your kidneys.
Kidney problems can include things like the relatively rare polycystic kidney disease (multiple cysts forming on the kidneys) and the not-so-rare diabetes-related kidney issues.
Of course, there’s the more serious chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease. This is when you are faced with dialysis and your mortality is flashing before your eyes.
But far and away, the most common kidney condition is kidney stones!
Eighty percent of kidney stones are calcium stones, but calcium is not necessarily the bad guy here.
A calcium stone can form when calcium binds to other substances to form a hardened stone. Most frequently, calcium binds to a compound found in many foods called oxalic acid, or oxalate.
But keep in mind that calcium is a very essential mineral, and oxalates are found in a whole lot of very healthy foods (including spinach and other greens as well as several fruits) so the answer is not necessarily to swear off all of those!
Situations in which you may run into calcium stone trouble are if you:
- Have poor digestion
- Eat a lot of processed foods, which are brimming with oxalates and lacking nutrients—a bad combo
- Are dehydrated
- Are obese
- Have one or more nutrient deficiencies or an electrolyte imbalance
- Are taking excessive calcium supplements your body doesn’t need
Hello down there!
It’s important to know where you stand and see if you are at risk for kidney problems.
Here are signs that something may be going on down there:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
- Fluid retention in your arms and/or legs
- Dark circles under your eyes
- High blood pressure
- Very little urine output/urinate infrequently
- A metallic taste in your mouth
- Low intake of water
As you can expect, the more symptoms you have, the more likely your kidneys may be a concern.
Pamper those precious kidneys
Here are three very effective things you can do to help keep your kidneys (and you!) healthy for years to come.
1) Gimme some water
Drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of filtered water a day. (Note that water means water and NOT coffee, tea, soda, milk, Gatorade, sports drinks, juice, energy drinks, etc.)
Don't wait until you're thirsty. By the time you sense thirst, your body may already be seriously dehydrated.
Here’s an easy way to tell if you’re dehydrated. Take a close look at your urine in the toilet bowl. If it’s dark yellow and opaque at any time other than first thing in the morning, you need water.
2) Pave the way for sound digestion
Having sound digestion helps your body to efficiently process oxalates, absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins—all of which support strong kidney function! Plus, it also encourages weight loss.
In addition, here’s something you might not know. The blockbuster drug Nexium dramatically increases your risk of chronic kidney disease, so if you are taking Nexium (or similar PPI acid reducers) for heartburn or reflux, you are rolling out the red carpet for kidney disease!
The key to having sound digestion is threefold:
#1: Improve your diet
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is murder on your digestive system. It’s loaded with oxalate-heavy processed foods, fast food and meals that are next to impossible for your body to effectively break down.
If you have a typical diet like this, it's time to face facts--YOUR DIET is a primary cause of your misery.
Start making your meals inherently easier to digest. My Great Taste No Pain system will show you how to do this. It’s just a matter of pairing foods together in your meals that your system can break down easier!
I guarantee you will see a HUGE difference in your digestion almost immediately.
#2: Support enzyme levels
If you've had a nutrient-poor processed food diet or have taken acid reducers for a while, chances are excellent that your body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes may be diminished...and this can be a major contributing factor to poor digestion!
But a full-spectrum enzyme formula like Digestizol Max can give your body the help it needs to completely break down all your foods!
Plus, its herbal blend (including ginger, fennel and peppermint) helps to soothe inflammation in the GI tract.
#3: Relax when you eat
Digestion is a parasympathetic process, meaning your body must be in a relaxed, non-stressed state for it to be accomplished.
Eating in a relaxed state also encourages you to eat slower, which means that your body can recognize satiety before you overeat (which in turn can mean weight loss!).
But if you instead eat when your sympathetic nervous system is in gear (such as when you're working, driving, emotionally upset, rushing, etc.) that can have a devastating impact on your digestion.
3) Cover all nutritional bases
Nutrient deficiencies are a root cause for ALL diseases, and your kidneys are no exception.
When it comes to your kidneys, being deficient in vitamin B6 and magnesium can increase your risk of kidney stones.
In addition to having a diet of wholesome real foods, an outstanding multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help ensure all your nutritional bases are covered.
In addition to a therapeutic blend of essential vitamins and minerals (including B6 and magnesium), Super Core goes way beyond other multi-vitamins and provides an impressive variety of natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Free radical damage and inflammation are both significant causes of disease in all your organ systems, so it’s vital to have enough antioxidants to control free radicals, and keep inflammation low.
Now you are armed with the information you need to take good care of your kidneys (and all your other organs!).
They will return the favor for years to come!
To your health,