Should You Do that Kidney Cleanse?
This is the time of year when many people set out to accomplish something new for themselves. Often, resolutions made at the beginning of a new year revolve around getting healthier in some way. If your holiday season included numerous parties and lots of imbibing in the spirit of the season, you may be thinking that a kidney cleanse sounds good right about now. We should discuss this.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are about the size of a computer mouse or a small pear. Their primary responsibility in the body is to clear waste. The kidneys do this by filtering waste and water out of the blood; approximately 200 quarts of blood moves through the kidneys each day. In addition to being the body’s filtration system, the kidneys also release critical hormones that regulate blood pressure, stimulate the production of red blood cells, and help maintain calcium levels in bone tissue. Judging by the extensive role the kidneys play in general health, it would seem understandable that one would want to give them a good cleaning every now and then.
Kidney Cleansing Explained
The average kidney cleanse is a program in which specific foods and supplements are used to flush the kidneys. The intent is to detoxify these small organs so they function more efficiently and so kidney stones can be prevented. Often, kidney cleanse diets or programs also claim to facilitate a general detox for the whole body, leading to improved immunity and urinary tract health.
The thing about the kidneys is that they are made to be self-cleansing. Therefore, a healthy diet and consistent consumption of water should be sufficient to support kidney health. If you’re interested in taking natural approaches to support kidney health and function, it is critical that you invest time into understanding the wider effect that different herbs and foods can have on the body. Otherwise, there is a risk of adverse reaction. For example, beetroot is a common vegetable recommended for cleansing the kidneys. However, studies show that beets could cause blood sugar spikes and blood pressure dips as well as kidney stones.
Caring for Your Kidneys
If you want to support kidney function and health, the best methods are those that have been backed by research. Tips include:
- Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid smoking
- Drink water throughout the day (at least eight glasses)
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar in normal range
Our Chattanooga urology practice is dedicated to personal medical care to support long-term health and wellness. To learn more about our services, call (423) 778-4MEN (4636).