March is designated as National Kidney Month to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of kidney disease, the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Kidney Fund, as many as 31 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease. To protect you from this disease, a healthy lifestyle must be prominent. This includes regular exercise, eating right and a good control of blood sugar (diabetes) and high blood pressure. Another vital step is to drink more water. The kidney plays a vital function in the body, and does an amazing job of cleansing and ridding the body of toxins.
Think of your kidney as a filter. It keeps some things in your body that you need, and eliminates other things that you don’t. Some key functions of your kidneys are:
- Producing urine
- Removing waste and extra fluid from your blood
- Controlling your body’s chemical balance
- Helping to keep bones healthy and controlling blood pressure
- Assisting in producing red blood cells
When you’re drinking enough fluids, urine flows freely, is free of odor and light in color. When you are not getting enough water intake, urine concentration, color and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluids to perform bodily functions.
Not drinking enough water can put you at higher risks of kidney stones, which is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when there are high levels of certain substances (such as salts and minerals) in the urine. Water prevents this by not allowing the salts and minerals to accumulate to form stones.
You may have heard that drinking 8 glasses of water per day is an adequate amount for water intake. That is a general rule of thumb so keep this in mind: We need to take in enough fluids to replace the amount of water we lose daily through perspiration, excretion and other bodily functions. This can vary widely for different individuals depending on age, weight, physical condition, activity level and environmental conditions (hot, humid, etc). You also consume water through food (a cup of Yogurt is 85% water), so eating healthy is also a good way to meet daily water requirements.
To ensure that you are drinking pure and filtered water, looking into a Reverse Osmosis (RO) System is recommended. RO Systems, such as the Aqua Flo Reverse Osmosis System, are great for removing harmful chemicals from entering your water supply. Also, be sure that your refrigerator water filter has been replaced within the last six months. Refrigerator water filters offer a useful line of defense against harmful waterborne contaminants (such as bacteria, e.coli and viruses) from entering your drinking water.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms. Simple medical tests (such as blood and urine tests) can tell you your kidneys are working right. Without water and a healthy lifestyle, your kidneys cannot properly filter out the harmful material that often finds its way inside of our bodies.
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