You may not know this, but March is National Kidney Month, and March 14th is World Kidney Day. Why have a month or a day dedicated to kidney health? The truth is that 1 in 10 people worldwide struggle with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), a disease which is incurable and requires long term care such as dialysis. Progressive loss of kidney function can go undetected until it’s too late, so if you’re at risk of kidney disease it’s important to take action. Keep reading to understand the role of the kidneys in your body as well as which supplements support kidney health.
What Do Your Kidneys Do?
In case you forgot the finer points of your high school biology class, let’s review the role that the kidneys play play in your body. You have two kidneys, which are shaped like beans and located just below the rib cage. The kidneys act as filters, cleaning about a half cup of blood every minute, filtering out the waste and water to create urine. The urine then passes into your bladder where it waits for your next trip to the bathroom.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Although they’re humble organs, when your kidneys stop working, they may quickly become life threatening. CKD is almost undetectable in the early stages, in fact you can lose up to 90% of your kidney function before experiencing symptoms. Everyone is at risk for kidney disease, but the odds are higher for those struggling with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Additionally, kidney disease is genetic, so if you have a family history of kidney failure, you may be at risk.
How You Can Support Kidney Health
One of the primary focuses of World Kidney Day is to encourage people to assess their personal risk for kidney disease. If your risks are higher, it’s important to check with your doctor and to take the steps to be tested. If your kidneys are not functioning optimally, early detection can make all the difference.
Supplements to Support Kidney Health
Adequate hydration is critical in supporting the health of your kidneys, and herbal teas are a great way to up your water intake. Stinging nettle teas, such as this blend by Herb Pharm, and stinging nettle leaf supplements have been shown to support kidney health by reducing inflammation and increasing urine output.
Used for centuries in India, Fiji, and Haiti, these leaves and fruit of this plant have been proven helpful in reducing the risk of kidney stones with a powerful blend of antioxidants. Looking for a supplement with Phyllanthus niruri? Try Liver Kidney by Organic India. This supplement works to protect the body from the damage caused by stress and free radicals while promoting healthy liver and kidney function.
Seaweed and Kelp
Seaweed has been to be potentially effective in cleansing and supporting the kidneys, pancreas, and liver. Kidney Blend SP-6 from Solaray contains kelp, corn silk, parsley, and other compounds that may help help your body filter out harmful toxins and support the health of your kidneys.
Uva-Ursi (or Bearberry)
Uva-Ursi is an herbal supplement which has been long used to support urinary and kidney health. This supplement can reduce swelling and inflammation as well as reduce bacteria in the urine. Kidney Drainage from DesBio offers a powerful blend which contains Uva-Ursi along with 23 other homeopathic ingredients to support proper kidney drainage.
What steps will you take this month to support kidney health? Share your story with us in the comments section below.