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Will a Low Carb Diet Improve Kidney Function?

Improve Kidney – Having healthy kidneys is important because they help regulate your body’s water, electrolyte, and acid-base balance which is essential for the health of all cells in your body.

Kidney diseases are preventable or manageable and treatment options are available, but you can help keep them at bay with a low carb diet. A low carb diet is one that restricts the amount of carbohydrates consumed.

The general recommendation is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates consumed by 20-50% and replace it with a healthy fat.

Low Carb Diet and Kidney Stones

Carbohydrates are a staple in most people’s diet and a common source of kidney stones.

A low carbohydrate diet has also been linked to improving kidney function. By restricting the amount of carbohydrates your body is ingesting, you are reducing the glucose load on your kidneys. This will, in turn, reduce the need for your kidneys to work harder. This will reduce overall stress on the kidneys and help them to function better and improve kidney function.

how to improve kidney function

By eating excess carbohydrates, your body will produce more glucose which will in turn overwork your kidney. In the kidney, excess glucose gets utrafiltrated at the kidney tubules and then gets reabsorbed before leaving the kidney. This toxic waste along with minerals will form crystals that can eventually form kidney stones. By reducing your intake of carbohydrates, you are limiting the amount of glucose you produce and reducing the risk of stone formation.

Benefits of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

A low carbohydrate diet is designed to produce better metabolic health and weight loss. When your body does not have enough carbohydrates for energy, it will turn to fat for fuel. On the other hand, a low carbohydrate diet also controls blood sugars.

By controlling blood sugar, you are helping to prevent diabetes as well as kidney stones. The improved health and weight loss benefit are also seen in the heart and brain function.

How to Improve Kidney Function

You can improve kidney function by:

healthy kidneys
  • 1. Drinking more water

Drinking more water will help to flush out the toxins in your body and your kidneys are no different. By encouraging healthy hydration, you are helping to improve the health of your kidneys. When you drink more water, your kidney tubules will get cleaned as you excrete the excess water.

If there were kidney stones or minerals trapped in your kidney tubules, this will be flushed out too. The daily water intake a healthy person need is at least 8 glasses of water per day. A person with kidney stones should drink more water as it helps to flush out the toxins in his or her body.

  • 2. Avoid smoking

Smoking is also a risk factor for kidney stones. When you smoke, nicotine can bind with calcium and other minerals in the urine and increase your risk for kidney stones. If you quit smoking, you will notice an improvement in kidney function.

  • 3. Decrease coffee consumption

Many people consider coffee to be a healthy beverage, but this is not the case if you are drinking too much coffee. The caffeine in coffee can stimulate the kidneys and increase your risk for kidney stones.

This is because your kidneys will have to work harder in order to get rid of the excess caffeine. Avoid drinking too much coffee and drink more water instead.

  • 4. Eat more low-carb vegetables

Eating more low-carb vegetables is beneficial for your kidney function. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are low carb vegetables.

Bacteria, yeast, and fungi will all thrive on carbohydrates, so you need to eliminate the toxins in the food that you eat. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants and vitamins which will help your kidneys to flush out the excess toxins.

  • 5. Avoid or limit alcohol intake

Doctors suggest that people with kidney stones should limit or avoid alcohol intake. Alcohol also contributes to developing and worsening kidney issues by depleting the body of vital nutrients and vitamins which are needed to help prevent stone formation.

All the ethanol in alcohol has to pass through the kidney, which may end up reacting with the calcium in your urine to form calcium oxalate crystals. This will eventually lead to the formation of kidney stones.

  • 6. Reduce protein intake

Eating more protein can also increase your risk for kidney stones. Excess proteins are excreted in form of urea, which is a powerful toxin. Urea may react with the calcium in your urine to form calcitriol and urate, a chemical that is linked to kidney stones.

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  • 7. Physical exercise

Physical exercise will also help the kidneys to function better. If you have kidney stones, physical exercise can reduce the workload on your kidneys and make them perform better.

For example, when you bicycling, you need to pedal hard with adrenaline for a long time which will make your kidneys work harder. This will help the kidneys to perform better and help the stones get flushed out. Physical exercises will also encourage sweating which will help to remove toxins from your body.

  • 8. Manage diabetes, hypertension, and other heart diseases

Kidney stones can also form in people who have diabetes or other heart diseases, such as hypertension and low blood pressure. If you already have kidney stones, it is important to control any conditions that may cause your kidneys to work harder. Diabetes and kidney stones are closely linked as excess glucose may lead to the formation of kidney stones.

High blood pressure is known to destroy the fine kidney tubules and may affect kidney function. If you have high blood pressure and kidney stones, you should check your blood pressure regularly and keep it under control.

  • 9. Limit salt intake

Limiting salt intake will also help to improve the health of your kidneys. Salt is rich in sodium and intake of extra salt may affect your blood pressure. Excess sodium may also lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Kidney stones are just one of the many side effects that come with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet is crucial for keeping your kidney health in check. Sugary and starchy foods that are rich in carbs should be avoided as they may be linked to the formation of kidney stones. Specialists also suggest that you should not intake excessive protein as it can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

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