How to improve kidney function

Updated April 17, 2017

The kidneys perform several essential functions to keep the body working properly. The kidneys help filter the blood and remove waste products from the body. They help regulate the amount of electrolytes in the body, such as sodium. Without proper functioning of the kidneys, the water balance in the body would be incorrect, resulting in several problems. The kidneys can start to fail, which means they don't function properly for a number of reasons such as dehydration, certain cancers, sepsis and side effects from some medications. There are some ways to help improve kidney function.

Eat healthy foods. Foods which contain a large amount of salt, fat and sugar are harder to digest and make the organs of the bodywork harder, including the kidneys. Since the kidneys filter out waste products, the more waste there is, the harder they need to work. Eat foods low in fat and high in nutrients, such as lean meats, vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grains.

Drink enough water each day. Drinking about six to eight glasses of water a day can help improve kidney function in a few ways. The water helps the kidneys perform one of its main functions, which is removing waste. Water helps flush the waste out. Drinking plenty of water also helps reduce the chances of forming painful kidney stones.

Get to a healthy weight. Kidney function can decrease due to conditions such as type 2 diabetes. A major risk factor for developing this type of diabetes is being overweight. Getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it can improve type 2 diabetes symptoms and as a result improve kidney function.

Take medication. Certain medications may be used to improve kidney function. For instance, if the kidneys are not working properly due to high blood pressure, medication to lower blood pressure may be ordered. ACE inhibitors may be recommended to slow kidney disease down and help improve function. Diuretics, which help reduce excess fluid in the body, are also sometimes used to improve kidney function.

Have surgery. Kidney function may be decreased due to a blocked renal artery, which supplies blood to the kidney. A surgical procedure which removes the blockage may help improve the kidneys. The procedure is done by inserting a balloon like device through the renal artery and inflating it to open up the artery. A stent may be placed to hold the artery open.

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About the Author

MaryAnn DePietro has been a professional journalist since 2000, specializing in health, fitness and medical articles. She is also a certified respiratory therapist. Her work has appeared on websites such as eHow and ModernMom and in publications including the “Sacramento Bee, “Press Tribune“ and “Succeed.” DePietro holds a Bachelor of Science in rehabilitation from Penn State University and a degree in respiratory therapy.