A kidney detox might sound like just another trendy cleanse that’ll be here and gone on celebrity Instagrams. That’s exactly why we’re here to give you the rundown, so you can decide if a kidney detox is right for you.
The idea of a kidney detox may seem redundant, since the function of the kidneys is to detox the body. Your kidneys are two small organs that sit below your ribs on either side of your spine that work to create hormones, balance electrolytes, and remove waste. When you’re eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water, your kidneys are able to function their best. A kidney detox aims to support that process by adding certain herbs, foods, and drinks to your diet. Now that you know what a kidney detox is, let’s explore some questions you might have before trying it:
How do you know if your kidneys are functioning properly?
You can’t see them and you can’t feel them, but there are a few ways your body tells you that your kidneys are working like they should. Good indicators of kidney health are normal vitamin levels, particularly vitamin D, balanced hormones via a regular thyroid check, and controlled blood pressure. However, since these indicators can be influenced by other factors in your body, it’s important to keep an eye on signs that your kidneys are not healthy.
How do you know if your kidneys are NOT functioning properly?
If your kidneys aren’t performing as they should, you may notice signs of bloating, fatigue, trouble sleeping, swollen feet and ankles, nausea, changes in urination, puffiness around the eye area, and dry skin to name a few. In serious cases, you might also have a loss of appetite, spike in potassium levels, and more. To diagnose a problem with your kidney function, your doctor will likely run a series of tests on your blood and urine, do an ultrasound of your kidneys and urinary tract, and potentially a kidney biopsy for further testing.
Is there any research on if a kidney detox works?
Scientific research on the effectiveness of any detox is sparse. Researchers write that there’s been “no compelling research to support the use of “detox” diets for… eliminating toxins from the body.”
The best “cleanse” for your kidneys is doing what you should do day in and day out: Drink eight glasses of water daily; limit your sodium intake; fill your diet with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats; avoid too much processed and refined foods, alcohol, and caffeine. These small changes are key to improving kidney and overall health.
Should you try a kidney detox?
If you’ve been experiencing some of the symptoms of lowered kidney function, have a chat with your doctor about what you’ve been feeling and what you’d like to try. Drinking plenty of water and getting your daily serving of fruits, veggies, and protein are always a good thing.
A few easy recipes you can incorporate into your weekly meal planning may include a kitchari recipe, herbal teas, and nutrient-dense ingredients, like apples, strawberries, spinach, sweet potato, salmon, egg whites, and cilantro.
Have you ever tried a kidney detox before? Let us know what you did and what you thought. Is it something you could keep up long-term or just for a few days? Did it help relieve any negative symptoms? We want to hear from you!