5 Facts about Kidney Disease Prevention

Want to keep your kidneys healthy? If you ask Dr. Google, or maybe your quirky old aunt, you might come across a long list of ways to keep your kidneys healthy. Some call it alternative medicine. Some call it homeopathic therapy. And some don't even know why they claim certain remedies work, but urge you to try it because, "It works. Trust me.".

If that sounds a little too much like fact vs. fiction or junk science vs. medicine to keep your kidneys healthy, you're not alone. There are plenty of diet and lifestyle practices that can help keep your kidneys healthy. But some remedies are nothing more than medical myth, so let's set the record straight.

  • Myth #1: Vitamins and Supplements Improve Kidney Health

    Maybe a multi-vitamin, as nutritional insurance (and no other supplements) to make up for deficits in your diet can help. But other than that, popping a long list of vitamins, taking echinacea, or some herbal remedies, can actually do more harm than good. Many of these actually put greater strain on your kidneys, and that's a problem if you already have renal disease.

  • Myth #2: Pick a Ripe Papaya for Renal Health

    Sure, it's high in vitamin C. And some claim it's fruity blend of macronutrients can limit creatine in the blood and soothe muscle cramps. But no current studies exist that demonstrate these benefits in humans. Stick with a balanced diet and limit sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein.

  • Myth #3: Drink More Water for Healthy Kidneys

    Making it a habit to drink enough water to stay hydrated is a good way to prevent kidney stones, and improve your overall health. About 8 glasses a day is a good goal for most adults. Should you chug more than that? Probably not. Drinking too much water can actually lead to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia, caused by low sodium levels.

  • Myth #4: Urinary Tract Infection? Drink Cranberry Juice

    Nope, sorry. It's a myth, even though its had a cult following for decades. Acidic properties in cranberry juice are higher than most beverages. But research has yet to prove it's enough to cure urinary tract infections. Your best bet if you think you have a UTI, check with your doctor.

  • Myth #5: Dose Up on Sodium Phosphate to Detox the Kidneys

    Another myth that seems to be ubiquitous. Sodium phosphate does have some medical uses like clearing your colon before an exam, or treating constipation. But it won't detox your kidneys, and may even be harmful if you have renal disease..

When you have renal disease, you want to do everything you can to protect the kidney function you have left. Regular doctor’s visits and medication can help. Following a Renal-Friendly diet will help, too.

Hungry? Check out the selection of 24 Renal-Friendly meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus 5 crunchy snacks.