How to Support your Immune System with Renal Disease
In a healthy state, the kidneys and immune system rely on each other to function optimally. As the kidneys’ job is to filter the blood, they also filter out bacterial toxins and inflammatory proteins, helping to regulate the immune system. The immune system also heavily affects kidney health.
In kidney disease, the immune system becomes compromised, which can further worsen the condition of the kidneys in a vicious cycle.
Here are some easy ways to support your immune system if you have kidney disease.
Eat Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are full of essential micronutrients, such as antioxidants, which boost the immune system. Common antioxidants include vitamin C, E, zinc, copper, and beta-carotene. A fun trick to help you eat a variety of antioxidants is to eat at least three different colors of fruits and veggies. The MagicKitchen.com dialysis diet complete meals all contain fruits or vegetables that are safe for dialysis disease (in terms of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus levels).
Exercise helps support the immune system through various mechanisms. Firstly, it reduces stress, which reduces inflammation and helps maintain homeostasis. It also promotes other healthy habits, such as eating whole foods and keeping up with doctor’s appointments.
Practice Good Hygiene
The most effective way to protect your immune system is to prevent infections in the first place. Practice good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands often and properly and sneezing or coughing in your elbow. Wash your produce well and ensure any meat is always thoroughly cooked. Keep up to date with any vaccinations and check-up appointments. Prevention is always easier than treatment!
Avoid Processed Foods
As opposed to whole foods that boost the immune system, processed foods can suppress the immune system. Avoid foods that are high in added sugars, oils, and other ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Avoid trans fats, which are typically in foods such as margarine. These foods are usually low in nutritional value and increase inflammation in the body. Instead, opt for nutritious renal diet meals.
Overall, the key to supporting your immune system with kidney disease is living a generally healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods and rich in antioxidants while avoiding heavily processed foods high in sugar, fats, and artificial additives. Like any healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise go hand-in-hand, and a regular exercise routine can help regulate the immune system and decrease inflammation. Finally, prevention is key, so maintain a good hygiene routine by washing your hands and doing your best to keep germs away in the first place!