Self-care for your kidneys

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer

Ezekiel 36:25, ESV, shares: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.” 

Because water surrounds us, and it is readily within our reach, we often take it for granted. We often forget that there are places that struggle for clean water. We often forget that there are places that struggle for any water at all. Yet the Word has emphasized here that even a sprinkle of clean water is necessary to properly decontaminate our lives. Physically, this cleansing property of water is one of the many functions that keep us alive every day, thanks to our kidneys. 

According to Wardlaw’s 6th edition of Perspectives in Nutrition, the kidneys regulate two amounts of fluid in our bodies: blood plasma and interstitial fluid. Blood plasma is the fluid part of blood that remains once the blood cell is removed. Interstitial fluid exists all over the body, and it runs in between cells of different types. Interstitial fluid joins blood plasma in the work of bringing nutrients to the cells and removing wastes from the cells. Because the kidneys regulate these fluids, that means the kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, which impacts blood pressure. 

The kidneys help to filter dissolved waste and excess fluid from the blood; then this is packaged to form urine. After the urine is formed, we get rid of this waste and excess by using the restroom. However, if we don’t consume enough water, then there is no “excess” fluid to aide in this filtering process. As a result, waste that should have been removed is just sitting around and toxifying the body. Think of the garbage in your home. Once the garbage cans get full, you tie off the bags and take them outside. However, after being taken out, the garbage doesn’t remove itself. A waste management service routinely picks up the trash bags that have accumulated and carries them off for proper disposal. If no one does this, then the garbage continues to pile up. Can you imagine a yard or a porch full of garbage? Not only would the smell be horrid, but you would eventually be trapped by the toxic air, and it would be an unsafe environment for you. The same concept is what happens in our bodies when our kidneys are not able to filter the blood. 

You’ve seen a breakdown in this filtering system before when someone had kidney damage or disease, and she is prescribed dialysis treatment. Dialysis means “to split apart.” It is a substitute filter for the blood (i.e. remove waste and excess from the blood) when the kidneys can’t do the job themselves. 

The fact that there is a scientific process designed to help filter the blood shows how vital this function is. It also shows the role we play in helping healthy kidneys carry out this process in our bodies by simply drinking adequate amounts of water. Therefore, we must always remember that Kool-Aid is not water, soda is not water, sports drinks are not water, and flavored water isn’t even water. Only water is water. The clean water we are reminded of in Ezekiel is the living water that sustains our natural lives. Drinking adequate amounts of water every day is a simple, yet powerful, form of self-care. 

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer is a creator of healthy conversations. As a national speaker and published author, she teaches the busy and overwhelmed how to live life abundantly. She is the owner of Temple Fit Co. wellness agency, which is home to 25-plus wellness speakers and fitness instructors. Tune in to “Temple Fit Devotions with Dr. Asha” on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on Hallelujah 95.3 FM.

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