The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found in the vertebrates. They are located on the left and right in the retroperitoneal space in the abdomen. The main function of the kidney is to excrete a variety of waste products produced by our body's metabolism in the form of urine. It also filters and reabsorbs molecules, ions, and water that is necessary for the body to maintain homeostasis (state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions) from the glomerular filtrate back into the blood. It controls blood pressure, secrets hormones, is responsible for blood formation and other functions as well. That's why it is one of the most important organs of the body. 

Few alarming symptoms and signs in case of malfunctioning of kidneys or onset of kidney diseases include:

  • Low urine output
  • Swelling especially on the face
  • Foamy or concentrated urine
  • Anemia (a condition in which the blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells)

If the functioning of kidneys is impaired due to any reason, it can affect the entire human body. Thus, it's necessary to keep our kidneys healthy. Here are 7 lifestyle changes or precautions that one must follow to maintain keep the kidneys in good shape:

1] Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water daily, preferably throughout the day.

2]  Eat healthily - A balanced diet ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Avoid nephrotoxic food (foods that you should avoid if you have any kidney diseases). Quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol.

3] Go for a regular, full-body check-up - Check your blood pressure, get a blood test done (to check creatinine and urea levels, blood glucose level, etc.), monitor your weight, BMI (Body Mass Index) and the likes.

4] Control and take care of pre-existing diseases like Diabetes.

5] Do exercise daily and regularly.   

6] Be aware of medication like Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and naproxen. Do not take any over-the-counter medicines without the advice of a doctor.

7] Keep smiling and stay stress-free!