The urinary system likes to keep things fairly simple.
While other systems (digestive, nervous, endocrine, etc) have dozens of parts, the urinary system gets its work done with just a pair of kidneys, a pair of ureters, one bladder, and a few bladder muscles!
But don’t let that fool you! What the urinary system does every day with those few parts is incredible!
Firstly, at the top of the system, your kidneys cycle through every single drop of your blood about 25 times every single day! Why? Well, because your cells are constantly expelling bits of waste material into your bloodstream and it’s the kidneys’ job to filter through the blood and “take out the trash” as it were!
The resulting, filtered-out mixture of excess water, minerals, and acidic cellular waste from the bloodstream is known as “urine”. The urine flows down from your kidneys through the ureter tubes to fill the bladder where it awaits your next trip to the bathroom!
Urinary system issues can arise however if the bladder or ureter tubes become infected, kidney function is compromised, or the bladder muscles grow sufficiently weakened. In such cases, we may have to deal with incontinence, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, or the host of other health issues that can arise from unclean, unfiltered blood!
To prevent all this, we need to take care of our urinary system with solid, prevention-based wellness habits just as we would any other bodily system! And luckily, essential oils can help!
How Common Are Urinary System Health Issues?
1 in 7 American adults will struggle with chronic kidney disease during their lifetime, 1 in 10 people will struggle with one or more kidney stones (ouch!), and millions of people deal with bladder infections, urinary tract infections, and incontinence issues every year!
Women, due to childbirth, aging, and certain anatomical factors, are even more vulnerable to UTIs, bladder infections, and incontinence issues than men!
How Can I Support My Urinary System?
Basic Kidney-Health Habits:
Your kidneys are “on the clock” every minute of every day, working all day and all night to keep your blood clean and balanced! But even though they work hard—they need specific working conditions in order to stay in tip-top shape!
What can I do? What can my essential oils do?
- Stay hydrated! Water is the crucial grease that keeps the kidney filtration system moving! When there isn’t enough fresh water in your bloodstream, your kidneys are more likely to become unhealthily clogged up with the very things they are trying to filter out (minerals, proteins, & acidic cellular waste). So keep your water bottle nearby whenever you can!
- Limit salt to 1 tsp (2,300 mg) a day. Too much dietary salt ramps up your blood pressure, leading to kidney fatigue, and can clog up your kidneys, leading to kidney stones. Try to avoid processed food (as it tends to be salt-heavy). And combat salt cravings through good hydration habits, eating electrolyte-rich foods, and using natural flavorings (citrus juice and cooking spices) to bring flavor to your food without salt.
- Balance your blood sugar. Spiking your blood sugar stresses your kidneys. So keep it balanced with healthy, complex carbohydrates in your diet, low glycemic-index foods, healthy sleep habits, and (if you want to go the extra mile, pun intended) regular exercise.
- Practice daily stress management. Stress equals higher blood pressure which translates to more stress on your kidneys. Make work-life balance a priority, use iTOVi Scans to regularly check into your emotional state, and use the recommended oils to keep your stress levels down!
- Sleep on a schedule. Your sleep-waking patterns help coordinate and balance your kidney’s work schedule. So set up your sleeping space for success and use your essential oils to optimize nighttime and morning routines that will keep your sleep on a regular schedule!
Lifestyle Considerations for Optimal Kidney Health:
Depending on your lifestyle, there may be a few extra kidney-maintenance items to keep in mind:
Specialized Habits for Urinary & Kidney Health
Beyond the basic habits, there are a few habits that can help you maintain healthy kidneys and a healthy urinary system.
What can I do? What can my essential oils do?
- Don’t hold your pee. If nature is calling, it’s usually best not to delay your trip to the bathroom for too long. Holding your pee for too long can actually weaken your bladder. Also, be sure to empty your bladder completely when you visit the bathroom as incomplete emptying can increase your risk of a UTI (urinary tract infection).
- Strengthen your bladder with Kegel Exercises. Especially for high-impact athletes, women who have given birth, older women, and overweight women, incontinence can be a serious issue! Use Kegel Exercises or perhaps a Viveve or other intimate health treatment to help keep your bladder muscles strong so that you won’t leak!
- Where safe, replace basic over-the-counter medications with natural products. Many medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, and various painkillers (including ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen) can harm your kidneys. Using these every once in a while shouldn’t do any lasting damage, however, especially for chronic issues try to find and use natural supplements and oils that won’t harm your kidneys.
- Detox safely using safe substances. Certain foods (like apple cider vinegar, kidney beans, lemon, dates, etc) and certain essential oils (basil, cilantro, juniper berry, thyme) are known to help cleanse your kidneys. Use them safely and enjoy smoother urinary health!