Cavemen didn’t suffer all the kidney ailments that befall us today, perhaps because our complicated lives have forced modern kidneys to work so much harder.
The key function of the kidneys is to filter blood. Any potentially harmful waste products caught are excreted in urine. The bean-shaped organs on either side of the spine in the middle of the back also help to maintain salt and mineral levels in the blood; and they assist in regulating blood pressure.
With a much more simple diet, Stone Age man was not prone to diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which are highly attributable to our modern meals high in processed foods. These two diseases are the main contributors to kidney damage and chronic kidney disease, which is all the more reason to migrate to a Paleo-friendly diet.
Another contemporary kidney ailment is kidney stones. Roughly 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed in the United States alone each year. It has been suggested that the addition of fluoride to our drinking water may be responsible for some cases of kidney stones. In other words, we may have traded getting fewer cavities for a urinary disorder.
While certain foods are thought to promote kidney stones, it’s believed that this happens only in people who were susceptible to kidney stone formation to start with.
The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. If you’re one of those people who haven’t yet taken up the habit of drinking the recommended eight or more glasses of water daily, you are greatly increasing your risk of getting kidney stones.
A lack of water means the body doesn’t get enough water to dilute the uric acid component in urine. The pH level within the kidneys decreases and becomes more acidic. It’s this excessively acidic environment in the kidneys that sets up the conditions to form kidney stones.
Certain modern medications also have been found to increase the risks of developing kidney stones—especially those that contain calcium phosphate.
Additionally, being overweight makes a person more likely to suffer from kidney stones, as will a diet that’s high in sodium but low in calcium.
Modern lifestyles are not kind to the kidneys at all. These organs, no less so than the human heart, might be yearning for the simpler days of the Stone Age.
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