Signs Your Kidneys Need Some TLC

We rarely give our kidneys or urinary tract a second thought until something goes wrong, but the consumption of high animal-protein diets like the Standard American Diet (SAD), Atkins, and others makes the role of the kidneys even more important than usual. Unfortunately, these diets make the kidneys work harder than they typically would as our body tries to metabolize and eliminate these high-protein foods. We have been bombarded with the message that we don’t get enough protein but that’s far from the truth. In my experience as a nutritionist for nearly 25 years I can say with certainty that most people eat too much protein rather than not enough.

Why Your Kidneys are So Important

The kidneys process protein to separate out amino acids for use by the body and to eliminate waste that accumulates from the metabolism of the protein. This includes urea and ammonia, both of which can reach toxic levels if the kidneys can’t handle the protein load. The kidneys also serve as a first line of defense among detoxification organs. If the kidneys are functioning properly, they reduce the toxic burden on all other organs in your body. The kidneys regulate water and balance minerals, which keeps your cells hydrated. They also reabsorb substances like minerals before excreting waste products as urine. Kidneys also regulate blood pressure through the secretion of hormones.

Signs Your Kidneys Need Some TLC

Here are some of the symptoms and conditions that are linked to reduced kidney function or a stressed-out urinary tract (and signs that your kidneys might need some TLC).

  • back pain
  • blood in your urine
  • cloudy urine
  • congestive heart failure
  • dark-colored urine
  • difficult, frequent, or painful urination
  • edema or bloating
  • frequent chills, fevers, or nausea
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney or bladder cancer
  • kidney stones
  • puffiness around the eyes
  • swollen fingers, ankles, legs, and so forth
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Of course, if you have any of the above symptoms you should consult your doctor to rule out serious health conditions. Although there are many symptoms linked to overburdened kidneys and urinary tract, the flip side of this fact is that when you strengthen these organs and organ system you will likely see improvements in many conditions. One of the easiest ways to reduce the burden on the kidneys is to reduce the amount of animal protein consumed. Additionally, most people ingest excessive amounts of salt and because the kidneys are involved with the balance of sodium with potassium to ensure optimal nerve and muscle health (among other things), reducing the amount of sodium you eat can help reduce the burden on the kidneys. For more ways to boost your kidneys, check out “The Kidney Flush” weekend in my book Weekend Wonder Detox.

Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox, 60 Seconds to Slim, and The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites and, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.


JACarlton Author
jill c3 years ago

Teresa W.: TLC = Tender Loving Care

Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago

What is TLC?

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Thanks, I always keep a glass of water next to me.

Susan R.
.3 years ago


Kathy G.
Kathy G3 years ago


Debbie S.
Past Member 3 years ago

Good one, thanks for sharing.

Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles3 years ago

I never knew there could be so many symptoms for failing kidneys. Well, I guess this senior citizen is grateful now. My only complaint - 3 nightly visits to urinate.

Kirk P.
Kirk P3 years ago

[Typical] Message from Care2 received! Go vegan.

Katie D.
Katie & Bill D3 years ago

Good things to read here. Thank you

Belinda IsKindToAnimals
Past Member 3 years ago