The kidneys are actually 2 bean-shaped body organs that play an important role in supporting good overall health. They are responsible for flushing toxins out of your body. In case your kidneys do not eliminate these harmful toxins, they can accumulate in your body, thus increasing your risk of many serious health issues. These toxins can also contribute to kidney disease development. It has been estimated that approximately 20 million people suffer from kidney disease in the U.S. alone.
Kidneys Perform Many Important Functions in Your Body, Such as:
– Excrete Waste: Your kidneys play a vital role in maintaining your overall health. They are responsible for excreting as well as filtering out excess of toxins, salts, and urea. Urea is a nitrogen-based waste produced by cell metabolism. This waste product is synthesized in the liver, which transports it throughout the blood and kidneys. Kidneys excrete this waste material.
– Balance Water Levels: Your kidneys regulate the retention or removal of body fluids. For instance, in case you consume a great amount of salt, you can become thirsty and may increase your intake of fluids during the day. If your kidneys function optimally, then they will get rid of the extra fluid and salt in the urine. But, in case your kidneys do not work optimally, the extra fluid and salt can build up in your body, thus leading to swollen face, feet, and hands. This condition is known as edema.
– Regulate Red Blood Cells: If there isn’t enough oxygen in your kidneys, then they can release erythropoietin, which is a hormone that causes the bone marrow to create more red blood cells that carry oxygen.
– Regulate Blood Pressure: Your kidneys require constant pressure to filter the blood. So, if your blood pressure drops too low, your kidneys will elevate it.
– Promote Acid Balance: Your body cells create acids when they metabolize. Your kidneys are responsible for maintaining an optimal balance of these chemicals.
Here Are the Major Culprits of Kidney Disease:
Kidney disease can be triggered by multiple factors, such as high blood pressure, infections, and diabetes. Therefore, you should have your blood pressure and blood glucose levels checked on a regular basis. You should try to keep them under control in order to reduce your likelihood of kidney disease.
That’s not all, kidney disease can be also caused by genetic factors. This means that if you have a family history of polycystic kidneys, you are at a higher risk to develop the condition later in life.
Kidney disease can also be caused by other factors like physical inactivity, poor nutrition, chronic heavy drinking, smoking, and medication overuse.
Here Are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease:
Those suffering from any kidney disease may not experience any specific symptoms until the disease comes into the final stage. Also, as the symptoms are too general patients usually confuse them with another health problem. As a result of this, only 10% of those suffering from chronic kidney disease know that they have the disease.
These are some of the early warning signs and symptoms of kidney failure:
- Urine color changes, urination frequency changes, or blood in the urine
- Back pain, just above the waist (where the kidneys are located)
- Swollen feet or legs
- Lack of strength, and fatigue
- Vomiting and nausea
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic tingling or skin rash
- Inability to focus, and lack of mental clarity
- Muscle cramps
- Sleeping problems
- Loss of breath
- Poor circulation
Do not ignore any of these early warning signs of kidney failure to prevent serious kidney damage.
Simple Tips on How to Improve Your Kidney Health:
- Make the Following Dietary Changes
Try to keep your body well hydrated. So, you should consume at least 8 glasses of water on a daily basis.
- Introduce more berries, watermelons, and apples in your daily diet.
- Increase your intake of calories to improve your kidney health. Also, avoid following a weigh-loss diet.
- Reduce your consumption of protein-rich foods since excessive protein intake can harm your kidneys.
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Limit your daily intake of sodium. In addition, try to keep your potassium and salt intake at a very low level.
- Make the Following Lifestyle Changes
- Quit smoking and drinking because they are bad habits that can harm your kidneys.
- Optimal blood pressure can keep a proper kidney function. Therefore, try to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Get regular exercise to strengthen your muscles and decrease your likelihood of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Do not take steroids and painkillers.
- Reverse your vitamin D and calcium deficiencies by taking high-quality vitamin D and calcium supplements. However, consult your doctor for the proper dosage.
Make all these dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent any kidney disease and keep your kidneys healthy.