Kidneys are one of the most vital organs in our body. These little bean-shaped organs are the ones that excrete harmful metabolic wastes from our bodies. In this article, let’s better understand kidneys and chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and learn how to improve kidney function. Let’s jump in!
A bit about Kidneys
The kidneys, each about the size of your fist, are situated deep within the belly, beneath the rib cage. These intricate and remarkable organs perform various vital functions to keep us healthy. Your kidneys’ primary function is cleaning your blood of toxins and extra water. Additionally, kidneys support healthy bones, blood pressure regulation, and the production of red blood cells.
Your kidneys help regulate blood acidity and the levels of several minerals and compounds, including salt and potassium, in the bloodstream. These carefully regulate the amount of water and salt in your body daily to maintain constant blood pressure.
What are chronic kidney diseases
Chronic kidney disease, commonly known as chronic kidney failure, is characterized by a progressive decline in kidney function. Significant physiological abnormalities result when your kidneys are unable to filter wastes and remove extra fluid from your circulation effectively.
A hazardous fluid, electrolytes, and waste buildup can occur in your body due to advanced chronic renal disease. In the earlier stages of kidney disease, it does not show many symptoms, but as it advances, symptoms start showing up.
The symptoms of kidney diseases are not very specific and show up late because your kidneys can, most of the time, make up for any decrease in their overall function. Thus, prominent symptoms won’t appear until your kidneys are irreversibly damaged and are at the last stage of kidney disease. Some common symptoms of chronic kidney diseases are as follows:
- Hard to regulate high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Breathlessness (if pulmonary fluid accumulates)
- If fluid accumulates around the heart’s lining, chest discomfort may result.
- Reduced appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Abnormalities in Urination
- Reduced mental clarity
- Muscle pain
- Swelling in the ankles and feet
- Itchy, dry skin
Causes of chronic kidney diseases
Two-thirds of instances of chronic kidney disease are caused by diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses, particularly hypertension. Let’s first talk about diabetes. Diabetes develops when your blood sugar levels remain too high, which can be brought on by either insulin resistance or insulin insufficiency.
With modern lifestyles and diets, diabetes is becoming more prevalent nowadays. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels over time can harm several body organs, including the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and eyes. The delicate nephrons, the basic functional units of the kidney, are damaged by the excess glucose molecules. This will impair Kidney function in the long run.
Another leading cause of chronic kidney disease is hypertension. When your blood pressure rises against the walls of your blood vessels, you get hypertension. This may often damage the renal tissues affecting their function. Both hypertension and chronic kidney diseases are interconnected; hypertension contributes to developing chronic kidney disease, whereas chronic kidney diseases aggravate high blood pressure.
Chronic kidney diseases can also be caused by genetic disorders like polycystic kidney disease, autoimmune conditions like lupus, some infections, intoxications, and certain nephrotoxic drugs.
5 Self-Care tips for chronic kidney diseases
Have a kidney-friendly diet
From your health provider, first, get to know the main reason for your kidney disease. Depending upon the causes, plan a well-balanced diet. Based on your diagnosis, you may have to adjust the protein intake, reduce the salt intake and limit your consumption of foods that might put a load on your already damaged kidneys. Each individual will need to plan a customized diet, but you can include kidney cleansing foods and herbs in your daily schedule.
You can have good quality kidney detox supplement which can help you to boost renal function. Always go for a herbal detox supplement that contains Milk Thistle Extract, Artichoke Extract, Burdock powder, Dandelion root powder, Stinging Nettle Leaf, and Kiwifruit extract. These have a natural diuretic property and are powerful lymphatic system strengtheners too.
How to prevent chronic kidney disease? One important thing to do is to sleep well. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential not only for your kidney’s health but also for your overall well-being. Several research studies emphasize the importance of sleep for preventing and managing chronic kidney diseases. Both sleep quality and sleep duration are essential. Any long-term sleep disturbances or imbalances may cause activation of the sympathetic nervous system, a well-known reason for chronic kidney disease development. Sleep disturbances may also initiate systemic inflammation, damaging kidneys in the long run.
Chronic kidney diseases are treated based on their root cause. The associated symptom, too, are taken care of through prescribed medications. So it is of utmost importance to have your medicines timely. Most of the medications are long term and sometimes, you may forget to have them on time. Thus, it’s advisable to get an app that will help you remember your medicines and also track them.
Being physically inactive may aggravate the existing renal condition. Adequate, regular exercises will help you to lower blood glucose levels, control hypertension, manage cardiovascular diseases, and also reduce stress. It will also prevent the wasting of muscles and may also enhance renal function.
Keep stress at bay
Stress is a significant cause of several health problems. It causes our body to release lots of stress hormones which have damaging effects on vital organs in the long run. Stress also causes inflammation which is also known to cause renal disease. Find some engaging recreational activities or indulge in practices like yoga or meditation for de-stressing. This will also help you check your blood sugar and blood pressure.
There we are! Follow this self-help for kidney disease and ensure your kidney's well-being. Have you been following any tips mentioned above? If yes, kindly comment below and let us know how well it worked for you.