The kidneys are integral organs of the human body. They not only filter the blood of toxins, but they also get rid of the extra fluid from the body, regulates blood hormone levels, manage electrolyte levels, regulates blood pressure, make new red blood cells and keep your bones strong. Kidneys are so efficient that it’s possible to survive with just one of the two. Kidney diseases have however become common in our day-to-day lives.
Kidneys have become a part of the most attacked organ by diseases in the human body. For example, in the United States, kidney diseases kill more people than breast or prostate cancer. Actually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 American adults (more than 20 million) have some level of CKD – chronic kidney disease.
The kidney diseases are mostly attributed to by high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of kidney diseases and being 60 years or older. Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Early Signs of Kidney Failure:
- Puffy eyes
- Fatigue, weakness
- Increased thirst
- Difficult and/or painful urination
- Foamy urine
- Pink, dark urine (blood in urine)
- Increased need to urinate (especially at night)
- Edema, or water retention – this is perhaps one of the most dangerous side effects of unhealthy kidneys. It is characterized by swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles and feet. It occurs when the kidneys can’t expel enough fluid or salt from the body. This can lead to diseases of the heart, liver, and other essential organs.
How To Handle Kidney Diseases:
The basic point is that your personal lifestyle is most important in keeping all your body organs healthy.
When it comes to the kidneys, basically and most importantly, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent the formation of kidney stones. It’s also advised to drink (alcoholic drinks) responsibly, restrict salt intake and keep your blood pressure and blood sugar stable.
The following foods may also help in handling kidney diseases:
They are often used to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can reach the bladder and kidneys if left untreated. One of the ways cranberry juice helps prevent urinary tract infections is by making urine more acidic, which also prevents kidney stones. It even prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder and the tissues inside the kidneys.
Grape seeds and skin can be used as a preventive measure against kidney disease in high risk or obese individuals. They have high antioxidant values that protect the kidneys from free radical damage and toxins. Approximately 15 grapes a day can help keep your blood alkaline and keep your kidneys functioning properly.
They contain quantities of potassium high enough to protect your heart but low enough to be appropriate for dialysis patients and others with kidney problems. Quite literally, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away!
Citrus fruits contain high levels of citric acid, which prevents and dissolves some varieties of kidney stones. It works by breaking up stones that have already formed and prevents smalls stones from getting bigger by coating them and preventing materials from attaching and building unto them.
Ginger promotes blood flow and helps cleanse the blood of toxins. Additionally, the little root helps heal back pain, which is often an early sign of kidney problems. It’s most well-known as a digestive tonic that relieves vomiting, nausea and stomach upsets.
Stinging nettle is an essential herb for men with prostate problems, which can put extra strain on the kidneys. It treats symptoms of the early stages of an enlarged prostate such as reduced urinary flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder, post urination dripping, and the constant urge to urinate. It is good in treating urinary tract infections, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), or can be applied topically to treat joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites.
Other herbs, foods and seeds that can work to fight against kidney diseases include turmeric, dandelion, parsley, marshmallow root, gravel root, celery seeds, yarrow, and hydrangea root.