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Monday, September 9, 2013

How to keep Kidneys healthy.

 All About Kidney.

Our kidneys are 2 reddish, bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine in the middle of our back.  

Their main job is to filter blood. 

Each kidney contains about a million tiny filters that can process around 40 gallons of fluid every day.  

When blood passes through the kidney, the filters sift and hold onto certain useful nutrients and much of the water. 

Harmful wastes and extra water and nutrients are routed to the nearby bladder and flushed away as urine.

Five critical functions of kidneys:

  1. Kidneys keep blood clean by filtering it of waste products and eliminating these waste products from our body as urine.
  2. Kidneys help maintain a proper balance of fluids throughout the body.
  3. Kidneys secrete a hormone responsible for stimulating the production of red blood cells in bone marrow.
  4. Kidneys produce an enzyme called renin, which is needed to help maintain blood pressure.
  5. Kidneys convert vitamin D to its most active form.
Kidney disease usually doesn't make us feel sick until the problem becomes serious and irreversible. If your kidneys start to malfunction, you might not realize it for a long while toxins and extra water can build up in your blood. Falling hormone production can cause other problems. You can lose up to three-fourths of your kidney function and essentially have no symptoms. People can even survive with just one kidney. About 1 in 10 adults nationwide, or about 20 million people, have at least some signs of kidney damage. We all lose a little of our kidney function as we get older. 

There are different types of kidney disease. Most strike both kidneys at the same time, harming the tiny filters called nephrons and reducing their filtering ability.
Acute kidney injury – this is the condition in which damage to nephrons happens quickly, often because of injury or poisoning.

Chronic kidney disease -the conditions in which nephrons get worsen slowly and silently for years or even decades.
When to go for check-ups?

Get your kidneys checked if you have Diabetes and high blood pressure, the 2 leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors for kidney disease include heart disease and a family history of kidney failure—a severe form of kidney disease.
The blood test checks your GFR—glomerular filtration rate. GFR is an estimate of your kidney’s filtering ability. A GFR below 60 is a sign of chronic kidney disease. A GFR below 15 is described as kidney failure. Usually chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but if we catch it early, we can slow down its progression.”
Without treatment, kidney disease often gets worse. If your GFR drops below 15, you may feel tired and weak, with nausea, vomiting and itching. By that point, you may need a kidney transplant or dialysis. 
How to prevent Kidney diseases?
You can take many steps to avoid or delay reaching the point of kidney disease or kidney failure. The best thing you can do is control your blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle, including physical activity and a heart-healthy diet, can help to normalize blood pressure and also slow kidney disease.

Protect your kidneys from Kidney diseases:
  • Avoid too much protein. Eating more protein than you need leads to greater workload on your kidneys, which must filter a by-product of protein metabolism called blood urea nitrogen (BUN) out of your blood. Your health is best served by avoiding too much meat with moderate amounts of healthy protein (preferably plant based) and non-starchy vegetables. 
  • Avoid pain killers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to cause kidney damage if taken regularly. 
  • Monitor your sugar intake. If you are diabetic, you must control your sugar and calories intake. If you don’t have, You may eat sugary foods but keep it in moderation. 
  • Control the evils. Keep your blood pressure, Diabetes and Cholesterol levels under control. If needed take medication consulting your doctor. 
  • Cut back on salt. Aim for less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. 
  • Healthy diet- Choose foods that are healthy for your heart: fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. 
  • Quit alcohol and smoking. Limit or better quit alcohol and smoking. They create much extra burden on kidneys in filtration of alcohol and nicotine. 
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, try to come back to normal and be physically active. At least 15 minutes of aerobics are required to make circulation and metabolism faster.

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