Kidney disease has become one of the world's leading causes of death. It usually starts out unnoticed with most people experiencing no signs or symptoms at all until it progresses to kidney failure.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that can be found just above the waist. These are responsible for filtering blood that flows throughout the body, by eliminating body waste and excess fluids, and for regulating blood pressure. Kidneys also help your body to maintain the right balance of salt and minerals. Without this balance, the kidneys may be unable to cleanse the blood off toxins that your body is exposed to everyday.
The accumulation of harmful substances in your blood can lead to an assortment of health problems such as skin rashes, fatigue, dizziness, swelling of extremities and eventually, kidney failure.
Causes of kidney disease
Kidney disease can be caused by the constant use of drugs, habitual smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a genetic predisposition to diabetes or high blood pressure.
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease
While it may not be easy for you to detect the onset of kidney disease because of the absence of early symptoms, it is best to seek the advice of your health professional if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Changes in colour of urine and frequency of urination
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty in urinating
- Swelling of face, hands, legs, ankles and feet
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Ammonia breath
- Nausea, dizziness and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
Kidney failure is a potentially fatal condition that develops gradually and from unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. Prevent kidney disease by making lifestyle changes.
- Avoid illegal drugs and use prescription or over-the-counter medicines only as needed. Recreational drugs and most medicines contain harmful chemicals that pass through your kidneys for proper elimination. When your kidney is bombarded with excessive toxins, it may not be able to eliminate all of them from your body. Over time, these toxins may accumulate in your kidneys, adding to the difficulty in elimination. Prescription medicines may be needed if natural therapies are unable to provide an effective solution to your health problems.
- Avoid foods with high sodium content. Excessive amounts of sodium prevent your kidneys from eliminating waste fluid resulting in a condition called water retention. This is often manifested by a puffy face, and the swelling of the hands and feet. Many condiments, salty and processed food are high in sodium. A food item's product label should guide you in determining its sodium content. Make it a habit to read food labels to help you make appropriate choices.
- Drink enough water. Water plays a vital role in the proper elimination of toxins and sodium build-up in your kidneys. Drinking around 6 to 8 glasses of water everyday helps reduce the incidence of water retention, a condition brought about by poor elimination of salt in the body.
- Consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables usually do not contain chemical additives that processed foods have. They are high in nutrients that aid your body in eliminating waste to keep it in good working condition.
- Quit smoking. Toxins enter your body not just from the food you eat but also from the air that you breathe. Cigarette smokeis loaded with harmful toxins that can cause a list of health problems, one of which is kidney disease. Do your kidneys a favor: stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly. Working up a sweat by exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week helps your kidneys remove toxic build-up.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
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