The kidneys are essential organs in the body whose principal task is filtering the waste products of our cells and excreting it via our urine.
Although these two, bean-shaped organs are comparatively smaller than other organs, we absolutely cannot do without these filtration mechanisms. If our kidneys ever malfunction because of disease or prolonged neglect, our heart, lungs, and liver could follow shortly after!
If you feel like something is wrong with your kidneys, especially if you have a relative that has kidney disease, seek medical advice right away.
9 subtle symptoms of kidney disease include:
• Changes in urination.
For example – constantly having to get up in the middle of the night to pee, then only having a few drops come out, is a common sign that there’s something wrong with your kidneys.
• Pain in the legs, abdomen, or upper back.
Leg and flank pain are the most common complaints of patients that test positive for kidney disease.
• Low grade fever.
This counts as one of the earliest signs of a lot of diseases, including kidney disease.
• Having blood in the urine, or otherwise having foamy, saturated urine.
• Swelling in the joints and face.
• Feeling tired really easily.
• Sudden and prolonged changes in how food tastes. People with untreated kidney disease usually report a foul, metallic taste in their mouth and food.
• Feeling unusually cold, even in hot weather.
• Having extreme, unusual itching; usually on the back and legs.
Whether you have to maintain the health of your kidneys or want to prevent future problems, a few things can help to keep your kidneys healthy.
Painkillers can affect your kidneys; avoid self-medication. The improper use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen can interfere with the kidney function. When you are taking painkillers, ensure that you follow the instructions.
If you’re at risk for kidney disease, it’s important to get your kidneys checked once a year.
A urine test for albumin, a type of protein and a blood test for creatinine will reveal the state of your kidneys.
Drink lots of water every day. Water aids kidneys to remove all the toxins from the body. Moreover, it helps the body to maintain blood volume and concentration, which is one of the reasons behind kidney diseases.
Smoking ups the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including heart attack or stroke. The CVDs can interfere with your kidney function. Stop smoking to improve your general health and reduce your risk of kidney conditions.
We all know how exercise can make a big difference to our health. The same is true for kidney health. Daily exercise can keep blood pressure within a healthy range and reduce your risk of developing CKD (chronic kidney disease).
Lower Cholesterol Level
Studies have found that cholesterol slows the kidney function. To keep kidneys healthy, eat foods that are high in unsaturated fat to decrease your cholesterol level. Foods high in unsaturated fat are fish, nuts, seeds and sunflower oil.
Don’t Resist the Urge to Urinate
Ignoring the urge to pee makes the urinary bladder stretch beyond its capacity. Moreover, extra amount of waste and water is stored in the urinary bladder which needs to be excreted. This affects the filtration process of the kidney.
Bring your Liquor Consumption Down
Excessive amounts of alcohol can take a toll on your health, including the kidneys. It can escalate your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Abide by the recommended alcohol consumption limits. Men should not have more than two drinks a day and women should not drink more than one drink a day.
A healthy diet is important for sustained energy and illness prevention. When you eat right, the amount of cholesterol in your blood and blood pressure remains at a healthy level. Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. And, limit the amount of salt and avoid foods high in saturated fat.