Chronic Kidney Disease affects at least 30 million people and is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. It is a life-threatening disease that results in the progressive and irreversible destruction of our kidneys.
Kidneys are a pair of organs that perform the important function of flushing out waste from the body. Apart from that, kidneys perform various other important functions for the body, such as:
- Increase the production of red blood cells.
- Maintain pH (acid-base) balance of the body.
- Maintain a balance of minerals and electrolytes like calcium, potassium, and sodium.
When the kidneys stop functioning, it leads to waste building up over time. This can later result in increasing systemic inflammation, infection, and a complete breakdown of bodily functions.
Chronic Kidney Disease doesn’t show any symptoms until most of your kidneys are destroyed. The symptoms may include:
- Swelling around the eyes
- Swelling of the legs
- Mental cloudiness
- Restless leg syndrome
- Brittle hair and nails
- Itchy skin
- Weight loss
- Sleep apnea
Chronic Kidney Disease – Risk Factors
There are various risk factors that can be directly associated with CKD. Not all of these risk factors can be prevented, but with proper care, some of these health issues can be resolved to avoid CKD for good.
Hypertension is one of the leading causes of CKD today. Increased blood pressure can have a deleterious effect on kidney vasculature. Long term high blood pressure can result in impairing glomerular filtration and high intraglomerular pressure. Damage to the glomeruli can lead to increased protein filtration, which basically means an abnormally high amount of protein in the urine. Elevated blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidney, as well as throughout the body.
This makes the functions of waste excretion impossible for the kidney, thus eventually damaging them.
2. Environmental Toxins Exposure
People are exposed to chemical or physical toxic agents on a daily basis. They may enter the body through oral, transdermal, or inhalational routes and affect the functioning of our organs.
Several environmental toxins, like heavy metals, infections, ambient temperatures, industrial chemicals, etc. find their way into our system. These toxins can affect our kidneys by hampering its primary functions and cause acute or chronic kidney disease.
3. Urinary Tract Infections
UTI’s occur when bacteria sneak into our urinary tract and begin to multiply, thus causing multiple uncomfortable symptoms. If left unchecked, these bacteria can continue spreading upwards, eventually making their way to the kidneys. This infection in the kidneys can lead to several life-threatening problems by damaging them and causing severe complications.
Diabetes mellitus is considered to be a significant cause of kidney failure. When the levels of blood sugar levels are high, over time, they damage millions of tiny filtering units within each kidney. This eventually leads to chronic kidney disease.
5. Poor Diet
Almost all ailments plaguing mankind today can be traced back to a poor diet. When an individual’s diet is littered with non-nutritious, sugary, fried, and processed food, the kidneys, along with other imperative organs, are deprived of nutrition needed to function properly. A poor diet, of course, causes diabetes, inflammation, bacterial, and viral infection, which are all perfect gateways for CKD.
Dehydration, or not having enough fluid in the body, can eventually lead to building up of waste and toxins in the kidney. Even a mild case of dehydration can clog the kidneys with muscle proteins and thus damage the kidneys.
Now, CKD is not an easy condition to manage. Most people resort to prescription drugs to take care of the situation, which only ends up opening the possibility of them going down with side-effects. Like we mentioned, CKD is usually not diagnosed until the situation gets much worse. In such cases, a person might have to go for dialysis multiple times a week, which is by no means a desirable circumstance for anyone to be in.
Although we would not recommend you stop your medication, here are some natural remedies that you can try at home to take care of CKD or prevent the condition from occurring in the first place.
- Eat a nutritious organic plant-based diet that incorporates all of the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed for healthy kidneys. Particularly vitamin B6, K, E, D, selenium, iron, and omega 3 fatty acids help kidney function.
- Stay well, hydrated. Drink at least ½ an ounce of purified water, for every one pound of weight. One way to find out whether your body is well hydrated or not is if your urine is pale yellow and plentiful.
- A substantial amount of physical exercise can help CKD by managing your weight, better blood circulation, stronger immune function, and lymphatic health. Avoid sedentary lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol.