The fact is, you might be suffering from a kidney problem right now without you knowing it. The kidneys are subjected to a wide range of diseases. It can range from temporary, acute and chronic diseases that eventually impair its functions.
A kidney problem can show subtle and varied signs. If you pay close attention to the changes in your body, preventing it from worsening is possible. The best way of confirming it though is undergoing a lab test, especially if you have a higher risk. But let’s see how one can improve kidney health naturally.
Who Is At Risk for Kidney Diseases?
Kidney diseases run in the family, so it is highly likely to contract the disease if you have close relatives who have it. Diabetes and hypertension, which are also hereditary, increase the risk of kidney damage.
Medications like the commonly used painkillers and antihistamines also put one at risk. Many pharmaceuticals and even herbal medicines disrupt the functions of the kidneys.
People who smoke, drink alcohol, eat too much salt and have disrupted sleeping patterns are also candidates for developing kidney troubles.
10 Warning Signs of Kidney Problems
The kidneys can suffer different problems and infections. But, most of the signs that it shows are often neglected and attributed to other conditions. That is why many of them go undiagnosed until severe symptoms show in the last stages of the disease.
Extreme fatigue and tiredness that seem to drain your energy for most of the day can be a distress signal from the kidneys. This is often due to the toxins and waste materials that have built up in it. This situation can result in a shortage of red blood cells and lead to anemia.
The buildup of toxins can cause a reduced appetite and is one of the most general signs of a malfunctioning kidney. It is due to the decline of the normal glomerular filtration rate or the effectiveness of the kidney in removing waste and water in the urine. The significant decrease in appetite leads to malnutrition as the disease progresses.
Frequent peeing without drinking too much water communicates that something wrong with the kidneys or bladder. When the kidney filters are damaged, the urine excreted may contain more water but less waste materials. This symptom may also be one of the onset signs of diabetes, where too much glucose in the blood causes kidney damage.
With the frequency that the body loses water through solute excretion, unquenchable thirst happens. It is the body’s attempt to replenish what is lost during the excretion process. Thirstiness may get worse during the night accompanied by dry mouth and nausea.
Blood in the Urine
Blood in the urine is not normal but is also not always serious. However, it is one of the signs that the kidney is in trouble. It may mean infection, inflammation, kidney stones or injury, and kidney failure. If you notice blood in your urine, visit a urologist to properly diagnose the cause for early intervention.
Foam in the Urine
Frothy urine that needs several flushing before it clears indicates a high level of protein content. It may happen occasionally and is not worth worrying about. But if foamy urine is persistent, it means that the kidney is malfunctioning as it fails to process protein and pass it into the urine.
Edema, or swelling of the legs and feet, can be a sign of a kidney problem. The swelling also shows up around the eyes and face. When the filtering blood vessels in the kidneys have a problem, it leads to nephrotic syndrome where there is a decreased level of proteins in the blood and excessive water retention.
If the kidneys are not functioning well, metabolic wastes build up in the blood. It can cause electrolyte imbalance of low levels of calcium and poorly controlled phosphorus. The condition will eventually damage the nerves and muscles causing pain, cramping and twitching.
Sleeping problems are not only because of psychological concerns. It is also one of the subtle signs of kidney problems that is wrongly attributed to brain issues. But, people who secretly battle kidney disease may also experience insomnia, sleep apnea or excessive sleepiness.
Dry and Itchy Skin
Pruritus, or itchy and flaky skin, can point to a problem the kidneys are going through. When the kidneys malfunction, the sweat glands shrink and cause dry skin. The body also releases histamines and other chemicals that result in itching.
Useful Herbs for Your Kidneys
A kidney disease that is detected and treated early can be slowed down. If one of the kidneys is damaged, the other one will continue with normal functioning and take the job of the other. The term kidney failure means that both of the kidneys are malfunctioning.
If you have a problem with your kidneys, be cautious with all types of medications, including herbal ones.
Not all herbs are safe and you should not take them if you are under treatment without seeking advice from a doctor.
Cranberry: Cranberry is a well-recognized fruit in diseases that concern the kidneys and urinary tract. It has an excellent anti-lithogenic property that prevents the formation of kidney stones and clear urinary infections.
Turmeric: Curcuma longa is a reno-protective spice that prevents kidney damage. Its phenolic compound curcumin supports kidney functions, treats inflammation and aids in proper detoxification.
Beetroot: Ongoing research explores the ability of beetroot in the prevention and management of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra), when taken in a safe amount improves blood pressure and soothes inflammation that contributes to the risk of kidney damage.
Apple: It is a kidney-friendly fruit that is recommended for patients with renal impairment. It has low potassium, phosphorus and sodium that prevent stone formation. It is also best in reducing creatinine levels, a condition that may lead to kidney failure if left untreated.
Ginger: Zingiber officinale is beneficial in blood purification and management of the oxygen flow in the system. Drinking ginger tea not only benefits the digestion system but also supports the proper functioning of the excretory system.
Lemon: Drinking lemon juice is said to be the body’s inner shower. Lemon is a diuretic that helps in flushing the toxins from the body. Removing the waste materials cleanses the kidneys for them to improve their functions.
Nettle: Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) seeds and leaves are traditionally used in healing conditions that affect the kidneys and urinary tract. Taking its decoction helps maintain the balance of the creatinine levels and in breaking down the protein and minerals that enter the kidneys.
Celery: Apium graveolens supports the function of healthy kidneys and reduces its risk for chronic problems. It is a diuretic herb that reduces edema and dilutes uric acid and kidney stones for easy flushing.
Dandelion: Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) is a diuretic and alkaline blood tonic which is necessary for kidney cleansing. Dandelion may also cure anemia and improve appetite which may be symptoms of distressed kidney functions.
Kidney Cleansing Smoothie
Here is a healthy smoothie you can incorporate into your diet to improve kidney health.
- Half of a cucumber, sliced
- 1 beetroot, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1-inch ginger, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- Cut the cucumber, beetroot, apple and ginger into small pieces. Put them together in a blender.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Blend until smooth.
- In the morning after waking up, drink an 8-oz glass of warm water with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Then take about 12 oz of this kidney-cleansing smoothie for breakfast before taking any solid meal.
Most people engage in a detox regimen for kidney cleansing. But as long as you load up on fruits, vegetables, healthy foods and plenty of water, you are doing your kidney a favor. When symptoms show up, have yourself tested as early treatment can do so much in saving the kidneys from problems. Take care!