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Kidney Functions, Diseases, Symptoms & Prevention

The kidneys are vital organs of our body. They act like a filter and remove the harmful waste/toxins from our body. This process of filtering waste products from the blood is called excretion. However, its functions are not just restricted to it. Let us understand the functions of kidney in detail.

Kidney Functions, Diseases, Symptoms & Prevention

The kidneys are important organs in our body. They act like a filter and remove harmful waste/toxins from our body. This process of filtering waste from the blood is called excretion. However, its functions are not limited to it. Let's try to understand in detail the functions of the kidneys.

What are the major kidney functions?

  • Elimination of waste: The kidneys filter out all  unwanted toxins, excess salt and urea. 
  • Balancing water levels: Because the kidneys are responsible for breaking down urine chemically, they react to any change in the water level in our body. For example; when our water intake is low, the kidneys adjust the water levels accordingly, returning water to the body instead of expelling it. 
  • Maintaining Blood Pressure (BP): Blood pressure supports the filtering process of the kidneys. When our pressure falls; the kidneys eventually help bring blood pressure back to normal.
  • Regulation of Red Blood Cells (RBC): When there is a lack of oxygen, the kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. 
  • Controlling acid production: Foods that are metabolized can either increase the acidity in our body or neutralize it. Our kidneys maintain a healthy balance of these chemicals. 

How does kidney disease affect women? 
The effects of renal impairment are more pronounced in women. When a woman suffers from chronic kidney disease, her periods become irregular, her reproductive and energy levels are affected and the hormonal imbalance leads to changes in appearance, mood swings and fatigue, which also affects the psyche. The most difficult thing about kidney disease is that its symptoms are so general that it is difficult to distinguish them from other common diseases. 

What are the symptoms of kidney failure? 
Given the subtle nature of the symptoms, here is a list of symptoms to watch out for: 

  •  Fatigue 
  •  Weakness 
  •  Loss of appetite and weight loss 
  •  Swollen face 
  •  Swollen feet, hands, or ankles 
  •  Shortness of breath 
  •  Blood or protein in the urine 
  •  Increased urination (especially at night) 
  •  Itchy skin 
  •  Muscle cramps 
  •  Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting 
  •  Dizziness 
  •  Difficulty concentrating

How to prevent kidney disease?

  •  Water is the most important element in our body. Our kidneys need an adequate amount of water to function normally; Therefore, it is important that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep your kidneys functioning properly.
  •  Eat fresh fruit, vegetables and lentils. Try to include foods with a high  water content. In the summer, be sure to eat foods that keep you hydrated and nourished.
  •  Reduce the amount of salt you take in in your daily diet as it is harmful to your kidneys. Processed foods  high in added sodium and phosphorus can have harmful effects on the kidneys.
  •  Monitor and control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes is one of the main causes of kidney problems. Therefore, it is important to reduce sugar levels.
  •  Beware of self-medication because taking too many painkillers can damage your kidneys.If you have a history of kidney problems. Do not take any medication without consulting a doctor or under proper medical supervision.
  •  Control and maintain your healthy weight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the first step. Obesity is an invitation to  diseases of civilization such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. 
  •  Stop stressing as stress is a major contributor to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and poor health. Try stress-relieving activities like yoga or meditation, take up a hobby, or pursue new interests. Make sure  you are healthy in mind, body and spirit.

How does regular health checkup help in preventing chronic kidney disease?
Our Master Health Checkup is an essential health checkup package for everyone, especially for those who are above 45. It ensures early detection of hidden or budding kidney disease. Book your package now to get your kidney function tested.

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