The kidneys serve many important functions to the overall health of the body. Resting just below your ribcage on your backside, they each contain over a million tiny vessels called nephrons that act as filters for your blood. Every 30 minutes your entire blood supply is sent through the kidneys and, on a daily basis, more than 2 quarts of waste are filtered out and sent to the bladder to be excreted as urine.
Hypertension can cause kidney disease or, in some cases, the medications that treat hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause kidney problems. In some cases, a person has a blockage of one or both arteries leading to the kidneys. The kidneys respond by releasing vasopressin which causes the blood pressure to rise remarkably.
Kidney disease can be a life threatening condition if not treated promptly. If treated in the early stages, kidney disease is most treatable, and little damage will occur to the kidneys. Most often disease of the kidneys is caused by an underlying condition; the two most common diseases that result in kidney dysfunction are diabetes and untreated heart disease. If you have these conditions it is important you treat them.
Dietary changes that help to reduce cholesterol include avoiding foods with trans and saturated fats. Trans-fats are found in many pre-packaged foods, and saturated fats include butter/ margarine, meat and dairy products. Foods that help to lower or control cholesterol include fiber from sources such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and fish oil.
Kidney stones can occur when a person has a buildup of too much calcium oxalate or uric acid in their urine, and it hardens into a crystal like stones that can be very painful to pass. Infections can occur with kidney stones as well, because the kidneys are not able to flush themselves out properly, causing a toxic environment where bacteria can readily grow. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder where cysts begin to form in the kidney.
Chronic kidney disease (also called chronic renal insufficiency) is the most common form of kidney ailment. It usually results from diabetes or long-term, uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension. So, the damage to the nephrons is slow, and in the early stages does not cause any symptoms. When the nephrons are damaged, they lose their effectiveness as blood filters. Your body will no longer be able to properly get rid of waste products, toxins and water on its own, so they start to build up in your blood.
Reduced intake of potassium, because the kidneys are not able to reduce the amount of potassium in the body and blood. Having too much potassium in your body can lead to many serious problems including abnormal heart rhythms. There are many foods that can contribute to increased potassium in the body. These may include oranges, nuts, potatoes and other potassium rich foods, like some prunes even.
Chronic kidney disease symptoms often mimic other illnesses like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and the flu. Feeling tired and weak, a loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, unexplained nausea and a swelling in the feet and ankles are just a few of the symptoms of this disease.
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