The kidneys are incredibly important organs in our bodies because they are a type of filtration system, removing waste and toxins found in our bloodstream. The body is exposed to numerous toxins on a daily basis, from the food we eat and the air we breathe, to the things our skin touches, and more. These toxins can affect every element of our body, leading to ill health and various other problems. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is crucial that you keep your kidneys healthy, as they are one of our most important lines of defense.
As with all things about health, keeping your kidneys in good condition starts with leading a healthy lifestyle. You must commit to eating a balanced, nutritious diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting lots of exercise. Without doing this, your body will start to build up more toxins than your kidneys can manage, and this can have an impact not just on kidney function, but also on your other organs. In fact, if left unchecked, you could start to develop various problems, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and kidney stones.
Various kidney problems can start to develop if we do not look after our health properly. While many of these can be resolved quite easily, they can also be a sign of developing chronic kidney disease, or CDK. Once you have CDK, the damage to your kidneys has become irreparable. Furthermore, this can eventually lead to full kidney failure, which is a life-threatening condition.
It is hugely important, therefore, that you learn to know and recognize the signs of kidney problems. In so doing, you can take steps as soon as they occur, thereby helping you to prevent CDK in the long run as well. You must become body aware, knowing what is and isn't right, and contact a primary physician as soon as you notice that something isn't as it should be. This can help you to prevent very serious and significant problems.
So what are some of the most common kidney problems to be aware of?
- Blood in Urine
If you notice blood in your urine, there may be a problem with your kidneys. That said, you could also have a problem with a part of your urinary tract, although the two are closely linked. You do not have to panic, however. It does not, for instance, immediately mean that you have some form of kidney disease. However, it does mean that there is something wrong, and that problem must be treated. A physician will be able to find out what is causing the presence of blood in your urine and then develop the most appropriate treatment.
2. Protein in Your Urine
The presence of protein in your urine is one of the most common, and earliest, indications that you may have kidney disease. Protein is present in everybody's blood. When your kidneys function properly, they filter fluid and waste out of your bloodstream, ensuring only healthy elements, like protein, is left. If there is damage to your kidney's tiny filters, then albumin, a type of protein, can escape from the bloodstream and find itself in the urine. It is very important that this issue is treated as soon as it is spotted, as it will otherwise only get worse. The only problem is that there is no visible indication of having protein in your urine. It is often not discovered until you go through a routine examination with your physician.
3. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are incredibly painful, but quite common. Generally speaking, they happen when various minerals start to clump together and even crystallize inside the kidneys. If they become large and then move down your urinary tract, they can be incredibly painful. A lot of people have small kidney stones but aren't even aware of it, because they pass so easily. What this means is that the stone is expelled through the urine. Only when kidney stones become large and painful, or if they are recurring, do they need treatment. This is also because most people will not be aware of having them until they get to that point.
4. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
AKI happens when, in a matter of just a few hours or a few days at the most, your kidneys completely stop working. This is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate care, as it can lead to death. Generally speaking, people who are already hospitalized and are very sick tend to develop AKI. However, in some cases, it is the result of a traumatic injury or an infection. In fact, it can even be a side effect of some medications.
5. Kidney Infection
Generally speaking, a kidney infection happens when there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria somewhere in the urinary tract. It is associated with a number of common symptoms, such as pain in your groin, sides, or back, vomiting, and fever. Kidney infections are more likely to happen in women than in men, due to the way that the female anatomy is constructed. It is important to treat a kidney infection as soon as possible, as untreated infections can lead to permanent damage to the kidneys.
6. Kidney Pain
If you feel a pain, which can be dull, sharp, or shooting, in your sides and/or the upper to middle back, it may be your kidneys. However, don't assume any pain felt in that area automatically means that your kidneys are damaged. Kidney pain is generally of a passing nature, although it can be precursor to one of the other problems mentioned above.
7. High Blood Pressure
A lot of people don't know that high blood pressure can have significant effects on the kidneys. In fact, it can lead to kidney disease, CKD, and even kidney failure. The kidneys contain a system of nephrons, which in turn receive blood through a dense and complex network of blood vessels. Virtually all of the blood in your body flows through these. If your blood pressure is uncontrolled, the arteries that feed the kidneys can become narrower, and will eventually harden or weaken. Once this happens, they are no longer able to supply the kidneys with sufficient blood.
When your kidneys’ arteries have been damaged, they will find it increasingly difficult to properly filter the blood. The nephrons receive their supply of blood through capillaries, hair-fine blood vessels. When there is damage to the arteries, it is no longer possible to supply the nephrons with the nutrients and oxygen they need. The result is that the kidneys cannot function properly anymore, struggling to properly filter the blood, and being unable to regulate the salts, acids, hormones, and other fluids in the body.
Another key problem is that, once the kidneys are damaged, they are no longer able to properly regulate blood pressure. This means it has become a vicious cycle of damage. If the kidneys are healthy, they will produce aldosterone, which is a hormone. This hormone is responsible for blood pressure regulation. When the kidneys are damage, blood pressure often becomes uncontrollably high, leading to further kidney damage, and so on. This negative spiral is incredibly dangerous, and can be fatal over time.
Protecting the Kidneys the Natural Way
If you have any of the problems above, it is of vital important that you seek medical attention. The kidneys are incredibly precious to our overall survival, and if they are damaged, the consequences could be very severe. Physicians will be able to find the most appropriate treatment for your needs, in an effort to save your kidneys. This can include medication, dialysis, or even kidney transplants. These are things that people would prefer to avoid. Fortunately, it is certainly possible to avoid kidney problems through natural means.
You have to be proactive when it comes to your health, making sure you don't just treat problems when they occur, but that you stop them from happening in the first place. What you may want to consider, therefore, is regularly cleansing the body, and thereby also the kidneys, ensuring that they remain healthy.
It is actually very easy to cleanse the kidneys, and you don't have to shop for complex tools or pieces of equipment in order to be able to do it. There are several things that you can do, and they should all start by drinking plenty of purified water every day. Drinking enough water is the key to keeping your kidneys functioning properly, and it is completely natural. That being said, what purified water does is hydrate you, and while that does help to improve the functioning of your kidneys, it is often not enough. So besides this, you should regularly consume one or all of the following:
- Cranberry Juice
It has been known for years that drinking cranberry juice is the best way to heal and cleanse the urinary tract. In fact, various pieces of scientific research have conclusively proven that it helps to fight infections of the urinary tract. It is believed that it does this by making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the urethra and the bladder. On top of that, it is believed that cranberries can help to remove calcium oxalate from the kidneys, which is one of the elements that is known to cause kidney stones.
Cranberry juice can be purchased from any reliable grocery store. However, make sure that you choose a product that has been certified to be organic. Also read the label to make sure it contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or added sugars. If you aren't sure, then consider purchasing a juicer, so that you can make your own instead.
2. Beet Juice
Beets are full of betaine, which is a very important phytochemical. This has strong antioxidant properties it helps to make the urine more acidic. In so doing, struvite and calcium phosphate will find it more difficult to build up within the kidneys. When calcium is removed, kidney function is improved, while at the same time making it less likely for you to develop kidney stones.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemons are filled with natural acids. Scientific evidence has shown that consuming them raises the level of citrate in the urine. This means that it is more difficult for kidney stones to form. If you want to have a quick cleanse using lemons, simply squeeze the juice of four to five lemons into a quarter glass of cold water. If you also want to warm it a bit, squeeze one and a half lemon into eight ounces of hot water. You can do this every day.
4. Juice Cleanses
This is really the only thing for which you will need some equipment, which is a juicer. However, it is for good reason that juicers are so popular nowadays. For a juice cleanse, you need to create a beverage that contains all the nutritional benefits of vegetables and fruits. These beverages are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants that can help you remove toxins from your body. This means they positively impact not just the kidneys, but also the colon and liver. Plus, they can help lower blood pressure. If you have a juicer, experiment with peaches, pineapples, pears, peeled oranges, apples, spinach, kale, carrots, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, and celery.
Whether or not you want to use supplements is a personal choice. It is undeniable that they contain nutrients that will benefit the health of your kidneys, particularly if your diet is not as nutritious and balanced as it should be. Make sure, however, that you use high quality supplements. Because the market is not regulated by the FDA, this can be quite difficult to do. You should also make sure that you speak to your physician about your decision to take supplements, because some of them can interact with various conditions and with other medications.
Overall, adding these natural methods to your lifestyle may just help you prevent the development of serious kidney problems that would require intensive pharmaceutical medication. One program we recommend is the Kidney Disease Solution, which is a guide for treating kidney disease naturally. You can read our full review here. There is another similar program called the All Natural Kidney Health and Function Restoration program, which you can also read more about here.