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Know How To Improve Kidney Function To Avoid Dialysis Naturally

HealthcareOnTime Team 2024-03-20 2024-03-21 3 Min Read
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  • Know How To Improve Kidney Function To Avoid Dialysis Naturally

    Kidneys are organs responsible for excreting waste products via urine and faeces. These organs are located at the bottom of your rib cage on either side and perform several activities. Kidneys are composed of several tiny organelles called nephrons, which help filter waste.  1

    Apart from excretion, kidneys are also responsible for maintaining the pH balance in your body and regulating salt and potassium levels. These organs also activate a special compound of vitamin D that stimulates our body to absorb calcium, which in turn helps strengthen our bones and muscles. 

    Since our kidneys filter waste and balance electrolytes, prioritizing healthy habits to support their function is crucial. Kidney diseases can lead to several complications, like fluid retention in your body, oedema, blood poisoning, and much more. 

    Thus, take measures to prevent kidney damage and improve kidney function naturally. Remember, while there are treatments like dialysis available for your kidney, there are ways to improve kidney function to prevent kidney failure.

    But what can you do to improve kidney function to avoid dialysis? Before you read how to protect your kidney naturally, here are some symptoms that indicate kidney damage

    Kidney disease can reveal itself through various indicators, each indicating potential complications in kidney function. Let us discuss some symptoms.  2

    • Irregular or frequent peeing: One significant indicator is changes in urination patterns, such as increased frequency, blood in the urine, foamy texture, or difficulty urinating altogether. It indicates your liquid wastes do not excrete at the rate they should.

    That's why doctors often ask you what colour your urine is because, when your kidneys are failing, urine colour gives necessary information about what's happening inside. 

    • Nausea or vomiting: Kidneys help eliminate waste and toxins from the body through excretion. When they don't function properly, it can lead to a buildup of toxins, potentially causing symptoms like nausea or vomiting. Furthermore, kidney disease can have a systemic impact, often manifesting additional gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite and unintended weight loss. These effects highlight impaired kidney function's broad, adverse consequences for overall health.
    • Feeling tired or lethargic: While lethargy is not really uncommon in most diseases, it is one of the signifying symptoms of an underlying kidney disease. It happens because of unbalanced salts and pH in your body, typically regulated by the kidneys. The poor balance stems from the body's struggle to maintain equilibrium in the presence of compromised kidney health.
    • Oedema: Oedema refers to a condition where your arms and legs get swollen because of water retention. It is one of the most pertinent symptoms of kidney damage or failure. 
    • Muscle spasms: Kidneys help absorb calcium for muscle and bone formation. In cases of kidney disease, you might suffer from muscle spasms because of lower calcium absorption or unregulated salts in your body. 
    • Hypertension: It frequently coexists with kidney issues3, exacerbating the condition's progression and complications. Itching and disrupted sleep patterns further highlight the multifaceted nature of this problem. 

    You must identify these symptoms promptly and seek medical attention, as early intervention can help manage kidney disease effectively and improve overall health outcomes. Your doctor might advise getting a kidney panel test during the intervention.

    How To Increase Kidney Function Naturally

    There are several ways to increase kidney function naturally. Here are some ways to prevent kidney problems or damage:4

    • Regular Health check-ups and Tests: Detect potential troubles before you prevent kidney problems. Hence, getting the correct tests and regular Health checkups is one of the first things you can do to prevent kidney damage. Kidney diseases might be tricky to detect initially but can become fatal in advanced stages. Hence, book kidney function tests to check their condition. 

    Moreover, your doctor might advise you to go for specialised tests like a creatinine test to monitor your creatinine levels—while low creatinine levels could indicate an underlying condition, high creatinine levels potentially mean your kidneys aren't functioning optimally.

    • Keep your blood pressure under control: Keep your blood pressure levels under check if you want to increase kidney function naturally. High blood pressure levels can constrict your blood vessels, preventing the renal arteries from filtering out waste properly. Thus, dodging salty foods can help you improve kidney function and avoid dialysis.5 
    • Manage blood sugar: One of the best ways to improve kidney function is by keeping your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sugar levels can narrow and block the arteries. It reduces the ability of renal arteries to filter waste from your blood, leading to kidney damage and other serious complications. 
    • Eat a balanced diet. Wondering about how to help your kidneys function better? well you must eat a balanced diet. A healthy diet must comprise enough proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to keep your body healthy and increase kidney function naturally. While occasional treats and cheat meals are permissible, you must avoid fast foods and trans fats to prevent kidney problems. A balanced diet can also keep your blood sugar and pressure levels in check, ruling out the chances of kidney damage. You can also follow a specialised diet for chronic kidney disease patients to prevent kidney damage in a much more focused way.
    • Exercise regularly: It might take a lot to hit the gym daily, but there's no substitute for physical activity. Regular exercise can help you improve kidney function naturally and is one of the best ways to improve kidney function. It also helps fight obesity. Keep your blood sugar and pressure levels in check to ensure your overall well-being. Additionally, regular exercise enhances blood circulation, facilitating the efficient transport of waste products to the kidneys for elimination. 
    • Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking. Smoking and drinking affect your liver, heart, and kidneys. Consumption of tobacco and alcohol can increase the toxin levels in your body, making it difficult for your kidneys to filtrate them. In other words, they increase the pressure on the kidneys to eliminate waste, which can eventually lead to dire complications. 
    • Avoid NSAIDs: To help kidneys function better, avoid excessive intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs reduce blood flow and, therefore, disrupt the transportation of waste products to the kidneys for excretion.

    Can You Avoid Dialysis if You Have Kidney Disease?

    Now, you know how to protect your kidneys naturally. However, you must also know medical procedures to treat and prevent kidney failure. Dialysis is a medical procedure where excess liquid and waste products are extracted from your body when your kidneys cannot function anymore. Thus, it is the last option when you suffer from kidney failure. 

    However, not all kidney diseases need dialysis. Instead, there are ways you can get off kidney dialysis. For instance, if you adopt dietary and lifestyle changes to improve kidney function naturally, you can help your kidneys function better and avoid dialysis. ​​ 

    Remember, glomerulus performance determines kidney failure. It is a small unit present within the kidneys that primarily helps in the filtration of waste. This performance is measured in terms of estimated glomerulus filtration rate or eGFR. Here are its stages: 6

    • Stage 1: The kidneys work okay when your eGFR is 90 or greater. At this early stage, there might be no symptoms. Sometimes, you may notice higher protein levels in your urine, urinary tract infection symptoms, or elevated blood pressure. These indicate very early kidney health issues. At this stage, you still have enough time to improve your kidney function and avoid dialysis.
    • Stage 2: If your eGFR is between 60 and 89, it can indicate mild kidney damage. As in Stage 1, the symptoms might still be minimal but could include conditions such as nephrotic syndrome, characterised by significant proteinuria (excessive protein in the urine).
    • Stage 3a: For eGFR between 45 and 59, you might have mild to moderate kidney damage. Symptoms often begin to appear at this stage, including swelling in extremities due to fluid retention, changes in urination habits, and possibly higher blood pressure.
    • Stage 3b: If your eGFR lies between 30 and 44, it can indicate moderate to severe kidney damage. In addition to the symptoms of Stage 3a, it may cause fatigue, urinary tract infections, and bone disease. The waste accumulation and the kidneys' inability to maintain mineral balance cause these signs.
    • Stage 4: eGFR between 15 and 29 indicates severe kidney damage. Symptoms become more pronounced, including nausea, vomiting, a metallic taste in the mouth, and nerve problems such as numbness. This stage often necessitates preparations for dialysis or a kidney transplant in the future.
    • Stage 5: Finally, an eGFR of less than 15 means kidney failure, where your kidneys can't filter waste solids and liquids out of your body. This condition is fatal and requires dialysis to take out the toxins from your body. In this stage, symptoms will be severe. Some commonly noted signs include trouble breathing, changes in skin colour, and severe itching, among others.

    How to Delay the Onset of Dialysis?

    When prevention of kidney problems gets out of control, everyone wants to know how to get off kidney dialysis. While kidney dialysis is the last option for kidney failure, it's not the first option. In other words, if you're facing some kidney problems or any of the symptoms mentioned above, it doesn't mean you'd need kidney dialysis immediately. Moreover, you must have heard the age-old saying - prevention is better than cure. 

    Learning how to improve kidney function naturally through a few lifestyle changes can help avoid dialysis. So, to protect your kidneys naturally 7, you should consume a healthy diet, keep blood sugar and pressure levels under control, and avoid the consumption of tobacco and alcohol. 

    While there are ways to help kidneys function better, once your tests indicate a kidney disease or failure, there's no substitute for dialysis. In other words, delaying dialysis when your healthcare professional says it's required can only worsen your kidney's condition and be fatal. 

    What Percentage Of Kidney Function Requires Dialysis?

    When your kidneys function only 10 - 15 percent, you might need dialysis.8 This means your kidneys cannot excrete waste out of your body, which is then conducted by this medical procedure. In such a condition, you might face several symptoms like oedema, nausea, and constant fatigue, and your doctor will recommend that you undergo dialysis frequently to avoid the accumulation of toxins in your body. 

    Do You Need Dialysis With One Kidney?

    If you're wondering if you need dialysis with one kidney, the answer is yes if your kidney function is only 10 - 15%. The chances of undergoing dialysis when you have one kidney are also higher, as the pressure of filtrating body waste is just on a single kidney and, therefore, higher. Hence, it spikes the probability of kidney damage.9 

    It is not necessary that you need to have dialysis if you have one kidney. You can live with one kidney without dialysis if it's functioning naturally. However, you must take adequate care of it and increase kidney function naturally by altering your lifestyle and implementing healthy changes. 

    Can You Get Off Kidney Dialysis?

    Are you wondering how to get off kidney dialysis? Dialysis performs the filtration task of your kidneys when they are not functioning as required. Although cessation is possible, getting off kidney dialysis requires speaking to your healthcare professional. 10

    Remember, dialysis doesn't cure your kidneys. You can improve your kidney function naturally by implementing a few lifestyle changes and taking doctor-prescribed medicines. Further, you can reduce the frequency of dialysis by increasing your kidney function. 

    Can You Live on Dialysis Without Kidneys?

    No, you cannot live without kidneys. Dialysis is performed when your kidneys can't filter waste out of your body. No individual can survive without kidneys. 

    Can You Live With One Kidney Without Dialysis?

    Yes, you can live with one kidney without dialysis. There's no need for dialysis if your kidneys function and can filter out toxins. Dialysis is a medical procedure for removing wastes from your body when your kidneys can't. Thus, even if you have one kidney and it's functioning to its optimum level, you won't need dialysis.11


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