Lookalike of headphones, nature has wired human bodies with an efficient
A set of bean-shaped organs, Kidneys, present in the back of abdomen,
on the left and right sides of the spine to be precise. Though being just
fist-size, kidneys multitask and micromanage functions so manifold, that
may leave one awestruck with their immaculate efficiency of functioning 24x7.
Filtering blood to remove excess water and wastes, kidneys eliminate
these by producing urine while also controlling blood pressure and
regulating water-urine levels. They also produce hormones to carry
out vital bodily functions like Red blood cells production and activating
vitamin D for maintaining bone health. Any condition affecting their tiny
filters, nephrons and the surrounding tubules and blood vessels, cause
inflammation which can't be recognised until the disease reaches an
Damage happens slowly, over many years due to conditions like Diabetes,
high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic anomalies, and
can develop in anybody, regardless of age and gender. Initially not
recogni- sably visible, but overtime symptoms become vague, directing
towards diverse causes. Smart is an early recognition and prompt
awareness on major kidney ailments to stall them as early as possible,
and avoid future complications.
Maladies affecting Kidneys!
1. Kidney Stone
When urine becomes concentrated mainly with calcium, oxalate and
uric acid along with a decreased volume, these minerals crystallise
together and form hard crystalline mineral deposits and acid salts,
known as Kidney stones. Very commonly observed, these either
inhabit the kidneys or urinary tract (mainly ureters), and produce
varied symptoms like difficulties in passing urine, red or brown
urine, blood in urine along with a flank or severe abdominal pain.
How to prevent Kidney Stone
-the more you drink water, the maximum you will pass urine, and
will get rid of these stones sooner.
- Restrict consumption of calcium oxalate-rich foods like beets,
spinach, sweet potatoes, nuts, okra, tea, chocolate and soy
- Consume a diet low in salt and animal proteins (like legumes).
-Calcium-rich foods can be eaten, but keep a check on calcium
2. Kidney Infections
Bacteria (often E.coli) traveling from the urinary bladder to one or
both the kidneys, or entering via the bloodstream or intravenous
drug abuse (such as Staphylococcus sp.), end up causing a variety
of infections in kidneys. Symptoms often develop quickly within
hours or days with notable weakness, abdominal pain, pain
around the genitals, high fever, chills, foul smell or bloody
urine and diarrhea.
How to prevent Kidney Infections
- Drinking plenty of fluids, mainly 8 10 glasses of water, will wash
away bacteria from bladder and urinary tract.
-Intake of Cranberry juice, probiotics and pineapples prevent recurrent
UTIs and constipation.
-Proper wiping strategies with wiping from front to back post bowel
movement prevents bacteria from getting into urethar
- Practice good hygiene and keep the genital area clean.
3. Kidney Diseases
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) An inherited kidney
disorder wherein fluid-filled cysts formed in the kidney, impair kidney function and eventually cause kidney failure.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) As one gets older, kidney
function declines, and if one suffers from underlying long-term conditions
like heart failure, diabetes, etc., symptoms like weakness, breathlessness,
blood in urine, swollen limbs at advanced stages indicate CKD.
How to prevent Kidney Diseases
-Abstain from Smoking and cut down on alcohol.
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy metabolism.
-Consume diet rich in fruit and vegetables, starchy and dairy
foods, pulses with lower portions of saturated fat, salt and sugar.
Long-term conditions like diabetes, to be controlled
- Avoid long-term consumption of over-the-counter medications
or painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen.
4. Acute Kidney Injury
Impairment of kidney function due to sudden damage to
kidneys caused by ageing, infections, chronic diseases, medications,
can initially manifest into reduced blood flow to kidneys to their
complete failure at later stages.
How to prevent Acute Kidney Injury
-Monitor kidney function with regular blood and urine tests.
-Pay heed to warning signs like vomiting, less urine production,
-Increase fluid consumption to ward off dehydration.
Stop or seek medical attention if any medications are prone
to directly damage kidneys.
5. Kidney Cancer
Abnormal and uncontrolled proli- feration of cells in the kidney,
leading to formation of tumours, due to an inherited mutant gene,
extreme obesity or high blood pressure. Symptoms usually
manifest with blood in urine, lower abdominal pain and
lump/swelling on sides.
Kidney Cancer can't be prevented. But, the risk can be lowered by,
- Abstaining from tobacco smoking.
-Maintaining a healthy weight by regular exercise.
-Opting diet rich in fruits and vege tables.
-Treating high blood pressure.
-Avoiding exposure to harmful substances like cadmium and organic solvents.
A Kidney check - Markers of kidney damage
Kidney damage is diagnosed by checking the levels of various markers. These markers often provide a
clue to the likely site of damage within the kidney Few important markers are listed below:
It is characterized by increased amounts of protein in the urine and indicates the following
1. Increased permeability to large molecular weight proteins
2. Incomplete reabsorption of low molecular weight proteins
3. Increased levels of low molecular weight proteins in blood
Albuminuria is a common finding in CKD. It is an early marker of glomerular diseases, where it generally
appears before the reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Constant albumin excretion rate (AER) of 30
mg/24 hours for more than 3, months indicate CKD.
2. blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Increased BUN is known to be associated with kidney damage or failure and blockage of the urinary tract
by a kidney stone. BUN level higher than 100 mg/dL points to a severe kidney damage.
3. Urea Creatinine Ratio
This ratio assesses the renal function as plasma/serum levels of both reflect eGFR, an indication of
proper kidney function.
It is Preventable!
Diseases affecting kidneys can be prevented if the risk factors are controlled. Certain factors that can make
it possible include lifestyle modification, reduction in smoking and alcohol consumption along with a healthy
diet. Early diagnosis holds the key to prevention of end stage renal disease (kidney damage that cannot be
reversed). Hence, right preventive care is essential for accurate diagnosis at the right time, so that necessary
steps to prevent the progression of the condition can be taken.
Food for Kidneys
While you meet your body's natural needs, by eating foodstuffs to calm your
hunger pangs and drinking water to quench your thirst, the resulting surge of
essential nutrients mainly minerals and certain metabolic wastes are managed
by a pair of significant organs fitted in the body, our kidneys! Being the natural
'managers', working around the clock, they tirelessly balance the levels of all
components (dietary excesses and by-products) by controlling what's in excess
and what's not. Right from waste removal, hormonal production to regulating
blood pressure, red blood cell production, mineral balance, keeping the blood
composition stable, kidneys undertake a humongous workload. Such vital organs
definitely demand essential attention, which can be provided without sacrificing
a lot from our pockets and time from our busy schedules. The solutions are sitting
in our kitchen in numbers, what awaits is just a little organising to consume these
kidney-friendly foods regularly, on priority.
Performing a not-so-glamorous but vital job Kidneys work 24x7 removing excesses
and wastes. Are you eating right for them to work right?
Kidney Beans for Bean-shaped organs!
With shape and color alike, beans are low-fat highly nutritional foods, loaded with
high soluble and insoluble fiber which foster cardiovascular health, modulates blood
pressure and also stabilises blood sugar. Packed with low sodium, sugar and cholesterol
content, and rich in amino acids, magnesium, they reduce the risk of kidney stones
and other renal diseases.
This inexpensive cruciferous vegetable is immensely kidney-friendly and a touted
dialysis food being rich in phytochemicals, chemical compounds that thwart harmful
free radicals present in body. Abundant in vitamins K, C, B6, fiber, copper, manganese
and folic acid, they improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and alleviate
Red or green, these are low in potassium, therefore doesn't load kidneys for its excess
removal. These Peppers not only add color or taste to a dish, but are generously packed
with Vitamin A, C, B6, Folic acid and fiber, which enhances kidney health. Antioxidant,
lycopene present in them lowers the risk of certain types of cancers and renal diseases,
helps get rid of free radicals and inflammation from the body.
Garlic and Onion
Lowering cholesterol, garlic works as a powerful antioxidant reducing inflammation,
regulating blood sugar levels and reducing risk of diabetes, which in turn reduce
potential renal damages and controls any illness's progression. Flavonoids (quercetin)
present in onions prevent deposition of plaques in blood vessels and chromium present
in it aids in metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, thus easing the removal of
wastes via kidneys.
Be it cranberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, they all are rich in antioxidants
which neutralise free radicals. Vitamin B & C, fiber and manganese content in them provide
anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties that reduce the level of toxins in body,
reducing the load on kidneys while strengthening bones as well.
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, they lower LDL?? (the bad cholesterol) and raise
HDL (the good cholesterol) and also reduce the risk of cancers and heart diseases,
keeping kidney health in check.
Fibrous with anti-inflammatory properties, they reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation,
provides protection from heart ailments and reduces cancer risk.
These are pure protein with less phosphorous content and form a perfect diet for
kidney patients for they don't alter the hormonal levels or weaken bones.
Rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidant compounds, these
combat inflammation and oxidation, reducing the load of removing free radicals from kidneys.
Rich in flavonoids, mainly resveratrol, these not only provide protection against inflamed
kidneys and certain cancers, but also enhance production of nitric oxide which fosters
relaxation of muscle cells in blood vessels to increase blood flow.
One word answer toward repel these maladies - Prevention!
Be it frequent urination, peculiar urine appearances or a felt burning
sensation, symptoms when paid heed on time, will definitely pave a
path for patients onto a routine investigation of kidney health by a
doctor, who via various laboratory test results like high levels of
creatinine and urea nitrogen (BUN) in blood or high levels of
protein in urine, can identify any abnormality with kidneys.
A healthy diet with exercise, devoid of any substance and alcohol
abuse, with a little awareness and carefulness, are deemed to be
boons, to keep sound health of the beanshaped warriors, Kidneys!