Symptoms of Kidney Disease, What You Need To Know

Kidney health is vital for whole body wellness, for when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, the body as a whole becomes ill. As with other diseases, the body will give signs and indications that there is something wrong when the kidneys fail to cleanse the blood and get rid of the toxins and waste. This article discusses the various symptoms that may develop if the kidneys are not functioning effectively. As every person is different, each case is unique and no one will experience the exact symptoms as another person with a kidney disorder or disease. The symptoms discussed here are what the majority of individuals will experience if their kidneys are failing to operate as they should.

A buildup of protein in the blood is one of the first symptoms that can be detected through lab tests. This type of indication tells the healthcare practitioner that the kidneys are having a difficult time processing the protein in the diet.

Blood in the urine is a definite indicator that something is amiss in the renal system. If ever blood is present in your urine, contact your healthcare provider and discuss this symptom with them. The sooner the healthcare practitioner is made aware that there is bleeding of some sort going on, the sooner this issue can be addressed.

Swelling in the extremities (arms, legs, feet, hands) is an indication that the kidneys are not flushing enough of the fluids out of your body to maintain a balanced level. Protein leakage in the kidneys is one of the reasons this type of swelling will take place.

The above mentioned symptoms are usually the first signs that something is wrong with the kidneys. The body’s health is dependent on the kidneys functioning correctly. When the renal function breaks down, we become poisoned by the toxins in the blood, which affects the health of our whole body.

Individuals that suspect that their kidneys are not working properly often adjust their dietary habits to help reduce the strain on the kidneys. Here is a checklist that can be used if you suspect that your kidneys are not performing at their peak and you may need to change your diet, lifestyle or exercise habits:

  • Urination changes: Frequency or lack of frequency can both be indicators that the kidneys are not working at their best. Painful urination can mean a simple urinary tract infection, but it can also mean you have kidney stones- both of which can be easily dealt with.
  • Changes in the color of your urine are an indication that there may be an infection or that the kidneys are not flushing correctly.
  • A drop in red blood cells can be detected with a simple blood test if a person is experiencing unusual fatigue. This indicates the condition known as anemia.
  • Skin rashes and itching can be the result of the kidneys inability to get rid of the wastes that build up in the blood.
  • The inability to tolerate the smell of food can be a sign that the wastes in the blood have built up and food simply makes you nauseous or causes you to vomit.
  • The taste of metal in the mouth
  • Many experience pain in the lower back, their legs or tight skin that causes pain.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed here, contact your health care provider and discuss these symptoms and what they may mean for you.

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Metabolic Acidosis: Kidney Symptom or Something Else?

Individuals who are not familiar with complicated medical terms may feel a little lost when their doctor tells them that their tests have come back and some unpronounceable term has become a problem. In the case of metabolic acidosis (a kidney disease symptom), which can be pronounced if not readily understood by the lay person, the explanation is simpler than you might think. Metabolic acidosis occurs when the body has too much acid within in the blood. The cause of metabolic acidosis is the kidneys inability to flush the acids from the body. This imbalance to the system is mostly caused by too much acid in the diet. When this happens inside the body, metabolic acidosis can contribute to many illnesses including hypothyroidism – an impairment of function in the thyroid gland, as well as Diabetes mellitus, a condition that occurs when the body is not able to process sugars correctly.

The human body is likely to suffer from an overly acidic diet, especially when the acids are not processed correctly by the body. This is often the case with kidney patients because the kidneys are not able to flush the acids out of the blood stream. The imbalance causes the pH level of the blood to drop under that which the body requires in order to be healthy. The body requires a pH level of 7.35 to function effectively. This balance is so intricate that even a minute deviation from the optimal pH range can and does cause an awful number of other health conditions to arise; cardiovascular disease, thyroid imbalances, joint problems, and diabetes, just to name a few. This chain reaction can be avoided with some dietary changes in most cases.

Educating yourself about the foods you eat and the reactions they cause in the body is beneficial for everyone. The knowledge gives you a solid base to work from as you move towards whole body wellness, so that you are able to feel your best and have the quality of life that allows you to pursue a healthy lifestyle that can be enjoyed for many years.

Here are some of the acid forming foods that should be limited in the diet:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lobster
  • Lamb
  • Dairy products
  • Caffeine
  • White flour products: pasta, breads, cakes, biscuits
  • Grains: wheat, corn, spelt, rice
  • Peanuts and Brazil nuts
  • Beans of most varieties
  • Alcoholic beverages

The majority of us have learned what a good diet is, but if you are not sure what you should eat and the amounts you should eat, check in with a naturopath, or nutritionist, and become educated about the foods that will keep your body in good health, providing you with the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need to function optimally.

The simplest treatment for metabolic acidosis is a change in your dietary habits. Eating alkaline foods and eliminating the acidic foods and liquids in the diet helps get your blood pH back to a healthy level. Healthy choices are organic raw foods (fruits and vegetables), kamut, buckwheat, quinoa, herbal teas, almonds, sunflower seeds, and barley grass and wheat grass (though there are many more).

Water is the elixir of life, for without adequate hydration (about 2 litres of water per day: depending on your climate, activity level and kidney function) the body does not function correctly. Acids can build up in the system really fast when there is not enough water ingested daily to flush your system out.

Research has clearly shown that an organic, raw food diet is much healthier for our bodies, and metabolic acidosis can be treated and controlled with such a diet. Talk to a nutritionist and find out how you start your body on the road to wellness with a raw food diet and enjoy renewed energy and revitalized health. Through the consumption of unprocessed plant foods, the body eliminates out the blood acidity, leading to: increased energy and vitality, clear skin, reversal of many conditions and increased resistance to diseases, and reduce or stop the development of cells cancer.

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Kidney Symptoms: Urine Elimination Changes and What They May Mean

Healthy individuals will urinate several times daily and some will also go one or two times during the night. If you have noticed an increase in the frequency of urination, or at the other end of the spectrum, not as frequent urination as is normal for you, then there may be some problems within your urinary system. The urinary system includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, the urethra, and two sphincter muscles. This system in the body is responsible for eliminating water soluble waste from the blood stream and when it does not perform this function correctly; toxins and waste will build up in the system.

There are medical reasons why the body is not eliminating these wastes correctly, such as kidney stones and inflammation in the urinary tract. Both of these conditions will cause the body to reduce the output of urine. Prostate problems are at times responsible for changes in the amount of urine voided by the body. The swelling of the prostate gland can block the tubes that take the urine to the outside of the body.

Depending on how much fluid is taken into the body, bladder capacity, room temperature, and how much a person sweats, normal urination is about every two to six hours. Medications (including caffeine and alcohol) can change the frequency of urination. These types of medications are often cautioned with the warning that an increased intake of fluid is necessary to maintain normal urination. When the urination output of the body is not happening naturally, a diuretic drug may be given to stimulate urination.

Weakened pelvic muscles can also be another reason that urination changes take place. The weakened muscles often impair the bladders ability to contract, or otherwise control the urethral area. Individuals who have had a catheter for a long period of time often lose control of the urination process.

Urinary tract infections are a common ailment and there are some steps that can be taken to help prevent these infections. Drinking more fluid helps the kidneys eliminate the water borne toxins and wastes through urination. The more fluid one takes in, the more fluid should come out. Cleansing the perineal area for women after elimination should be done front to back to prevent bacterial infections from faeces. Voiding the bladder after intercourse is another practice that will help prevent infections from occurring. This clears the urethra and prevents blockages from fluids that may have entered during intercourse. Leave the perfume out of the bathroom routine, perfumes can irritate sensitive tissues and cause inflammation.

Individuals who suspect that their urinary tract is not operating correctly should note the colour, clarity, and odour of their urine. When these change, a urinalysis lab test is indicated in order to find out why the urinary tract is not responding in a healthy manner.

Here are some things that can be done at home to help the urinary tract perform as it should:

  • Increase the amount of water that you drink. This will help increase the amount of urine that is put out, ensuring that toxins and microorganisms are flushed out of your system.
  • Include cranberry juice in your diet. Cranberries contain an antioxidant called proanthocyanin, which helps prevent bacteria from clinging to the inside of the urinary tract, which helps to prevent infections.
  • Increase the vitamin C in your diet. This will increase the acidity of your urine and prevent the growth of bacteria that cause infections.
  • Strengthen the pelvic muscles with exercise; this helps the bladder function better.

As you can see, any changes with urination indicate a potential problem that needs to be investigated. But once the cause is established a lot can be done with the natural approach to both prevent and treat these issues.

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Kidney Symptom: Could Your Kidney Problems Be The Cause Of Your Fatigue?

Many people seem to feel that they never have enough energy and are tired all of the time. There are various reasons a person would have fatigue even after they have had adequate sleep. The body requires seven to eight hours of sleep per night, adequate exercise and a healthy diet to stave off fatigue. If after providing the body with the requirements to be rested, the fatigue continues, there are physical causes that may be at fault. Much research has gone into finding the various causes of the lack energy.

Anemia is the most common cause of fatigue in kidney disease. When kidneys are damaged, the ability to form red blood cells are compromised, which leads to anemia. Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around the body. Without enough oxygen, the human body will die. Dietary supplements may be indicated at this time to help supply iron to the system to aid the production of normal haemoglobin levels.

Aside from the understandable (i.e. iron supplementation), an improved diet and exercise program will be the next bet to aid energy enhancement. The body requires a balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be at peak performance and provide enough energy for daily activities. Even though a person may eat several times a day, this does not mean they are eating the right foods to fuel the body, nor doing enough exercise to stir the body into burning that fuel. In order to make certain that your body is receiving all the vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy, fill your diet with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have more nutrients packed into them than other types of food and they are low in calories and fat, which will slow the system down even more.

Whole grains, seeds, and nuts fuel energy as well as providing fibre which promotes effective elimination of waste products in the blood. Eat three balanced meals a day with two snacks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to keep the energy stores high.

The next dietary concern is saturated fats. When you clog up your system with saturated fats, this causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which in turn causes high blood pressure, which is a major contributor to kidney disease. Eating lean sources of protein such as soy, fish, and poultry (without the skin) your body is able to digest and convert the fats and oils into pure energy.

A lack of hydration is also a common cause of fatigue. The 250mL of water eight times a day rule is really the secret to keeping hydrated throughout the day. Water helps the kidneys filter and separate out the nutrients we need while eliminating toxins and wastes from the blood stream. Energy levels are directly related to the ability of the kidneys to process the food and liquids in the body. If the body runs low on water, it also runs low on energy. Let it be noted that caffeine rich drinks such as coffee will not cure fatigue. Caffeine is a short term solution to fatigue, but in the long run makes the condition worse and also dehydrates the body.

Healthy sleep habits, dietary habits and exercise routines are usually adequate to energise individuals daily. When this does not happen, there are most likely other physical reasons that are making you feel fatigued. This is when it is time to check in with your healthcare provider and explore the reasons why your body is not able to give you the energy you need to conduct your daily activities.

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Kidney Symptoms: Skin Changes Caused By Kidney Disorders and Disease

It is estimated that over thirty-five million people suffer from kidney disease in the United States alone. The numbers climb astronomically when the estimate includes the rest of the world. One of the early symptoms of kidney disease is changes in the skin. The skin is an organ, the largest of the human body. When the kidneys begin to fail, the tell-tales signs are seen in the change of texture, color, and overall condition of the skin. Many patients state that their skin itches terribly, especially before and after they have dialysis treatment. Modern medicines as well as ancient natural medicines are used to treat the skin changes that occur due to kidney disorders. Here we will discuss the causes, appearance of, and treatments for the skin changes that take place in many kidney disease patients.

One of the most distressing side effects of kidney disorders and disease are the very visible changes in the skin. The skin changes range from discoloration to severe itching and flaking, to fissures and ulcers. Patients of kidney disease often have pallor to their skin at the first stages of kidney disease. This pallor is due to anemia, or not enough iron in the blood stream. The patients that are undergoing dialysis treatment may also develop a grey discolouration as a result of medications used in transfusions.

Hematomas and ecchymoses are two conditions that are seen in kidney patients who have clotting problems. Skin hematomas are recognizable as brownish or purplish skin spots and ecchymoses appears as small broken blood vessels. Pruritus or itchiness is present in most patients due to high levels of parathyroid hormone or build up of uremic toxins. Uremic frost is a condition that is not often seen in the modern day because of the ability to treat skin disorders due to kidney disease, though in times past this frosty appearance on the skin was caused by high concentrations of urea coming to the surface of the skin.

Most patients with kidney disease will suffer a from a skin disorder; it is simply the nature of the illness. When the kidneys fail to flush the toxins from our system, the skin, the largest organ of the human body, is directly affected and shows it in color changes, texture and moisture variations.

The most common skin disorder of patients with kidney disease is Xerosis. The term means in plain language, dry skin. The type of Xerosis that these patients are afflicted with is more extreme than what is seen in healthy individuals. The condition the patients develop is very uncomfortable and is so itchy that many will scratch until they break the skin, which can lead to infections. Moisturisers, keratolytics (skin sloughers), antihistamines and hydration are the means most often used for this condition. Pruritus is the secondary stage of Xerosis. Bees wax balm, essential oils, and natural moisturisers are the best treatment for this condition however.

A little over half of the individuals with kidney disease will have pigment changes in their skin. Dark colored patches appear and are made worse by exposure to the sun. Skin fading creams are often used for cosmetic reasons, to lessen the appearance of the darkened skin. Lemon juice is a natural skin bleacher and its essential oils help with sloughing dried skin cells. Lemon juice and lemon oil paired with refined sugar makes an excellent sloughing agent – and it is nontoxic.

So as you can see there are natural remedies to apply to your skin if you are suffering from skin changes due to kidney damage. However treating your kidneys directly with natural therapies is the best approach, as you are then tackling the cause of the problem, and eliminating many of the side-effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

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