Your Kidney Simplified.
The kidneys are one of the most vital organs of the human body, having a complex structure and function making them vulnerable to serious diseases if they are not taken care of in the right way. The basic function of the kidney is making urine and purifying the blood, while there are much more functions that we need to know before we start taking care of it.
We shall discuss the basic functionalities of a normal kidney and slowly understand its complications and how we could deal with them. These are the ways you can take care of your kidney with tips from our Urology hospital Bangalore.
# Removal of Waste Products
- Blood Purification – The blood is purified by the kidney by removing waste products.
- Kidney Filters the Blood – The body needs protein for growth and during the process of growth and repair, the protein used by the body produces waste products which when accumulated leads to retention and is further toxic to the body. The kidneys filter the blood and remove these waste products in the form of urine.
- Creatinine and urea are the two most important waste products that need to be removed during the process of urination. When these values are high in the blood routine test, it is an indication that the kidneys are slowly failing.
# Removal of Excess Fluid
- Balance of Fluid – Yet another function of the kidney is that it regulates the fluid balance by removing excess water as urine. Water retention in the body leads to swelling in body parts.
- Levels of Sodium, Calcium and Phosphorus is Maintained – The levels of sodium in a healthy human body have to be maintained in order to have good mental health. If phosphorus levels are not in check, there could be adverse effects on heart rhythm, while calcium levels affect bones and teeth.
- Production of Red Blood Cells – The kidney produces a hormone by the name Erythropoietin which helps in the production of red blood cells(RBC). The decreased levels of this hormone leads to kidney failure because of low hemoglobin counts.
# Maintain Healthy Bones
- Convert Vitamin D into active form for Absorption of Calcium, for Growth – This function of the kidneys leads to healthy growth, strong bones and teeth. Decreased levels of vitamin D leads to stunted growth thus leading to kidney failure.
# Maintaining Blood Pressure :
- Kidneys adjust Extracellular Fluid – The kidneys adjust the pressure in the arteries by causing changes in the fluid outside the cells. Vasoconstrictors known as angiotensin are released causing blood vessels to narrow.
- Absorption of Sodium Chloride – The kidneys work with other functions to absorb sodium chloride effectively.
There are numerous factors that could affect the normal functioning of the kidneys, from environment to medical procedures leading to functional as well as structural problems from birth. It is important to take note of these tips curated from our Urology hospital Bangalore in order to prevent Kidney diseases.
# Diabetic Nephropathy – Diabetic nephropathy causes damage to the capillaries of the kidney wrestling in long term diabetes. Symptoms are clear only after long term damage to the kidney. Some common symptoms include – headaches, tiredness, nausea, swollen legs, itchy skin.
# Kidney Stones – Stones are formed in the kidney as solid build-up of minerals, causing high intensity pain, affect kidney function in case they block the ureter.
# Kidney Infections – Kidney gets infected due to bacteria found in the bladder, which in turn transfer them to the kidney. Symptoms include lower back pain, pain during urination, sometimes followed by fever. The changes in urine could be cloudy urine, urine accompanied by blood, or bad odour in urine. Commonly affects women who are pregnant and can be cleared with antibiotics.
# Renal Failure – Renal failure in people happens when the kidneys are unable to filter out the necessary waste products from the blood. If kidney failure is because of overuse of medication, there is a chance that it can be reversed. If the cause of renal failure is a disease, then a cure is not a possibility.
# Kidney Hydronephrosis – This condition is when water remains in the kidney,because of an obstruction resulting in urine not being fully cleared, causing intense pain, resulting in the kidney getting shrunk in time.
# Kidney Tumor – Tumors formed in the kidney could be malignant or benign cancers, the former being very aggressive while the latter does not spread. The common malignant kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma.
Care for Your Kidney
We have listed out a few tips from our Urology hospital Bangalore to follow in order to maintain kidney health and avoid kidney disease. Do read ahead for a quick list.
- Balanced Diet – Having a balanced healthy diet would help prevent numerous kidney diseases as your diet directly works on your blood pressure which in turn works on your kidneys. You could start with a dash diet for heart health as well as kidney health.
- Exercise – Schedule a 30 minute exercise time every day to reduce the risk of obesity and high blood pressure. This would keep pressure off your kidneys.
- Drink Water – Drinking plenty of fluids including water before and after every meal would help you maintain kidney health. Suggested quantity of water per day is about 6 to 8 glasses.
- Supplements – Do take advice from your family physician before taking any dietary supplements as too much could harm the kidneys.
- Salt – Keep your intake in check with a maximum of 2,300 mg per day of sodium.
- Alcohol – Your consumption of alcohol per day has to be limited to just one glass for healthy kidneys.
- Smoking – The smoke emitted from tobacco constricts the blood vessels resulting in less blood supply, which can be harmful for the proper functioning of the kidneys.
- Over-the-counter medications – Make sure you do not self medicate yourself too much, since some medicines such as ibuprofen and naproxen can cause damage to the kidneys.
- Screening – Regular screening of kidneys is necessary for people having high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Sleep/Stress – The recommended hours of sleep for a normal human being is ⅞ hours every night. In order to reduce stress, reduce screen time on electronics before sleep.
Note : Kidney health is as important as the health of any other organ of the body such as heart or brain. Hope to see healthy people after this short read provided by our Urology hospital Bangalore.