Earlier this week, I paid a visit to a Muslim store owner with a couple of friends. We found him sitting in front of his shop looking weak and dejected. One of my friend a big bulge in the store owner’s arm and asked what is that. The store owner replied, “that’s where they they insert the dialysis tube”. He went on to say, “I go to dialysis 3 times a week”.
It was sad for me to see the result of a person with kidney failure. It made me starkly aware of the importance on taking care of our kidneys. And so I did some research on kidneys, their function and how to prevent kidney failure.
It takes about 30 minutes for your kidneys to filter every ounce of blood inside you. It might shock you to learn that kidney (renal) failure is officially the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. Most people don’t give kidney health much thought − until these vital organs stop working.
If your kidneys fail, it means they’re unable to filter waste from your bloodstream. Within a matter of hours, the toxins inside you can build to a lethal level.
You can’t survive without your kidneys. You must have at least one functioning kidney. If both kidneys fail, you are left with two options:
The only treatment for kidney failure is dialysis. Medical equipment takes over the filtration of your blood, doing the job your kidneys once performed. And it’s ongoing. Once you start dialysis due to renal failure, you’re in it for life. At this time, approximately 468,000 Americans are on long-term kidney dialysis.
b) Kidney Transplant
The only other option is a kidney transplant, but demand far outweighs supply (it’s number one on transplant lists). As of 2016, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. alone are awaiting kidney transplants.
10 Symptoms of Failing Kidney Health to Watch Out For
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may indicate you have failing kidneys
- Less urine output or feeling as if you need to urinate more often
- Dark or pinkish urine, foam in urine
- Retaining fluids; swelling in limbs, abdomen, or face
- Increased sensation of thirst
- Chest pain or pressure
- Extreme fatigue, weakness, or unusual sleepiness
- Problems breathing
- Loss of cognition
What Raises Your Personal Risk of Kidney Failure?
Diabetes (the leading cause of kidney failure)
High blood pressure (the second leading cause of kidney failure)
Poor lifestyle habits (smoking, substance abuse, excessive alcohol consumption)
Compromised immune function, autoimmune disease, or persistent infections
Sudden blood loss (including surgical procedures)
Blocks (such as kidney stones) that impair blood flow
Long-term use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs
Traumatic injury to kidneys
Chemotherapy treatment, test dyes, and antibiotics
Heavy metal toxicity
Research from Johns Hopkins University (published in American Journal of Kidney Disease) found that patients who are obese have double the risk of developing kidney disease. If you’re a smoker, you have 60 percent more chance of losing the use of your kidneys if they begin to fail.
3. Best Drinks For Your Kidney Health
If you’re wondering how best to promote kidney health, it may be as simple as pouring yourself a glass of something to drink that you may already have at home. Here’s what the latest research says about the 3 best drinks for kidney health:
a) Cranberry Juice
This tart red drink is good for both your urinary tract and kidney health. Cranberries contain compounds that can stop e. coli, the bacteria that causes 80 to 90 percent of all urinary tract infections (UTIs), from “sticking” to the urinary tract wall. Studies in young women with frequent UTIs show that drinking a glass of cranberry juice each day may help reduce recurrent or repeat UTIs.
b) Lemon and Lime-based Citrus Juices
Citrus juices that are naturally high in citrate, such as lemonade and limeade, have been shown to offer benefits for kidney stone prevention. Beware of juices with high sugar content though, because the sugar can actually increase kidney stone risk. Instead, buy no-sugar added lemonade, or make your own by mixing lime or lemon juice with water. If needed, use a sugar substitute to cut the tartness.
Water is essential to life. It performs many important functions in your body like flushing out toxins, transporting nutrients and regulating body temperature. Drinking plenty of water helps to ensure that your kidneys are able to filter wastes and toxins from the blood in order to excrete them as urine. Aim for more dilute urine, as dehydration and kidney stones can occur when you’re not drinking enough water.
Herbs for Your Kidney Health
Kelp is a natural herbal diuretic. It’s a sea vegetable that’s available in powder and capsule forms at health food stores. Kelp contains nutrients including potassium, iodine and iron that support kidney health. It cleanses the kidneys by increasing urine production, which flushes toxins from your body.
Parsley is an herb found in most household kitchens that can help your kidneys function properly. Taking supplemental parsley, which you can find in capsule and tincture form at health food stores, helps cleanse your kidneys while supporting overall health with high levels of potassium.
Ginger is able to maintain the performance of the kidney in cleansing the blood to remain in the normal state and can dissolve kidney stones are still small because ginger has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and heat that it is used to Destroy kidney stones that have been or will be newly formed.
Fenugreek may protect against the development of kidney stones, according to a laboratory study in 2007. Fenugreek was given to laboratory animals to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Results showed that animals who received fenugreek supplementation had significantly less calcification in their kidneys and significantly less total calcium in the kidney tissue as compared with untreated animals.
Hijama For Kidney Health
Hijama plays an important role in cleansing the blood and removing the dirty blood which contain toxins, poisons and waste that the kidneys work hard to eliminate. By doing hijama regularly, you relieve the kidneys some of the burden of cleansing out your blood.