Posted on Nov 29, 2019, 5 p.m.
Chronic kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in America, where it affects an estimated 30 million people and can lead to a number of serious health complications such as gout, anemia, heart problems, and serious electrolyte imbalances.
Chronic kidney disease is hallmarked by progressive damage and dysfunction of the kidneys which help to filter waste products out of the blood. When this pair of organs stop functioning as they should waste products can build up in the blood, which can increase systemic inflammation, infections, and an overall breakdown of many systems within the body.
There are a variety of risk factors for chronic kidney disease that have been identified, as with many health issues not all are preventable such as family history and advancing age, but many can be avoided.
Hypertension, diabetes, other issues with renal health, being frequently dehydrated, repeated urinary infections, poor diet, and exposure to environmental toxins are seven common preventable risk factors. If any of these apply to you it may be time to consider making some important life changes, and having a conversation with a trained medical professional.
Symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be vague and hard to identify, these can include but are not limited to difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, decreased energy, swollen ankles and feet, puffiness around the eyes, excessive urination, and nighttime muscle cramps.
Chronic kidney disease often does not reveal any symptoms until it has advanced to later stages, making it important for those with known risk factors, are older, or have a family history to consider consulting with a physician and discuss kidney function and possibly a screening test.
There are several methods of conventional care for those with chronic kidney disease, but in the most advanced stages a patient may have to undergo dialysis weekly to get a machine to filter the blood for you. In addition to traditional care, there are some natural complementary treatments that may help to enhance your overall wellness and disease management.
To naturally boost your kidney health make sure to stay hydrated by drinking at least an ounce of filtered or purified water for every pound you weigh, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Typically the colour and amount of your urine will indicate when you are well hydrated; pale yellow and plentiful urine is a good indicator of being hydrated. Follow a healthy and nutritious diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, as well as vitamins B6, D, E and K. Exercise and physical activity can help to promote weight management, blood circulation, lymphatic health, and stronger immune function to help avoid the risk of systemic infections.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.