Your kidneys are crucial to your health. These small organs remove waste and toxins, balance your body’s fluid levels, regulate blood pressure through the release of necessary hormones, stimulate red blood cell production, and produce active vitamin D.
There are two types of renal malfunction:
- Acute kidney injury (AKI) results from an event that results in renal failure suddenly due to decrease in blood flow. This can happen from severe dehydration, blood loss due to surgery or trauma, or even an overdose (purposeful or accumulation over time) of a drug such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Other factors include chronic inflammation (which is a root cause of diabetes and heart disease), blockages, infections (such as sepsis), or allergic reactions.
Symptoms may include fluid retention, loss of appetite, pain, extreme thirst, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, or reduced urine output. The majority of cases of acute kidney failure occurs to people already hospitalized for another reason and is marked by higher levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is damage that happens to your kidneys over time. The biggest culprits of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. Prolonged drug or alcohol abuse, long-term medications, or a blocked renal artery can damage your kidneys beyond treatment.
Factors you have no control of are age, cancer, and genetic abnormalities. In the case of a chronic condition, you may show the symptoms listed for AKI until your kidneys are almost non-functioning. Anemia (low iron levels) and hyperphosphatemia (high levels of phosphates in the blood) may present at this stage.
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Either of these conditions puts you at risk for the other.
Paul Kimmel, M.D. with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explained, “Physicians have been taught for decades to consider AKI and CKD as separate. When people have chronic kidney disease, their doctors should be on the lookout for acute kidney injury. And when people have recovered from acute kidney injury, they should follow up with their doctor and a kidney specialist to monitor their kidney function for long-term consequences.”
Approximately 50% of acute kidney injury can be treated without lasting damage. The other 50% develop permanent kidney damage that will likely lead to the necessity for dialysis (where medical machines filter your blood for you) or the need for a kidney transplant.
Following a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods for kidney health will keep your kidneys in shape for decades. Food has been proven repeatedly to turn the tide in many health scenarios – slowing and even stopping further damage to vital organs. A diet filled with powerful superfoods mop up free radicals caused by oxidation and lower inflammation.Food has proven to turn the tide in many health scenarios - slowing down damage to vital organs.Click To Tweet
Study after study for every major disease shows that what you eat matters to how you look, how you feel, and how healthy you are on the inside.
You can ensure kidney health with foods that help keep them clean, clear, and doing the job they do so well. Those who have a genetic kidney condition, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease must take special care to protect their kidneys.
Super Foods for Kidney Health
- Red bell peppers, asparagus, string beans, zucchini, and celery
- Garlic and onions
- Organic beef, poultry, and eggs
- Apples, pears, or peaches
- Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries
- Red grapes
- Cabbage, cauliflower, and leafy greens
- Seafood (especially fatty fish)
- Olive or coconut oils
- Nuts, and seeds
- Water (drink ½ ounce for every pound of bodyweight daily) or green tea
No matter the current condition of your kidneys, eating kidney healthy foods is just smart for your whole body. If you already have diabetes, heart disease, or kidney malfunction, then getting the right foods in your eating plan is truly critical.
Talk to your doctor or renal specialist about the right foods (and the wrong ones) for your specific case…and then follow it seriously. Not only do these foods benefit the filtration system you need to live, they’re also excellent for your heart, brain, and digestive system.
Today is the right day to think about your kidneys…because you might not know you have a problem until the situation has progressed to a dangerous point. Don’t wait.