Kidney failure happens when one or both kidneys stop functioning normally. It could be due to infections, urine elimination problems, or other underlying diseases. Instead of excreting, wastes like urea, creatinine, uric acid, and ammonium ions remain in the blood. Accumulating these substances is toxic to the human system and could prove fatal if not treated in time. The question of the hour arises. How to prevent kidney failure? 

Well, there are various preventive measures you can take to prevent kidney failure. Your diet should also be a key part of preventing and maintaining CKD. This blog will take you through the tips for preventing kidney failure and promoting kidney health.

How does our kidney function?

Our kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs on the left and right sides of the abdomen. The kidneys receive blood from a pair of arteries connected to them, called the renal arteries. The blood is then filtered by removing waste such as sugar and salt. The minerals of the blood are also adjusted. This filtered blood is returned to the body, and the waste is converted to urine. Each kidney is linked to a ureter, a tube that transfers urine from the kidney’s pelvis into the bladder. 

Following are the major functions of the kidney.

  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Removal of toxins and drugs
  • Excretion of metabolic waste
  • Regulation of osmotic pressure in the body
  • Maintenance of body fluids
  • Control the production of red blood cells
  • Produces Vitamin D, which promotes strong and healthy bones

What happens when the kidney fails?

Kidney diseases often affect both kidneys resulting in kidney failure. If the kidney’s ability to filter blood is hindered, waste and excess fluids build up in the body resulting in abnormalities that do not give symptoms until late in the course of a disease. These diseases develop slowly over time and cause progressive kidney function loss. 

Some common kidney diseases are 

  • High blood pressure
  • Blood or protein in the urine
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stone
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Glomerulonephritis 

Book an appointment with the Best Nephrologist.

Potential Causes of kidney failure –

Kidney failure has a lot of signs, and often, they are all related to one another. Some causes of kidney failure are genetic, and the patients have no control over it. 

Two major causes of kidney failure are diabetes and hypertension or high blood pressure. Chronic kidney diseases can also cause kidney failure. Chronic kidney disease occurs when there is a change in the structure or function of the kidney. An infection, damage, tumor, or side effects of certain medications can cause kidney diseases. Kidney infections caused by certain bacteria can also cause kidney failure if they go unnoticed and untreated. Kidney infection also called pyelonephritis, or renal infection is when bacteria or viruses cause problems in one or both kidneys. It is a form of urinary tract infection that is rather prevalent. Kidney infections that are not treated soon can cause permanent kidney damage, spread to other parts of the body, and cause an even more serious infection. 

Signs & Symptoms of kidney failure :

There is a wide range of symptoms an individual may experience due to kidney failure. Some of which may not even be present at all.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramp
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in mental status
  • Decreased urination
  • Pain and discomfort in the lower back, sides, or genitals
  • A high temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shivering or chills
  • Feeling sick or being sick
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Diarrhea 

You may have other symptoms in case of urinary tract infection or UTI, such as cystitis. This additional symptom may include pain or a burning sensation when passing urine. You may also need to use the toilet suddenly or more often than usual. You may also notice blood in your urine, smelly or cloudy urine, pain in your lower abdomen, and pain in your genitals. 

In older people, kidney infections can confuse them. 

Also, Read Kidney, Ureters & Urinary Bladder: 14 Common Diseases.

Treatments available for kidney failure – 

The treatments currently available for kidney failure are dialysis or kidney transplant. 

Kidney dialysis: 

Dialysis is also called hemodialysis. It is a process or procedure to remove or eliminate excess salt and nitrogenous waste from the blood. It does not absorb or secrete anything. During dialysis, the patient’s blood is extracted from the modified blood vessel in his arm and passed into the dialysis machine. The blood is returned after it has been cleaned. The dialysis fluid is changed regularly to remove waste and to maintain a diffusion gradient between the patient’s blood and the dialysis fluid. 

The dialysis machine contains the following part:

  • A steel tube with a filter filled with a warm fluid is set at room temperature to suit the patient’s body temperature. 
  • The dialysis machine also has a narrow tubular coil of cellophane with pores and sterile dialysis fluid. 
  • Cellophane’s tubular oil is semi-permeable. A vast surface area is provided for material exchange while blood cells and big proteins are blocked from exiting.
  • The cellophane tube is immersed in a sterile dialysis solution, which includes dissolved salts and sugars in precisely controlled amounts.

When a kidney fails, there is an extremely slim possibility that it can be repaired. As a result, this treatment must be repeated until the kidney is replaced with a new one. Dialysis is often a very expensive treatment, and most patients cannot afford it in the longer run. 

Kidney transplant –

Transplantation is a significant surgical procedure that replaces a failing or diseased kidney with a healthy one. The replaced kidney can be from anyone with the same blood type and healthy body functioning. A kidney transplant is associated with a greater quality of life, a lower risk of death, fewer dietary restrictions, and a lower cost of care compared to a lifetime on dialysis.

Also, read: Frequently Asked Questions About Kidney Transplant

How to Prevent kidney failure – 

Prevention is the best medication. One can never be certain of what underlying disease can drastically change the course of their entire life. However, certain lifestyle changes and dietary modifications can help in the Prevention of kidney failure – 

  • Watch your water intake – 

One mistake we make regularly is drinking too much water. Yes! Drinking plenty of water is not equivalent to too much water. Excess water intake can cause frequent or abnormal urination. This can cause urinary tract infections, damaging our kidneys and even leading to kidney failure. 

  • Exercise regularly – 

You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say again: you need to exercise. Exercise can help an individual to maintain a healthy weight, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, increase their strength and endurance, and reduce their risk of developing kidney failure. Regular exercise can improve kidney function because it will induce sweating and cleanse the body by clearing harmful toxins from the blood and other organs.

  • Stay hydrated – 

Excess water can be damaging, but insufficient hydration and lack of fluids or water can also be one of the reasons for kidney failure. Lack of water and its substitutes can make much room for fatal issues such as kidney stones, chronic diseases, and Trappe kidney infections. There can be imbalance and obstruction in the body’s natural function to flush toxins. Drinking detox water with ingredients like ginger, lemon, and cucumber can also help flush out toxins from the body. 

  • Eat a healthy diet – 

Eating healthy and following a balanced diet can prevent diseases that can lead to renal failure. Include healthy and lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, milk, and cheese in your diet. Take dietary fiber such as vegetables and complex carbohydrates like oats, brown rice, millets, whole grain wheat, beans, and legumes. Eat healthy nuts such as almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans which are rich in proteins, nutrients, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. 

  • Promote healthy body weight – 

Maintain and regulate healthy body weight. Include stimulating activities such as yoga, walking, gardening, jogging, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, mountain climbing, etc. these activities will help you avoid a sedentary lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise will also help to avoid diseases like diabetes and remove fat deposits from the body. 

  • Limit your pain relievers – 

Avoid using unnecessary supplements if your doctor or nutritionist does not recommend them. Excess nutrients can spike hormonal levels in the body, causing disorders and abnormalities. It can ultimately lead to kidney damage. 

  • Avoid drinking alcohol – 

Alcohol can ruin your health and body. It does not benefit the body in any way. Alcohol only adds to the toxins in the body and spikes blood sugar levels. Consuming alcohol excessively can cause diabetes which leads to one or both kidney failures. 

Conclusion –

Quick revisit to all the important notes.

You can keep your kidney healthy by keeping yourself active, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling sugar levels and blood pressure, avoiding over-the-counter pills, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a healthy fluid intake. 

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