Kidney disease is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults and 90% of people who have it don’t even feel the symptoms or know that they have it. Symptoms don’t appear until about 90% of function is lost and at this point, you could be entering kidney failure. Kidney disease should be a concern for everyone since age over 60, high blood pressure and diabetes are common and major culprits of kidney diseases. You just can’t judge your kidney function by how you feel especially if you are at a higher risk for kidney disease. Let’s take a look at why most people don’t know they have kidney disease, how you can identify it, and 10 ways that you can prevent it or improve your condition.
What is Kidney Disease?
Kidneys play a major role in removing waste, chemicals, and toxins from your body. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs just below your ribcage on each side. They act as your body’s waste filtration system, filtering your blood about 12 times per hour! Any excess water, unwanted chemicals, or waste in the blood are disposed of as urine.
Kidney disease occurs when your kidneys are damaged and cannot filter your blood effectively. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure since most people aren’t aware of their condition until they are in the early stages of kidney failure.
Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms of Kidney Disease & Failure
When your kidneys are forced to work harder due to uncontrolled sugar and inflammation or blood flow issues it causes damage and puts stress on the filtration systems in your body. Here are the risk factors you should look out for.
- High blood pressure
- Have established heart problems (heart failure or past heart attack) or have had a stroke
- Over 60 years of age
- Family history of kidney failure
- History of acute kidney injury
If you are at risk for Kidney disease, it’s important to get your blood pressure and glucose numbers under control and get the right tests to measure your kidney function.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease & Kidney Failure
Kidney disease is called a ‘silent disease’ as there are often few or no symptoms. The early stages at least are asymptomatic. In fact, you can lose up to 90% of your kidneys’ functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some early signs of kidney disease you should look out for include:
- a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night (usually an increase at first)
- blood in your urine
- changes in the appearance of your urine
- puffiness around your legs and ankles
- pain in your back (under the lower ribs, where the kidneys are located)
- pain or burning when you pass urine
- high blood pressure
If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, gradually lead to:
- tiredness and inability to concentrate
- generally feeling unwell
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath
- bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth
Natural Solutions for Preventing Kidney Disease or Improving Kidney Function
You can help or hurt your kidney function with the lifestyle that you lead. Here are some ways that you can make changes in your lifestyle for optimum kidney function:
Control Insulin and Glucose
You can take the pressure off your kidneys and reduce the risk of kidney disease or injury by getting your insulin and glucose levels under control. By exercising and eating a low sugar and low inflammation diet you can maintain healthy levels. The Livingood Daily Challenge breaks down the best foods for managing cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other metabolic diseases with meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists and helps you build and set your foundations for sustainable health.
Measure, Track, and Change your Blood Pressure
You should measure and track your blood pressure every day to determine the cause and changes in blood pressure highs and lows. Use the same arm, the same angle, and measure at the same time to get an accurate picture and create a plan for improving your blood flow and naturally lowering your blood pressure.
Drink More Water
You can maintain healthy kidneys by drinking the correct amount of water for your body each day. Water is essential for removing waste and toxins from your bloodstream. It’s recommended that everyone drink half of their body weight in ounces of water each day. For a person 120lbs, they should drink 60 ounces of water each day. Be careful not to drink too much water as this could negatively affect the sodium levels in your body. To help make the best use of the water you consume, use the Livingood Daily Greens or Livingood Daily Energyze to drive water into your cells.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and other over-the-counter painkillers are known to cause fluid retention or edema and those who suffer from kidney disease. Electrolyte imbalance is another complication of NSAID use. Luckily, damage from NSAID use is easily reversed by discontinuing use. A great natural alternative for pain and inflammation is the Livingood Daily Omegas + Turmeric.
Avoid PPI Acid Reflux Drugs
PPIs or proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid are commonly prescribed or purchased over the counter to relieve symptoms of acid reflux. Studies are now showing evidence of kidney injury and electrolyte imbalance with regular use of PPIs. Those using PPIs are 28.4x more likely to get chronic kidney disease and 35.5X times more likely to report end-stage renal disease.
Control Salt and Potassium
Salt and potassium are necessary nutrients for optimum health. However, to overdo it is to cause stress on your kidneys. For salt, there’s no need to avoid it. You just want to use real salt and avoid packaged and processed foods that contain ridiculous amounts of sodium. Aim for real sea salt and real food. Check out the market for Dr. Livingood’s salt recommendations.
Clean Moderate Protein
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that your body uses to create energy, make cells and build healthy bones. It’s found in many foods but there are higher amounts in foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, cheese, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and grains. The meats on this list have the highest amount of phosphorus. Again, it’s not necessary to avoid these foods. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Find clean sources of protein and eat them in moderation. For women, no more than 15g of protein is recommended per meal. For men, no more than 20g of protein is recommended per meal. Livingood Daily Collagen + Multi has 11g of grass-fed protein and is a great way to get a moderate amount of protein in during any meal or a window of intermittent fasting.
Milk thistle is known for its powerful liver regenerating properties but it is also high in silymarin and can help repair and regenerate kidney cells and the DNA of the cells. Milk thistle can be found in the Livingood Daily Detox supplement!
Glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant in our bodies that helps to remove toxins from our cells and digestive tracts. It can also reduce oxidative stress and carry toxins to our bile. For extra detoxing help, you can find glutathione in the Livingood Daily Detox formulas.
Kidney health should be a concern for everyone since they are our body’s filtration system. As we get older our risk for kidney disease and kidney failure is greater. Take these natural steps to improve kidney function or prevent kidney disease in the long run.