The main job of the kidney is to remove waste from the blood and return clean blood to the body. When you have kidney disease or failure, your kidney is no longer function as well as it can.
What cause kidney failure?
Acute kidney failure (sudden lost in function) could be due to sudden loss of blood due to injury, infection in the kidney and obstruction of the urine flow.
How to manage kidney failure?
In order to manage chronic kidney failure, it is critical that you change your lifestyle with the right diet and habits. This is to protect your kidney and control other diseases related to kidney failure.
Step 1 – Balance salt, fluids and electrolytes.
A healthy kidney remove waste, balance water content and electrolytes level in the body. The main electrolytes are potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Kidney failure leads to increased in potassium and phosphorus level. High potassium level cause irregular heart beat and high phosphorus level cause calcium to leach out from the bones and osteoporosis.
1) Limit fluids – Too much fluids burden the kidney to get rid of the excess fluid. It is not just the liquid you drink but also from the food you take. Be aware of the foods that are high in fluids such as soups, juicy fruits and vegetables.
2) Potassium, phosphorus and calcium – Supplementing calcium and Vitamin D is important to prevent calcium loss in the bone. Limit foods that are high in phosphorus such as milk, beans, nuts, poultry, whole grains, eggs and fish. Foods that are low in potassium are banana, apricot, kiwi, melon, sweet potato and spinach.
3) Limit salt – Salty food makes us thirsty, so we drink more water and the body retains more water leading to high blood pressure, which affects the kidney and heart. Beware of salt substitute that are high in potassium.
Step 2 –Nutrients to monitor.
1) Protein – Too much protein put burden on the kidney to get rid of the end product of protein metabolism. But you must also take enough protein with essential amino acid to prevent the body from breaking down muscle.
2) Carbohydrate – Most kidney failure is due to poorly controlled diabetes. Hence, managing the control of blood sugar with complex carbohydrate from fruits, vegetables, brown rice, sweet potato is important.
Step 3 – Avoid fast food, trans fat and processed food.
Step 4 – Lose weight
When you are overweight or obese, fat tissues surround kidney and liver. This put pressure and burden on the kidney and affect the proper function. This link between fat and kidney failure was reported by Gunter Wolf from the University of Hamburg in the Journal of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation in 2003. So, it is critical that you lose the fat to reduce the burden on the kidney.
Step 5 – Stop smoking, avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol damages kidney cells further, increase urinary output causing dehydration and disrupt the hormones that govern kidney functions. Smoking is one of the causes of high blood pressure, which in turn affects the kidney.
Long term use of NSAIDs ( Non steroidal inflammatory drugs ) leads to kidney failure. They are toxins, which the body has to work hard to get rid.
Step 6 – Antioxidants
Antioxidants are protective nutrients that have been investigated for their potential to help with treating kidney disease as reported by David Warnock at the University of Alabama in The New England Journal of Medicine, June 2011.
Kidney friendly foods that at are high in antioxidants are berries, garlic, apples, cabbage and broccoli. Anti-inflammatory food such as olive oil and walnut oil are high in Omega-3 are also important in protecting the kidney.
When the kidney fails completely, renal dialysis or kidney transplant is the only option available. Hence, it is important that you follow the above 6 steps to manage your health.
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