Kidney disease is a serious health condition killing more people than breast or prostate cancer each year. At present, it affects over 26 million Americans and 30% of American adults are at risk of developing kidney disease, reports the National Kidney Foundation.
There are a number of contributing factors that can trigger this condition and these include diabetes, hypertension, family history of the disease and being 60 or older. Kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease are also risk factors.
Why Kidneys Are Important
Kidneys are one of the vital organs in the body which are in charge of several functions – they clean the blood of toxins, remove extra fluid from the body, keep electrolyte levels under control, manage blood hormone levels, control blood pressure, stimulate the production of new red blood cells and last, but not least, support bone health. Although both kidneys are essential for proper body function, a person can live with just one.
The warning signs of kidney disease include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Painful urination
- Frothy urine
- Pink or dark urine; also blood in urine
- Frequent need to urinate, especially overnight
- Swollen eyes
- Feeling thirsty all the time
Edema or water retention is one of the most serious consequences of kidney failure. Edema occurs when the kidneys can’t properly remove fluid or salt from the body and is typically marked by a swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles and feet. This can further cause heart or liver disease, as well as affect the function of other vital organs.
14 Kidney-Boosting Foods
Pregnant women as well as people on systemic therapies should be extra careful with these natural remedies as some of these herbs can interfere with the effects of prescription medication. It’s best to consult a doctor or naturopath before starting any of these treatments.
The health benefits of cranberries in relation to urinary tract infections (UTIs) are widely known and used. Cranberry juice is particularly effective because it prevents urinary tract infections by raising the acidity of the urine, thus preventing kidney stones. Plus, it inhibits bacteria from accumulating on the bladder wall and the kidney inside tissues.
Abundant in antioxidants, grape seed and skin is extremely beneficial for preventing kidney disease, especially in the overweight. Plus, this fruit protects the kidneys from free radical and toxin damage. It only takes 15 grapes a day to keep your blood alkaline and ensure proper kidney function.
Apples are rich in potassium, which is great for supporting heart health, but also for ensuring proper kidney function. This makes apples compulsory for patients on dialysis and other kidney problems.
Abounding in citric acid, which prevents and dissolves some types of kidney stones, citrus fruits are also beneficial for kidney patients. For one thing, lemons pack high levels of this acid, which not only dissolves kidney stones, but also prevents small stones from growing by coating them and preventing materials from attaching and building unto them.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Aside from reducing inflammation in diseased kidneys, turmeric also prevents the formation of blood clots by inhibiting clumping of platelets. The antioxidant properties of turmeric are highly beneficial against kidneys and liver damage.