When we consume food, it undergoes various metabolic processes to extract energy, and as a result, waste products are generated. The kidneys filter these waste products, including excess sodium, potassium, creatinine, and other metabolic byproducts, from the bloodstream. These waste products are then eliminated from the body in the form of urine. The filtration and excretion process helps maintain the balance of these substances in the body and prevents the buildup of harmful toxins.
By continuously filtering the blood and removing waste products, the kidneys help maintain the internal environment of the body in a
state of balance and prevent the accumulation of harmful substances. This filtration and excretion process is crucial for overall health
and the proper functioning of various organs and systems in the body.
The main functions of the kidneys include:
1. Filtration of Blood: The kidneys act as filters, removing waste products, toxins, and excess fluids from the bloodstream. Each kidney
contains millions of tiny filtering units called nephrons, which help in this process.
2. Regulation of Fluid and Electrolyte Balance: The kidneys maintain the balance of fluids, electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and
calcium), and pH levels in the body. They adjust the excretion or reabsorption of these substances to maintain optimal balance and
prevent dehydration or electrolyte imbalances.
3. Acid-Base Balance: The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining the acid-base balance of the body. They regulate the levels of acids
and bases in the blood by excreting excess acid or bicarbonate ions.
4. Blood Pressure Regulation: The kidneys produce a hormone called renin, which helps regulate blood pressure. Renin acts on the blood
vessels and the hormone angiotensin to control the constriction and dilation of blood vessels and regulate fluid volume in the body.
5. Production of Hormones: The kidneys produce and release several hormones that are important for various bodily functions. These hormones
include erythropoietin (stimulates red blood cell production), calcitriol (active form of vitamin D, important for calcium absorption),
and prostaglandins (involved in regulating blood flow and inflammation).
6. Removal of Metabolic Wastes: The kidneys eliminate metabolic waste products, such as urea, uric acid, and creatinine, from the body through
urine. These waste products are byproducts of normal cellular metabolism and need to be excreted to maintain a healthy internal environment.
7. Regulation of Red Blood Cell Production: Through the production of erythropoietin, the kidneys help regulate the production of red blood
cells in the bone marrow. Erythropoietin stimulates the production of new red blood cells, ensuring an adequate oxygen supply to the tissues.
8. Activation of Vitamin D: The kidneys convert inactive vitamin D into its active form, called calcitriol. Calcitriol is essential for the
absorption of calcium and phosphate from the digestive tract, which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth.The kidneys play a crucial role
in filtering out waste products and toxins from the body through the process of excretion.
Symtoms of kidney Failure
Kidney failure, whether acute or chronic, can manifest through a range of symptoms. The symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause,
the severity of kidney dysfunction, and individual differences. Here are some common symptoms that may indicate kidney failure:
1. Decreased Urine Output: Producing significantly less urine or experiencing oliguria (urine output less than 400 milliliters per day) is a
common symptom of kidney failure.
2. Swelling: Accumulation of fluid in the body, resulting in swelling (edema), particularly in the legs, ankles, feet, face, and hands, can occur
in kidney failure. It happens due to impaired fluid and electrolyte balance.
3. Fatigue and Weakness: Feeling excessively tired, lacking energy, and experiencing generalized weakness is common in kidney failure. Anemia,
a condition in which there is a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin, can contribute to fatigue.
4. Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can occur due to fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or anemia-related
oxygen-carrying capacity reduction.
5. Loss of Appetite and Nausea: Decreased appetite, a metallic taste in the mouth, and a feeling of nausea or vomiting can be symptoms of kidney failure.
Accumulation of waste products in the bloodstream can affect the digestive system.
6. Muscle Cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Impaired mineral and electrolyte balance in kidney failure can result in muscle cramps, particularly
in the legs, and an irresistible urge to move the legs due to RLS.
7. Changes in Urination: Kidney failure may cause changes in urination patterns, such as increased frequency, urgency, or a need to urinate during the night
(nocturia). Urine may appear dark or foamy, or there may be blood in the urine.
8. High Blood Pressure: Kidney failure can lead to increased blood pressure or difficulty controlling existing hypertension. The kidneys play a role in regulating
blood pressure, and their dysfunction can disrupt this process.
9. Cognitive Impairment and Trouble Concentrating: In advanced stages of kidney failure, cognitive changes, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems can occur.
Reasons for kidney Failure
Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, can occur due to various reasons. Some common causes of kidney failure include:
1. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): This is the most common cause of kidney failure. CKD develops over a period of time and is often the result of conditions such
as high blood pressure, diabetes, glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units), and polycystic kidney disease (a genetic disorder causing cyst formation in the kidneys).
2. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): AKI refers to a sudden and severe loss of kidney function. It can occur due to conditions such as dehydration, severe infection,
blood loss, drug toxicity, kidney stones, and obstruction of the urinary tract.
3. Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes over a long period can damage the blood vessels and nephrons (functional units) of the kidneys, leading to kidney failure.
Diabetic nephropathy is a common complication of diabetes that can progress to kidney failure if not managed properly.
4. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Chronic uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys, impairing their ability
to filter waste and excess fluids effectively.
5. Urinary Tract Obstruction: Conditions such as kidney stones, tumors, or an enlarged prostate gland can obstruct the flow of urine, causing pressure and damage
to the kidneys.
6. Medications and Toxins: Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain antibiotics, as well as exposure to certain toxins,
can cause kidney damage and contribute to kidney failure.
7. Infections: Severe or recurrent infections, such as urinary tract infections or kidney infections, can lead to kidney damage if left untreated or if the infection
spreads to the kidneys.
While obesity itself may not directly cause kidney failure, it is considered a significant risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can eventually lead to kidney failure. Obesity is associated with various metabolic and physiological changes that can contribute to kidney damage.
Here’s how obesity can impact kidney health:
1. Diabetes: Obesity is a known risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of CKD and kidney failure. Over time, uncontrolled diabetes can
damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, impairing their ability to function properly.
2. Hypertension: Obesity is strongly linked to high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels and nephrons in the kidneys, leading to CKD and eventual kidney failure.
3. Proteinuria: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of proteinuria, which is the presence of excess protein in the urine. Proteinuria is an indicator of kidney
damage and can be a sign of underlying kidney disease.
4. Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: Obesity is characterized by a state of chronic low-grade inflammation and increased oxidative stress in the body. These factors can contribute to kidney damage and the progression of kidney disease.
5. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Obesity is a significant risk factor for OSA, a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. OSA has been associated with an increased risk of CKD and kidney dysfunction.
6. Kidney Stones: Obesity is linked to an increased risk of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones can obstruct the urinary tract, leading to kidney damage or infection
if left untreated.
Natural Remedies / Treatment
Put yourself completely submerged up to your neck in the bathtub, keep the water continually at 40 degrees, and stay there for around 4 hours. When the temperature rises above the ambient temperature, the body begins to produce specific chemicals that quicken your heartbeat and aid in the removal of contaminants or toxins from the body. You must later adhere to a nutritious/ healthy diet.
Remedies or Treatment according to modern medicine
The treatment plan for kidney failure depends on the underlying cause, the stage of kidney disease, and the individual’s overall health condition. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional who can provide personalized recommendations. Here are some common approaches and remedies that may be part of a treatment plan for kidney failure:
- Medications: Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms, control blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels (in case of diabetes), treat infections, and address specific underlying causes contributing to kidney failure.
- Diet and Fluid Restriction: A balanced and kidney-friendly diet is crucial in managing kidney failure. It typically involves reducing sodium, phosphorus, and potassium intake, while ensuring adequate protein and calorie consumption. In some cases, fluid intake may need to be limited to prevent fluid overload.
- Blood Pressure Management: Controlling high blood pressure is vital to slow down the progression of kidney disease. Medications, lifestyle modifications (such as a low-sodium diet, regular exercise, and weight management), and monitoring blood pressure levels are typically part of the treatment plan.
- Diabetes Management: If diabetes is the underlying cause, managing blood sugar levels is crucial. This may involve lifestyle modifications (healthy diet, regular exercise), medications (insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents), and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels.
- Dialysis: In advanced stages of kidney failure, when the kidneys can no longer adequately perform their functions, dialysis may be necessary. Dialysis is a medical procedure that helps filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood artificially. There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
- Kidney Transplant: For eligible individuals, kidney transplantation may be an option. A healthy kidney from a donor (either living or deceased) is surgically transplanted into the recipient’s body to replace the failed kidneys. This procedure offers the potential for a better quality of life and improved kidney function.
- Symptom Management: Treatment may also involve managing specific symptoms associated with kidney failure, such as fatigue, itching, anemia, bone health, and cardiovascular health.