kidney problems – why it happens & how we can avoid

Sep 10, 2019

The human body comprises of various important and delicate organs such as liver, eyes, gall bladder and kidneys. There are two kidneys in the human body and they are shaped like beans. The size of the kidneys is about the size of a fist. The kidneys are located on each side of the spine, just below the rib cage of the body.
The main function of the kidney is to purify the blood in the human body. A healthy kidney can filter out around half a cup of human blood every minute. When the kidney filters out the blood, there are some waste and excess water left. We call this waste urine. This urine then flows to the bladder from the kidney through two tube-like structures called ureters which are situated on each side of the bladder. This bladder stores the urine within our body. The combination of kidney, ureters, and bladder is known as the urinary tract.

Importance of Kidney in Human Body.

The main function of the kidney is to remove the waste and the extra fluid from your body. The kidney is also helpful in removing the acid from the body which is produced by the cells within the body because of which it maintains the balance of water, salt and other essential minerals in the blood. These essential minerals within the blood are potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and sodium.

If this balance is not maintained, then the tissues and muscles in the body will not work properly. The function of the kidney is also to make hormones that make red blood cells, it controls the blood pressure and due to these hormones, the bones of your body become strong and healthy. 

Working of Kidneys

Nephrons are millions of filtering unit out of which our kidney is made up of. These nephrons also include glomerulus and tubule which are further filtering units. These nephrons work in a two-step process: Blood is filtered by glomerulus while the tubule is responsible for returning the necessary substances to the blood and removing the waste.

Kidney Problems-

Kidney problems can be categorized into two types-
1- Chronic Kidney Disease-
Chronic kidney failure is another name given to Chronic kidney disease. In this condition, the kidney loses its functionality slowly. As we told you earlier that the main function of the kidney is to filter waste and excess of fluids from the blood and which is then converted into urine. Dangerous level of fluid, electrolytes and other waste can develop into your body when you are suffering from advanced stage chronic kidney problems. Being in the early stage of chronic kidney problems, you may have certain symptoms like fatigue, swelling, etc. There are chances that you may not become aware of this chronic kidney problems until it becomes serious. This is so dangerous that without even knowing, this disease can result in kidney failure which then only be cured by kidney transplant or dialysis.

2- Acute Kidney Problems-
This problem occurs when your kidney is unable to filter out waste product from your blood.
Once the filtering capability of your kidney is lost, the balance of your blood's chemical makeup is out of balance as a dangerous level of waste gets accumulated.
Acute Kidney failure is also known as an acute renal problem or acute kidney injury. It takes less time to develop. It happens within a few days. People who are already hospitalized due to critical illness or who need intensive care generally develop this problem.

There are many reasons due to which kidney problems can happen, but we are focusing here on some of the key reasons-

1- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes-
Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent diabetes. It can happen since childhood. This diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body starts attacking pancreas with antibodies. People who suffer from type 1 diabetes in their body the pancreas do not make insulin as they are damaged. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes from which most of the people are affected. This is mostly seen in adults. But due to an unhealthy lifestyle, this type of diabetes can also be seen in younger kids nowadays.

2- High Blood Pressure-
With high blood pressure, the nephrons which are situated in the kidney and are having a very dense network of blood vessels in them are supplied with a high volume of blood. The arteries which are around the kidneys become narrow, weakened or hardened when uncontrolled blood pressure happens over time. So, the kidney tissues do not get enough blood in them as the arteries are damaged by uncontrolled blood pressure.

3- Kidney Infection or Pyelonephritis-
Pyelonephritis is a kind of kidney infection which is related to the infection in the urinary tract. This infection generally begins in the bladder and then gradually moves upstream and then damages one or both of your kidneys. If this problem is ignored, it can have very serious results but if it is treated and diagnosed in time, then you can get rid of this. Symptoms of this Kidney problem vary from age to age but it may include fever and sometimes painful urination. This infection is generally caused due to various bacteria and viruses which firstly infects the bladder and then move up to damage your kidneys.

Avoiding Kidney problems-
Kidney Problems can be easily bypassed if you have a healthy eating habit. People who are fat and have too much weight had greater chances to have kidney problems.
Here are certain foods which should not be consumed to avoid kidney problems. -

1- Avocados-
Avocados have various qualities in them, and they are famous for their heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Avocados can be a healthy addition to the diet but people who are having kidney problems should avoid avocados. Why we are saying this is because avocados have potassium in them. If you consume 150 grams of avocado, your body will receive about 727 mg of potassium.

2- Canned Food-
Canned food is the most popular nowadays as they are cheap and convenient enough. But most of the people are not aware of the fact that they have a high amount of sodium in it as it contains salt to increase the shelf life of the material inside the cans. As these canned foods contain a high amount of sodium in it, therefore, people who suffer from kidney problems should avoid these canned foods. They should have the food in which there is no salt added.

3- Cold Drinks-
People suffering from Kidney Problems should avoid having cold drinks and especially dark cold drinks as they have a high amount of phosphorus in it.
Phosphorus is added in the cold drinks during processing period to enhance its flavor and to increase the shelf life of it. So, because of this phosphorus that is contained in cold drinks, people with kidney problems should avoid dark cold drinks.

4- Bananas-
Bananas are a very rich source of potassium. They have a low content of sodium in them, but one banana can give you around 422mg of potassium. So, it is normally advised by the doctors not to take banana if you have kidney problems. If you take a banana, then it will be very difficult for you to maintain the level of potassium in your body. You can go for other fruits like pineapple which really have low potassium content in it.

So, we have seen until now that having kidney problems can be really life-threatening. So, you should try to have regular checkups from your doctor to know the health of your kidneys as they are a vital part of your body.
 

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