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Spotting, Dealing With Kidney Problems Can Be Matter of Life or Death

Knowing how to identify and deal with kidney problems can mean the difference between life and death.  Key points of that life-saving know-how—the focus of World Kidney Month—are offered here.

The importance of the kidneys and keeping them healthy is commonly overlooked.  Everyone knows that functions of the heart and brain are most critical for survival. Not as widely known is the fact that the health of kidneys can swing the pendulum from life to death. Kidneys purify blood by removing excess water and waste products through urine.  They are responsible for maintaining the fluid balance, retaining body’s requirement of salt, potassium, acid substances, protein and release of essential hormones for keeping the body healthy. 

Studies have shown that uncontrolled blood pressure and diabetes can affect kidney functions, often leading to kidney failure. In people whose organs have inherent problems, escape from a kidney failure may be impossible.

But a person with high blood pressure or diabetes may find a chance to avoid kidney failure with the following precautions: 

Frequent blood-pressure checkups

  • Regular laboratory tests
  • Seeking doctor’s advice for changes or substitutions in medication
  • Following a diet with salt and carbohydrate restrictions
  • Checking product labels to substitute products with lower salt and carbohydrates
  • Adopting an exercise regime

A person reaching the end of a kidney’s function experiences great physical discomfort and may feel depressed. For early detection, these symptoms may be noticed:

  • Appetite loss, fatigue or nausea
  • Loss of breath
  • Foamy urine
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the back or abdomen
  • Frequent or increased passing of urine
  • Burning sensation
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Blood in urine
  • Itchiness

Vasundhara Ramanujan and Mohammad Akmal, M.D., authors of Shades of Life—Sublime Joy Is in Living, offer these useful tips for avoiding kidney failure:

Controlling blood pressure and sugar levels

  • Staying alert if nitrogen in blood urea is high
  • Checking that creatinine is within normal limits
  • Following a doctor’s advice

Life-saving treatments offered to patients with kidney failure are dialysis or transplant, but this chronic disease changes life forever. Controlling blood pressure and diabetes will pave the way for a good life, with minimum restrictions and plenty of freedom in food and mobility. 

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