Kidneys – they’re small, but extremely important organs in the human body. Our kidneys perform important functions in the human body, which means that we should take good care of them. According to the latest statistics, provided by the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million Americans have kidney disease and 1 in 3 American adults is currently at risk for developing the disease. This is really shocking.

The medical experts warn that in the USA only, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. These are the most common risk factors for kidney disease: diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of kidney failure and being 60 or older. Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain – we can easily say that this is one of the first and most consistent signs of kidney damage (or just slow and unhealthy kidneys). The experts warn that lower back pain can be (sometimes) only on one side. This usually occurs if someone sleeps on only one side, and this will be the side the kidney is having more problems with due to gravity. But in most cases, at least shortly after it’s on one side only, the pain will move to both sides.

This is the best example – when you wake up in the morning or even in the middle of the night and your lower back, one side or both, aches. You go to urinate and it may or may not come easily. Then your back loosens up a bit and feels much better.

Rashes, itching, and dryness

As we mentioned before, our kidneys help remove wastes from the bloodstream! Well, this means that when they fail, the build up of wastes in your blood can cause rashes, severe itching, and dryness. This is often an early sign of kidney damage, and should be taken seriously. And remember – you should avoid the temptation to treat it with topical creams, which does nothing to rectify the actual problem.

Changes in urinary function

These are the lot of common examples:

Foamy or bubbly urine
You get up in the middle of the night to urinate
You urinate more often and more than usual – with pale urine
You urinate less often and in smaller amounts than usual – with dark colored urine
You feel pressure or have difficulty urinating
Your urine may contain blood

Swelling in various body parts

One of the most important function of the kidneys is to remove wastes and extra fluid from the body. Well, this means that when they are not working properly and are unable to perform this function, extra fluid will build up. This often causes swelling in the face, hands, legs, ankles, and feet.

Fatigue and weakness

Here’s what you need to know – your kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen. So, when you have kidney disease it lowers the levels of this hormone, which causes decreased red blood cells in your body resulting in anemia.

This decreased oxygen delivery to cells causes fatigue and general weakness, and should be addressed quickly.

The best ways to Improve kidney health:

Avoid Cadmium
Do Not Smoke
Consume A lot of Healthy Fluids
Engage in Daily Exercise
Drink Cranberry Juice
Consume Herbal Teas– Juniper Berries; Horsetail; Goldenrod Blossoms; Burdock Root

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Written by Rachel Wilson

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