The kidneys are an organ that performs many tasks important for the proper functioning of humans. They are the main cleansing organ, filter the blood, regulate the pH of the body, are involved in supervising the production of red blood cells... - and these are just some of their functions.
And many of us don't know that their kidneys have something wrong. When they get sick, they don't hurt. Various bodily functions then go wrong. Therefore, keeping the kidneys healthy is very important.
What symptoms indicate kidney problems?
Kidney disorders can lead to many diseases. Unfortunately, we are not always aware that our kidneys are not functioning properly. A diseased kidney can give a number of symptoms, and these include:
- Problems with urination: hematuria, scanty urine,
- complete urinary retention,
- Changes in color, smell of urine,
- abdominal pains,
- Severe pain in the lumbar region of the spine,
- heart disorders,
- Vomiting and nausea,
- Some symptoms that may indicate kidney disease are not obvious, and include, for example:
- Swelling and swelling of the feet,
- Constant fatigue and feelings of exhaustion,
- Concentration and memory problems,
- Dryness and itching of the skin,
- Skin deterioration.
The most common kidney diseases
Kidney diseases are a vast group of conditions. These include:
- kidney stones,
- glomerular diseases,
- kidney tumors.
One of the most common kidney diseases is kidney stones, which develops to form stones. Common diseases include bacterial nephritis (acute pyelonephritis on a bacterial basis), usually preceded by cystitis. Due to the lack of symptoms, chronic kidney disease, which eventually leads to end-stage renal failure, deserves attention.
Causes of kidney disease
Kidney diseases can have numerous causes due to malfunctioning of the body, bacterial infections, or genetic conditions. Kidney damage can occur during chronic diseases, i.e. diabetes or chronic hypertension. Bacterial nephritis, which occurs frequently, is usually caused by the bacteria E. Coli, staphylococci, streptococci. Nephritis, on the other hand, is sometimes a complication of inflammation of the lower urinary tract, such as the bladder.
Who is exposed?
At risk are people suffering from diseases that can result in damage to the functional structures of the kidneys. Such diseases include diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, among others. In addition, there is a group of kidney diseases that are caused by genetic defects. People who are overweight or obese, over 60 years of age, with a history of kidney problems should be especially cautious.
When and what tests need to be done?
Kidney diagnosis usually includes a general urine test and ultrasound. In addition, renal tests and blood counts are performed. These are essential tests that can be performed at the CM Luxmed laboratory. A prophylactic kidney test should be performed every 2-3 years. People over 50 should have the test once a year. If you have alarming symptoms or suspect that your kidney is not working properly, you should see a nephrologist specialist or urologist.
Kidney failure is a serious condition, how to prevent it?
We can mitigate the risk of kidney disease with various measures. It is important to regularly check blood pressure, be physically active (at least half an hour a day), monitor blood sugar levels and check urine tests. In addition, one should:
- Drink plenty of water (2 - 2.5 liters a day),
- Limit salt in the diet to offset the risk of hypertension (4-5 g per day, or one flat teaspoon, is enough),
- enrich the diet with kidney-supportive vegetables and fruits (i.e. cranberries, oranges, black currants, gooseberries, parsley, celery, cucumbers),
- keep weight normal, as being overweight and obese promotes diseases that can damage the kidneys,
- Take painkillers sparingly, as their overuse often damages the kidneys,
- Use the toilet without procrastination to prevent the multiplication of bacteria,
- Consume alcohol judiciously,
- quit smoking.
The kidneys play a key role in our bodies, performing numerous vital functions such as blood filtration and pH regulation. It is alarming that many people are unaware of health problems affecting their kidneys. The symptoms of kidney disease are varied, and sometimes it's not easy to connect them to a diseased kidney, such as fatigue or trouble concentrating.Kidney diseases have various causes - they can result from chronic diseases such as diabetes, from bacterial infections or from genetic conditions. So it is worth knowing the risk factors and symptoms that indicate potential kidney problems.The key to kidney health is prevention and education. Regular checkups, a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and avoiding overuse of medications can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications. Remember that kidney health affects our entire body. By taking care of them, we take care of our overall health.So don't wait until symptoms appear. You can check whether your kidney is functioning properly at any time. You will receive a referral for the appropriate test from your doctor.
doctor Aneta Łącz
Specialist in nephrology and pulmonology