Kidneys and its Functions
What is chronic kidney disease?Kidney disease is better known as chronic kidney disease. It is characterized by a gradual loss of function of both the kidneys over a period of time. Initially it may remain asymptomatic after which symptoms of a full blown kidney disease are evident. Chronic kidney disease if left unchecked or unnoticed may lead to permanent loss of kidney function leading to kidney failure which is an irreversible condition.
How diabetes can affect the kidneys?This condition is also called as diabetic kidney disease or “Diabetic nephropathy”. In people with persistently high blood sugar levels (Diabetics), there is damage to the glomeruli which leads to micro seepage of albumin proteins from the blood into the urine. This is called as “micro albuminuria”. If left untreated it may progress to macro albuminuria or “Proteinuria” in which large amounts of proteins are passed into the urine. This leads to a slowly progressive development of kidney disease. Diabetic kidney disease in fact, is one of the major causes of kidney failure today. It affects both type -1 and type -2 diabetics.
How does high blood pressure affect kidneys?The kidneys have a dense network of arteries, veins and capillaries around them. The kidneys of a hypertensive patient consistently receive blood at this raised pressure in its surrounding blood vessels. This continuously causes damage to these blood vessels which are not able to function as efficiently and get damaged, and may thicken and harden over time. This in turns affects the blood supply to the nephrons damaging them as well. As a result there is a slow and gradual impairment of the renal function leading to CKD and ESRD in later stages.
What are the other causes of kidney disease?Besides Diabetes and Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), there are a number of factors and disease which lead to chronic kidney disease and then ESRD. These are listed below:-
- Congenital malformations of the kidney
- Poly cystic kidney disease
- Illegitimate use of drugs like Lithium, NSAIDs and Aspirin
- Blocked channels in conditions like renal stones and BPH.
- Viral infections like - HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis - B, C.
What are the symptoms of kidney disease?
SYMPTOMS OF KIDNEY DISEASE
- Shortness of breath
- Generalized weakness
- Mental confusion
- Abnormal heart rhythms - related to potassium imbalance
- Nausea - vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep irregularities
- Abnormal urine output
- Frequent cramping in the muscles
- Persistent itching
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Swelling around the ankles
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Feeling cold
- Pain in laterals/ flanks
What is the Diagnosis for kidney failure?Various tests are recommended on the basis of clinical findings, signs and symptoms on the basis of which the final diagnosis of kidney failure and the degree of its damage and prognosis are decided. The tests are as follows:-
I. GLOMERULAR FILTRATION RATE
|Stage 1||Hypertension, Urinary infections and abnormal urine analysis||90 or above||Normal kidney function|
|Stage 2||Same as in stage 1||60 - 89||Impaired kidney function with mild
Decline in G.F.R.
|Stage 3||Low blood cells, tingling and numbness, bone pain||30 - 59||Moderate decline in G.F.R.|
|Stage 4||Severe complications like Anemia
Uremia, Anemia, malnutrition
|15 -29||Severe damage in G.F.R|
Swelling in the hands, legs, eyes, lower back, shortness of breath
|< 15||Kidney failure|
II. SERUM CREATININEA serum creatinine level of > 1.2 for women and > 1.4 for men indicates kidney disease. The value rises with progressive renal impairment.
III. BLOOD UREA NITROGENThe normal value is 7 - 20. As the disease progresses, the value may rise consistently.
I. URINEANALYSISThis is a dipstick test which is used to analyze the constituents present in the urine sample such as blood cells, sugar, pus cells, proteins etc. This test is a routine examination carried out in disease like Diabetes, Urinary tract infections, CKD, bladder and kidney stones.
II. URINE PROTEINTo determine the albumin: creatinine ratio in the urine sample.
III. MICROALBUMINURIATo determine the amount of albumin in urine, which is common in diseases like CKD and Nephrotic syndrome.
IV. CREATININE CLEARANCEThis determines how much blood is being filtered through the kidneys.
I. ULTRASONOGRAPHYIt helps to determine the size, shape and presence of any calculi or tumor in the kidneys.
II. C.T. SCANIt is an advanced technique used to determine the abnormal structural configuration of the kidneys and their functional inefficiency.
III. KIDNEY BIOPSYIt is done to ensure the extent of damage and whether a kidney transplant is essential or not.
What modern medicines have for kidney disease?There is no medicinal cure for a depleting renal function in modern medicines. The line of treatment is based only upon the management of symptoms like High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. In addition, a stage - 4, 5 CKD patient generally may be considered for a kidney transplant.
Once the condition of Kidney failure is established, the only options remaining are Dialysis, Kidney transplant and certain lifestyle modifications. The first two are highly invasive and expensive and lifestyle modifications are an adjuvant therapy that varies from person to person in terms of the degree of response.
What is dialysis?In people having kidney failure, the kidneys no longer perform their function of removal of excess wastes and water from the body. In such patients the process of dialysis helps by artificially taking over the function of the kidneys. It is done in case of both acute and chronic renal failure. It is done by two ways and hence is of two types:-
1. HAEMODIALYSIS:It is done by making an intra-venous line through a blood vessel in the arm. The blood from this line, known as the fistula is passed into the hemodialyzer and is filtered off the various toxins and impurities present in it.
2. PERITONEAL DIALYSIS:In this condition the blood is cleansed within the body by attaching a catheter to the abdominal wall. A fluid called dialysate is filled in the peritoneal cavity and filters out the waste products from the surrounding blood vessels.
Kidney transplantIt is the process of replacing the damaged kidney of a patient of ESRD (End stage renal disease) with a normal working one taken from another individual. This is the best alternative for a patient with total kidney failure, the other one is dialysis, which though an effective procedure but a very tedious one and painful on the part of the patient. Kidney transplantation also has its own demerits as it is also an expensive procedure and requires kidney that has a matching allograft. Unmatched kidneys are rejected by the body tissues resulting in failure of the whole process. Other than this, it is only performed under the supervision of a specialist doctor who is capable enough to carry out the process effectively.
Ayurveda and kidney diseaseChronic kidney disease is a condition of the mutravaha srotas (The body channel that is related to the urinary system of the body and its normal functioning). The damage to the tissues is contributed by the imbalance in the three doshas (body humors - Air, Fire and Ether/ Vata, Pitta and Kapha) mainly the vitiated Vata element and the raised Kapha element which leads to the blockage of various channels of the Mutra vaha srotasa leading to impaired functioning of the kidneys.
In the above discussion, we have thrown light up on the modern methods of managing CKD and ESRD through various techniques. They have their own set of difficulties that they pose on the patient and the adverse effects associated with them. This is where Ayurvedic treatments come to the rescue. They have a miraculous blend of natural medicinal herbs which rejuvenate the kidney tissues and also boost the effective production of urine output. A combination of herbs which are diuretic and rejuvenating is used in the Ayurvedic treatment of kidney disease. Researches have also proved today that Ayurvedic medicinal therapy is very effective in controlling the levels of urea and creatinine in patients of kidney disease and in improving kidney function in general.
modification of diet and lifestyle. It is the most effective and easy way of bringing back a state of health in a diseased body. Following are some of the recommendations that should be followed by patients of kidney disease and kidney failure for an improved renal function and longer and better life.
- Drink plenty of water but only in ample amounts. Don't overdo it if you don't feel thirsty. Prefer taking Luke warm or just normal water.
- Don't hold on to your urge to urinate. Keep on evacuating the bladder at regular intervals.
- Keep the genitalia and pubic area clean to prevent catching any secondary infection.
- Manage blood sugar levels if you are diabetic. High blood sugar levels are detrimental to the kidney function and may cause rapid deterioration of kidney function.
- Avoid medications that may be unknowingly harming the kidney tissues, for example, NSAIDs.
- Refrain from the use of alcohol and tobacco. They both cause kidney damage.
- Exercise regularly according to the capacity.
- Manage blood pressure well and try lead a stress free life, maintaining a positive attitude in every situation.
- Drink fresh fruits and vegetable juices in plenty. Prefer herbal tea instead of the regular ones.
- Avoid food products that are rich in potassium and sodium. These include table salt, potatoes, peas, nuts, beans, dry fruits etc.
- Avoid use of too much fat in diet as CKD patients are prone to hypercholesterolemia.
- Take the right amount of protein in diet. Green gram, lentil, pink lentil are some of the safe proteins that kidney patients should prefer. Avoid meat, eggs and non-veg food as far as possible. Red meat should be completely prohibited. Same goes for packaged and frozen foods and high sugar based artificial products.
- Include a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in diet such as, Pumpkin, Radish, Carrot, Onion, Eggplant, Cucumber, Lettuce, Turnip etc.
- Fruits include Papaya, Watermelon, Apricots, Amla, Bael, Grapes, Blueberry, Olives, peaches, pears, figs, and Cranberry etc.
- Avoid use of spices also if potassium levels are deranged.
- Vitamin-D is also recommended in such patients.
- Dont drink fruit juices as they are rich in Potassium.
Ayurvedic medicines of kidney disease:Planet Ayurveda is a leading company that creates best herbal medicines that are helpful in treating kidney failures. The remedies provided by them are very safe and are free from side effects and anyone can consume them. They provide a combo pack that contains all the essential elements, which are helpful in curing kidney disorders.
Herbal Remedies for Kidney Disease - REVIVE KIDNEYS PACK
The elements of Revive Kidney Pack are as follows:The Ayuvedic treatment for kidney failure aims to reduce the urea and creatinine levels naturally. Various herbal formulations used in this combination help to maintain normal kidney functions.
1. Rencure formula- this formula works on the ancient principle, which is the best feature of this medicine. It fights with the toxins and the causes of kidney diseases. The herbs present in these medicines helps in avoiding dialysis. The ingredients of this formula are punarnava, varun, palaash, gokshur and kaasni. It is a complete herbal medicine and there are no chemicals in it.
Dose- 2 capsules daily twice with plain water after meals.
2. Mutrakrichantak Churna- it is an effective blend of herbs, which help in curing kidney disorders and painful urination situations as well. It also reduces high urea and uric acid levels in the body and is helpful in kidney stones. Apart from this disease, it also cures prostate enlargement. The contents of this powder are also the best. The elements are trin panch mool, shishir, apamarg, shigru, rakt Chandan etc.
Dose- 1 teaspoonful daily twice with plain water only after meals.
3. Punarnava Mandur- these tablets are the best ayurvedic medicines for reducing water and swelling in the body. These tablets also decreases swelling in feet, joint and fluid buildup. Punarnava Mandur tablets cure liver related problems, which is an additional feature of this medicine.
Dose- 2 tablets thrice daily with plain water strictly after meals.
4. Varunadi vati- these pills are made by using varun and other essential herbs that aid in kidney problems. It reduces pain that is caused by renal stones. It maintains creatinine levels in the body as well as saves from surgeries. Apart from the removal of toxins, Varunadi vati clears the urinary passage and provide a long lasting relief to the patient.
Dose- 2 tablets thrice daily after meals with water.
Kidneys play very crucial role in the proper functioning of the human body. Therefore, instead of giving chemical load to the kidneys they must be cured with ayurvedic medicines.