WARNING: The 7 risk factors of chronic kidney disease, millions of people at risk
(NaturalHealth365) Chronic kidney disease is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States and affects at least 30 million people in this country. It can lead to a number of serious health complications, including gout, heart problems, anemia, and serious electrolyte imbalances.
But despite how life-changing (and life-threatening) chronic kidney disease can be, there is good news. For one thing, natural treatment and management is possible. Additionally, we know from the research that many of the leading risk factors for chronic kidney disease are preventable. Let’s dig in.
Discover the 7 risk factors of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is hallmarked by progressive damage and dysfunction of your kidneys – a pair of organs that normally help filter waste products out of the blood. As you can imagine, when kidneys stop functioning as they should, waste products can build up in the blood – which can increase systemic inflammation, infections and an overall breakdown of many systems within your body.
Various risk factors for CKD have been identified. Like many health diseases, not all of these risk factors (such as family history and advancing age) are preventable. But, many of these health issues can be avoided.
Here are 7 – preventable – risk factors:
- Having other issues with renal health, such as polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis
- Being frequently dehydrated (many health experts suspect that a majority of Americans, and especially older adults who are already more at risk for CKD, are chronically dehydrated)
- Repeated urinary infections
- A poor diet filled with toxic ingredients
- Exposure to environmental toxins, including toxic indoor air pollution, household chemicals and heavy metals
If you recognize any of these risk factors in yourself, it may be time to start making some important life changes. Keep reading to the next section to learn about healthy and natural ways to boost renal health and manage CKD.
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Symptoms of CKD can be somewhat vague and hard to identify. They may include difficulty sleeping, a poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, decreased energy, swollen ankles and feet, puffiness around the eyes, excessive urination (especially at night), and nighttime muscle cramps.
But please note: CKD very often does not reveal any symptoms – until it’s already advanced to later stages! So if you do have any known risk factors for CKD, are older, or have a family history, consider asking your doctor for a kidney function screening test.
Beyond treating symptoms – here are 3 ways to manage CKD and boost kidney health naturally
The run-of-the-mill conventional care for people with CKD is to get them on various prescription medications, most of which have significant (unwanted) side effects. In the most advanced stages, a person with CKD may even have to go to dialysis – multiple times per week – a time-consuming and stressful treatment that uses a machine to filter the blood for you.
While we would never recommend starting or stopping your medications without supervision of a doctor, we do advise people to look to natural complementary treatments that can help enhance their overall wellness and disease management.
To boost your kidney health specifically, try these tips:
- Stay well hydrated. Drink at least 1/2 an ounce of purified water – for every one pound of body weight – per day. So, for example, if your body weight is 150 pounds … you need 75 ounces of water per day.
- Note: You’ll know that you are well hydrated when your urine is a pale yellow and plentiful.
- Eat a nutritious (plant based) diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially selenium, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, Vitamin B6, K, E, and D.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity will help people with CKD by promoting weight management, better blood circulation, lymphatic health and stronger immune function, to avoid the risk of systemic infections.
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Sources for this article include: