Taking care of your kidneys


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They monitor the quality of the blood, separating out harmful substances from beneficial ones.
Acting not only as waste disposal units but also act like sophisticated sieves that retrieve useful substances that slip through the holes.

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Taking care of your kidneys

  1. 1.  Too much salt is not only bad for your blood pressure, it’s also bad for your kidneys. It doesn’t matter if you dilute your soup with lots of water. As long as you drink all the soup, you’ll still get all the salt in it. Hence, if you like eating instant noodles, just use half of the seasoning and add half of the water only.
  2. 2.  The problem with salt is that it encourages the body to retain water, and can increase your blood pressure (which damages the kidneys). Learn to read nutritional labels and limit eating salty foods.
  3. 3.  If your blood pressure is above 140 over 90, this can cause kidney damage within five years. The kidneys are said to be “happiest” with a blood pressure of 130/80 or lower.
  4. 4. • To help control your blood pressure, you should limit your salt intake, reduce weight, and take medicines for high blood pressure, if needed.
  5. 5.  Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure. Diabetes affects almost all organs of the body. A person with uncontrolled diabetes for five to 10 years may develop significant kidney damage
  6. 6. • Consult your doctor and keep your blood sugar under control with diet, exercise, and maintenance medicines. Our two goals are to have 1) a fasting blood sugar of 120 mg/dl or less, and 2) a hemoglobin A1C test (three-month average blood sugar test) of six percent or less.
  7. 7.  Doctors usually advise people to take in eight glasses of water a day, but this really depends on your age and condition. If you’re sweating a lot and work outdoors, you may need to drink more than eight glasses a day.
  8. 8.  However, if you are above 65 years of age, you may do well with just six glasses a day. Drinking enough water also prevents the formation of kidney stones, a painful condition which, if left untreated, can also lead to kidney failure.
  9. 9. • Taking pain relievers like mefenamic acid, ibuprofen, and the coxibs (like celecoxib) for a prolonged period of time may cause kidney damage. Because of this, we should limit taking these medicines to only a week, or just take them as needed.
  10. 10.  After taking these pain relievers, we need to let our kidneys rest first (from all its running and puffing) before taking the medicines again.
  11. 11.  For those with chronic arthritis, try to look for other ways to relieve the pain such as using a hot water bag, pain reliever ointments, or the safer paracetamol tablet. Certain antibiotics can also cause kidney damage. Check with your doctor first.
  12. 12.  Some tests, like CT acans and MRIs, use a contrast dye which helps doctors delineate the organs better. Many procedures, such as heart angioplasties and some cancer treatments, also use ample amounts of contrast dyes.
  13. 13.  The problem with such dyes is that they can cause kidney damage, especially in the elderly and those with previous kidney disease. There are studies, which support the use of fluid loading (200-300 ml orally or through the vein), before such a procedure.
  14. 14.  Another promising kidney-protecting technique is to take a medicine called Fluimucil (containing N-acetylcysteine) two days before and up to two days after the procedure. Should be taken as directed by the Nephrologist.
  15. 15. • Some patients are fond of taking high doses of vitamin C, such as in the 2,000 mg range. Too much vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can lead to the formation of kidney stones in predisposed individuals. If you need to take vitamin C, a dose of 500mg or less is safer.
  16. 16.  There is still no food supplement that has been scientifically proven to protect the kidneys. The above tips are so far the best tips to care for the kidneys.
  17. 17.  Simple tests, such as a complete blood count, BUN, creatinine, and a urinalysis are the first screening tests for the kidneys. Finding a trace of protein in the urine can alert the doctor of possible kidney disease.
  18. 18.  Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure should also be checked for early kidney disease.
  19. 19. Kidney diseases are expensive and difficult to treat. Let’s take the necessary steps to protect our kidneys today.
  20. 20. • Dr. Willem Kolff, a Dutch physician, constructed the first working dialyzer in 1943 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Due to the scarcity of available resources, Kolff had to improvise and build the initial machine using sausage casings, beverage cans, a washing machine, and various other items that were available at the time. Over the following two years, Kolff used his machine to treat 16 patients suffering from acute kidney failure, but the results were unsuccessful. Then, in 1945, a 67-year-old comatose woman regained consciousness following 11 hours of hemodialysis with the dialyzer, and lived for another seven years before dying of an unrelated condition. She was the first-ever patient successfully treated with dialysis.
  21. 21. • Dialysis works on the principles of the diffusion of solutes and ultrafiltration of fluid across a semi-permeable membrane Diffusion describes a property of substances in water. Substances in water tend to move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Blood flows by one side of a semi-permeable membrane, and a dialysate, or special dialysis fluid, flows by the opposite side. A semipermeable membrane is a thin layer of material that contains holes of various sizes, or pores. Smaller solutes and fluid pass through the membrane, but the membrane blocks the passage of larger substances (for example, red blood cells, large proteins). This replicates the filtering process that takes place in the kidneys, when the blood enters the kidneys and the larger substances are separated from the smaller ones in the glomerulus.
  22. 22.  How a dialysis machine works?
  23. 23. Arm of patient receiving dialysis
  24. 24. Ln. Dr. M. R. Ravi,Manakkulangara Club, Thrissur 9249582664