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Keeping Kidneys Healthy: Relieving Stress

The health complications that come with stress, if not handled properly, could lead to kidney damage, and as such, there is a connection between the renal system and the way you manage your stress levels. This shows how interconnected the human body is.

In this piece, we shall look at how stress relates to overall health, stress impacts the health and kidneys, tips on stress management, and the positive effect of renal health.

Stress and the Overall Health

stress at work

As implied earlier, stress could trigger a plethora of health complications such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and the likes. Typically, the human body experiences stress from time to time as a result of so many reasons such as everyday tasks and responsibilities like work, family, and so on.

As much as stress has its downsides, it also has a plus side for an immediate and short-term basis. It is quite effective in allowing you to manage very serious situations. By default, the body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that enhance breathing and heart beating levels, eventually preparing the muscles to respond adequately.

However, if the stress response is not halted, and the high-stress levels retain their pace longer than needed, it can have quite a negative effect on your body. Chronic stress could be really life-threatening if not properly treated, and it negatively affects various body systems such as the central nervous system, the endocrine system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, and many others.

Related: 6 Ways to Build Your Emotional Skills in Stressful Times

How Can Stress Impact Your Health and Kidneys?

Stress has been linked to several morphological and physiological alterations or changes in different body organs, especially the renal system. Chronic stress could result in kidney damage. Given the fact one of the kidneys’ functions is blood-filtering, they are prone to problems related to blood circulation.

Scientific studies indicate that high blood sugar and high blood pressure are quite burdensome on the functionality of your kidneys. Thus, people who suffer from such health deficiencies have a high tendency of developing kidney diseases. In addition, if such a person is experiencing chronic stress, the body’s natural reaction to stress could be quite “serious” Thus, you should cut down on your sugar consumption and drink enough water to aid the functionality of your kidneys. Having enough water in the body ensures the renal system does not struggle in filtering the circulating blood, passing out excrement, and the likes.

meditation for less stress

Tips to Manage Stress

Maintain Good Nutrition and Physical Exercise

Good nutrition and consistent physical exercise are good ways to manage stress. When your body is healthy, so will be your mind. It has been proven that physical exercise greatly relieves stress and also improves your overall quality of life. Nutrition on the other hand is quite important as vitamins such as A, C, B complex and E can be depleted by stress.

Connect with People

Naturally, humans are social beings. To feel supported, it is necessary to connect with people.  Finding a sense of community whether at your place of work or a religious organization is vital to your well-being. Enjoying quality time and shared activity with people could help to foster relationships that would help you in difficult times.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an amazing way to reduce the activation of your body’s sympathetic nervous system which controls the response of your body to a perceived threat. When deep breaths are taken into a count of 5 seconds, held for 2 seconds, and then released to count another five seconds, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. This helps to relieve anxiety and stress.

The Effect of Better Kidney Health on the Body

exercise to avoid stress

Healthy kidneys are one of the most important organs in the human body. One of the main roles of the kidney is maintaining homeostasis. This means that they help to manage electrolyte balance, fluid levels, and other factors that help keep the body’s internal system consistent and comfortable. Other effects of a healthy kidney are:

Waste Excretion

The kidneys help to remove several waste products and get rid of them in the urine. Two major waste products the kidney relieves the body of are urea and uric acid.

Regulation of Blood Pressure

When necessary, the kidney helps to regulate blood pressure. However, they are also responsible for slower adjustments. This means that they adjust long-term pressure via causing some changes in the fluid outside the cells.

Secretion of Active Compounds

The kidneys are also responsible for the release of several important compounds the body requires. Some of them are erythropoietin which aids the production of red blood cells, renin which manages arteries expansion as well as the volume of blood plasma, interstitial fluid, and lymph, calcitriol which increases the amount of calcium that can be absorbed by the intestines.

Regulation of PH

Kidneys also make sure that the blood plasma doesn’t become too acidic or basic by regulating ions.

Osmolarity Regulation

The kidneys also keep extracellular fluids from becoming too dilute or too concentrated concerning the solutes the fluid carries.

Final Thoughts

The human body is interconnected and the management of stress is linked to the utmost functionality of the renal system. It is best you keep to the tips for stress management and also keep a highly natural diet. As much as working out, taking long periods to rest properly, and staying hydrated are quite helpful, eating more natural foods than artificial is quite beneficial to the renal system, and the overall health of the body.

 

Ways to Improve Kidney Function Naturally

A kidney is one of the most useful organs in the body. This organ is responsible for the excretion of harmful substances, excess water, and waste products from the body. It also takes an active role in returning glucose, vitamins, amino acids, and other useful substances into the bloodstream.

The kidney also regulates salt, the production of red blood cells, and blood pressure. It also takes part in the activation of vitamin D, which helps your body to activate the calcium needed for strong bones.

Keeping your keeping body working optimally is important in ensuring overall health. Your filter and expel excess water from your body properly when you keep your kidney healthy. Your body will also produce hormones to help your body to function properly if your kidney is healthy.

What can you do to improve kidney health?

kidney health

Find out if you are at risk of kidney health 

The first step to improving your kidney health is knowing whether your body is at risk of kidney health. The following are some of the kidney health risk factors you should be aware of:

  • You have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • You have a higher BMI or obesity
  • Your family has a history of high blood pressure 
  • You are 60 years older 
  • You’ve been diagnosed with chronic UTI

Related: The Only Guide You Need to Understand Your Kidneys

Check and control your blood sugar 

Your blood sugar level is more important for your kidney health. If you have high blood sugar or a condition that causes diabetes, you become more vulnerable to kidney problems. Your kidneys overwork when your body cells cannot use the glucose in your blood effectively.

Fortunately, you reduce the risk of damage to your kidney if you can control your blood sugar. You should go for a regular medical check-up if your family has a history of diabetes to check if you have issues with blood sugar. This way, you can improve your kidney function.

Watch your blood pressure

You are more likely to have kidney complications if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. If your high blood pressure comes with high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease, it can cause a huge impact on your overall health.

You should strive to maintain your blood pressure at 120/80. Keeping your blood pressure above the recommended level can increase your risk of kidney damage. For those who are hypertensive, a change in diet can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of kidney complications.

You can also make some changes to your lifestyle and diet to lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of kidney problems.

hydration for kidney health

Keep hydrated

How much fluids and water you consume every day is important in keeping you healthy overall. It is advisable to drink at least 9-13 cups or 1.5-2 liters of water a day. Avoid drinking excess water because this can result in overhydration. Your kidney overworks to get rid of excess water in your system if you are overhydrated. 

Drink plenty of fluid and water before and after strenuous exercise like walking, running, and hitting the gym. When you plan your daily water consumption, you should consider factors like age, environment, health, and whether you’re pregnant.  

If you were diagnosed with kidney stones, ensure you drink plenty of water to prevent re-infection. Make it a habit to drink water even when you’re not thirsty to keep your body hydrated.

Monitor your weight 

How much you weigh matters a lot if you want to remain healthy. Keep watching your BMI If you want to reduce the risk of kidney problems. Being overweight also increases your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

Eat a healthy diet

macro shot of vegetable lot

To reduce the risk of kidney damage, take a healthy diet that is low in processed meats, sodium, and other kidney-damaging foods.

You should focus more on eating fresh ingredients that are low-sodium and fat. Fishes, grains, and veggies are low in sodium and can improve your kidney functions.

Don’t smoke

Put your cigar away if you want to keep your kidney healthy. When you smoke, you damage your blood vessels, and this can result in low blood flow. For your kidneys to work properly there should be adequate blood flow throughout the body.

Identify all the risk factors of kidney disease like diabetes, smoking, and obesity, and then find out if you are more vulnerable or not.

Those who are 60 years older and have any cardiovascular disease are more vulnerable to kidney disease. You should get a kidney function test and establish if you’re at risk of kidney disease or not. 

The Only Guide You Need to Understand Your Kidneys

The kidney has an essential place in human health.  Humans, and all other animals, are created to have a pair of this bean-shaped organ.   Kidneys function mainly by filtering the wastes formed in the human body from the blood and throwing them out with water.  Due to their undertaking of this vital task, kidneys are the most critical organs in the human body structure. Along with many different tasks, it bears the burden of making life go smoothly. With their many functions, kidneys form the cornerstone of a good and healthy life. For this reason, the necessary elements should always be considered and applied carefully so as to protect kidney health and lead a trouble-free life. The kidneys have essential functions in our body; these functions are listed as follows:

  • The formation of urine by filtering the blood.
  • Excretion of harmful wastes, acids and excess water and salt from the body through urine.
  • Regulation of calcium and phosphorus balance for strong bones.
  • Activation of vitamin D in the body.
  • The regulation of blood pressure and the secretion of hormones stimulate the production of red blood cells in the blood.

To have a healthy life, the focus should be on primary prevention of kidney disease, modification of environmental risk factors and other risk factors, and structural abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract [1].  

Importance of  Kidneys

Kidneys are of great importance to the protection of human health by maintaining essential bodily functions.  One of the most important duties of our kidneys is to filter out harmful waste materials formed as a result of food digestion. Two more important tasks are to balance water and some minerals in our body and secrete various hormones. Serious problems can be caused when these functions are compromised.  Kidneys must protect the body’s internal environment in a consistent and balanced manner in order to avoid these problems. For example, keeping the electrolyte balance, wherein the kidneys maintain the proper fluid level for.  For everything kidneys do for us, we owe it to our body to look after our kidney health.

 

kidney health

Kidney Disease

Kidney diseases occur as a result of a disruption of the mechanisms related to the functions of the kidneys in the body. Problems related to kidney health can be seen in a comprehensive framework. Diseases can be limited to the blood vessels of the kidneys and affect different regions such as kidney tissue, urinary tract, and the hormone production systems of the kidney. As a result of kidney diseases, some particular changes may occur in the morphological features of the kidneys such as size and shape. Also, blood levels of harmful substances like urea, which the kidney is responsible for removing from the body, may increase. Other changes include a decrease in kidney-derived hormone levels and protein leakage- whereby protein is excreted in the urine when it should be staying in the blood, as well as a.

Various kidney diseases may occur depending on the region affected and the problems experienced with its functions [2]. These diseases are as followed:

  •   Chronic Kidney Disease
  •   Acute Kidney Failure
  •   Kidney stone
  •   Urinary Tract Infections
  •   Polycystic Kidney Disease
  •   Glomerulonephritis

Overview

It is known that the kidneys’ primary function is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. This excretion occurs through the urine. This process is fundamental for the body’s chemistry to be stable. However, the kidney also has other essential functions:

  •   Secretes hormones that regulate blood pressure,
  •   Activates vitamin D in our body,
  •   Secretes the hormone necessary for the production of blood cells.

Kidney diseases come in various forms. A sudden decrease in kidney functions is known as acute kidney failure and may occur due to multiple conditions and drugs. In addition, many diseases may occur in our body due to kidney functions not working well enough and the risky situations that progress due to them. The irreversible decline in kidney function over a more extended period is known as chronic kidney disease.

Symptoms

Kidney-related health problems vary greatly, as they may differ from person to person.  Various symptoms may occur in the clinical makeup of these people. In each person, a particular area of the body may become affected due to the kidney function not working. In this respect, it is possible to encounter the following symptoms in kidney diseases:

  • Weakness – tiredness,
  • The blurring of consciousness,
  • Widespread oedema and swelling in the limbs, more common in the lower parts of the body; oedema and swelling around the eyes due in the morning due to the lying position,
  • Dryness, rash, discoloration or paleness of the skin,
  • Change in urinary habits- frequent urination, getting up to urinate at night, urinating too much or too little,
  • Blood in the urine, dark-colored urine,
  • Burning or pain when urinating,
  • Pain in the lower back or lower abdominal quadrants,
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation,
  • Muscle and joint pain,
  • Sexual dysfunction, sexual reluctance.

In addition, people with various conditions or disorders have an increased risk of developing kidney diseases. In this regard, people with the following characteristics are more likely to develop kidney disease than the rest of the population:

  •   Those with chronic diseases that cause kidney damage such as hypertension, diabetes, lupus…
  •   Those with a family history of chronic kidney disease,
  •   Elderly people.

Risk Factors

 The most important risk factors for kidney diseases are:

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • old age
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • family history of kidney disease (genetic factors)
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • environmental poisons

Chronic Kidney Disease 

The most common kidney disease is described as chronic kidney disease or chronic kidney failure. It’s usually seen as a result of tissue damage due to long-term health problems in the kidney tissue and disruption of kidney functions, and permanent regression. Hypertension and diabetes are counted among the most common causes in the population. Vascular structures (glomeruli), which play a critical role in the kidney’s blood vessels to filter and produce urine, are damaged by the effects of these diseases and lose their functions. As a result, the kidney does not have enough urine and the level of harmful substances in the blood increases.

Detection of CKD

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long and often slow process in which the kidneys gradually lose their function. You may not be aware of your chronic kidney disease at first. Early symptoms may be inconspicuous, so you won’t notice them. The diagnosis of kidney failure is usually made with blood tests that measure Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The blood test assesses how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are tiny filters that remove waste from the blood.

 There are five stages of chronic kidney disease. It may take years for the condition to progress from worsening normal kidney function (CKD stage 1) to Chronic Kidney Failure (CKD stage 5). At stage 5, chronic means the kidney’s damage is permanent. Factors that can bring about this disease are diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), various kidney tissue infections (glomerulonephritis), and overuse of certain drugs that reduce long-term kidney function.

human kidney

How can urine provide information about kidneys?

The diagnosis of kidney disease is often made unexpectedly after a blood and urine test is performed for another reason and when a patient hasn’t noticed any symptoms. These tests analyze urea, creatinine elevation, and abnormalities in the urine often associated with the glomerular filtration value. Detection of disorders in the kidneys occurs thanks to the urine in the body. For example, when a protein leak occurs in the kidneys, the easiest way to detect it is to do a urine test. However, kidney diseases can be diagnosed by examining the properties of various minerals and proteins in the urine and taking into consideration the amount, color, and microscopic imaging of the urine.

Proteinuria

Proteins, which constitute an essential part of the foods we eat, are digested and passed into the blood and arrive at the kidneys thanks to blood circulation. While the kidneys do filter the harmful substances in the blood and excrete them through the urine, they do not allow the proteins to pass into the urine. However, in some conditions, such as fever, hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disorders, the kidney cannot function effectively. This causes proteins to escape into the urine. Protein leakage is seen in the urine when these filters (nephron or glomeruli) are damaged in various kidney diseases. This condition is also called proteinuria.

Usually, proteinuria is discovered incidentally during routine urinalysis performed by patients. As protein leakage increases in patients; Symptoms such as foaming in the urine, swelling due to excessive water retention in the body, and shortness of breath may occur. In patients with severe proteinuria, indicators are low albumin in the blood and other associated fluid accumulations, and oedema and swelling may be observed in the body parts. If recurrent proteinuria cannot be explained by evaluating biological and environmental conditions, it may indicate a decrease in kidney function or another condition in the kidney. If recurrent proteinuria cannot be explained by evaluating biological and environmental conditions, it may indicate a decrease in kidney function or condition in the kidney. If proteinuria is not treated, it can have serious consequences.

How Does Vivoo Measure and Track the Kidney Function?

Urine is a significant health indicator for many diseases, including CKD. Healthy kidneys usually allow proteins to pass through their filters. However, if the filters are damaged by kidney disease, the protein will leak from the blood into the urine.

 Vivoo’s kidney parameter measures the level of protein in the urine. Additionally, small fluctuations of protein levels in the urine are not a cause for concern, as they may be temporary due to exercise, stress, or fever. However, especially in the long term, high amounts of urine protein (or proteinuria) may indicate a kidney problem.

Related: Vivoo Kidney BOX

What does Vivoo Measure?

Because of the benefit of Vivoo’s kidney parameter, the protein-creatinine ratio in the urine can be measured and any problem with the kidneys in the body can be checked. As a result of this ratio measurement, the level of proteinuria can be determined. As it is known, protein leakage in the kidneys affects the urinary tract.  These problems can be easily detected without causing great danger thanks to Vivoo’s easy-to-use, at-home strip test. 

 

vivoo kidney box

What does the presence of protein in the urine indicate?

 The kidneys constantly filter the blood to remove waste products in the urine while preserving beneficial components such as protein. However, a few conditions can disrupt this process and cause more protein than usual in the urine.

There are conditions that can cause a temporary increase of protein concentration in the urine that is not permanent and is not indicative of damage to kidney function.

  •   Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  •   Emotional stress
  •   Fever 

Each of these factors can temporarily alter the functioning of the kidney and cause protein in the urine. However, urine should return to normal once the cause is eliminated.

Symptoms of Protein Leakage:

  •   Foamy urine
  •   Back pain and pain where the kidneys are located near the lower ribs.
  •   Burning sensation or pain when urinating.
  •   Swelling of the hands, feet, abdomen or face.
  •   Seeing blood in the urine.
  •   Weakness.
  •   Nausea.
  •   Shortness of breath.
  •   Anorexia.
  •   Inability to concentrate. 

However, in some cases, very serious and long-lasting symptoms can be seen. In these cases, it is pertinent to seek professional help. These symptoms are:

  •   Pain and pressure in the chest.
  •   Short-term mental confusion and loss of consciousness.
  •   Difficulty in breathing.
  •   Difficulty urinating.
  •   Inability to urinate.

What is the importance of urine tests in the early approach to kidney health?

With the necessary treatment protocols, the factors that cause kidney damage can be determined, and the destruction can be brought under control. With the necessary precautions, conditions that damage the kidneys can be better avoided. One of the most important ways to understand how well your kidneys are working is with a urine test. Thanks to urine tests, information about kidney function can be learned, and other problems in the body can be recognized.  With the help of some values obtained from urine tests, general diagnoses can be obtained about the body’s health.

References:

  1.     Li P, K, -T, Garcia-Garcia G, Lui S, -F, Andreoli S, Fung W, W, -S, Hradsky A, Kumaraswami L, Liakopoulos V, Rakhimova Z, Saadi G, Strani L, Ulasi I, Kalantar-Zadeh K: Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – From Prevention to Detection and Equitable Access to Care. Nephron 2020;144:162-169. doi: 10.1159/000506963
  2.     Chen TK, Knicely DH, Grams ME. Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis and Management: A Review. JAMA. 2019 Oct 1;322(13):1294-1304. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.14745. PMID: 31573641; PMCID: PMC7015670.

Vivoo Kidney BOX

Vivoo’s Kidney Box is one of the main parameters. It helps to keep track of the kidneys and shows the state of kidney function based on proteins in the urine.

Importance of Kidneys

Our kidneys play essential roles to make our body function properly, including:

  • Removing wastes from the body 
  • Filtering the blood plasma
  • Releasing hormones to control blood pressure
  • Stimulating red blood cell production
  • Activating vitamin D to maintain bone health.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Kidney disease may occur if the kidneys damaged and can’t filter the blood the way they should. There are usually no symptoms in its early stages. Furthermore, it can become chronic if the damage is not treated for a long period of time.

CKD is a major health problem that affects approximately 13 percent of the United States population. Today, one in three American adults are at risk for kidney disease. Around 30 million American adults have kidney disease, and most of them don’t even know it yet.

kidneys

Risk Factors of CKD

CKD can be caused by:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Environmental poisons

Some factors increase the risk of developing CKD, such as:

  • Inactivity
  • Family history
  • Aging
  • Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption

Since early kidney disease usually doesn’t have any symptoms, people who have these risk factors should get tested.

Detection of CKD

CDK can be diagnosed via blood and urine tests. A blood test checks how well your kidneys are filtering your blood by looking at the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) while a urine test checks the urine protein (proteinuria), which is one of the first signs of kidney disease.

 

How Does Vivoo Measure and Track the Kidney Function

Urine is a key health indicator for many diseases, including CKD. Healthy kidneys usually do not allow the
protein to pass through their filters. However, protein leaks from the blood into the urine, if filters are damaged by kidney disease.

Vivoo’s kidney parameter measures the level of protein in the urine. In addition, small fluctuations of protein levels in the urine are not a cause for concern since they may be temporary due to exercise, stress, or fever. But a high amount of urine protein (or proteinuria), especially in the long term, may indicate that there is a kidney problem.

Above all, Vivoo lets you track kidney function weekly, see any risk or reduction in optimal kidney function, and give nutritional advice accordingly.

 

Related: Vivoo UTI Box