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Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Liver

The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, located in the upper right part of the abdominal cavity. The liver; has many vital functions such as storage of vitamins and minerals, production of blood coagulation factors, enzyme and protein synthesis, storage of fat and sugar, removal of alcohol, drugs, and toxic substances from the body. Because of all these, a healthy liver is needed for a healthy life.

The liver undertakes many critical vital functions. The liver has main parts: synthesizing proteins and fats, storing carbohydrates and fats, producing bile, and storing iron and vitamins such as  A, D, E, K. Nutrition is the set of integrated processes in which cells, tissues, organs, and the whole body receive energy and nutrients to maintain standard structure and perform necessary functions.

When we look at the frequently encountered problems today, it is observed that liver disorders occur due to not eating right. More well-structured approaches are being taken to establish safe and consistent nutritional diagnoses, especially in patients with liver disease. Some issues should be considered throughout life to protect liver health. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and unnecessary drug use, exercising regularly, staying away from stress, having regular health checks, and eating a healthy diet are among these. In particular, implementing an unhealthy eating plan causes fatigue and lubrication of the liver and damages the organ. Therefore, it is essential to take care of liver health to lead a healthy life.

Importance of Liver 

The importance of the liver in terms of human health does not end with counting; therefore, it is imperative to have a healthy liver. The liver has hundreds of functions in the human body. Some of those:

  • Making the food we have taken usable by the body
  • Breaking down the molecules in the blood coming from the digestive system and turning them into molecules can be used and stored in the body.
  • Sending valuable molecules from the digestive system to other cells through the blood
  • Sending useless molecules to the kidneys.
  • Regulating fat, protein, and sugar metabolism

The main task of the liver is to process nutrients taken through the blood.

Liver Diseases

Damage to the liver, which has many functions in the body, causes various diseases. However, the symptoms of these disorders may not manifest themselves at the initial stage. To prevent diseases, it is essential to diagnose the condition before it progresses.

liver health

The liver has a remarkable capacity to regenerate itself after many diseases. But in some cases, the liver can be irreversibly damaged. This situation can result from inherited abnormalities, excessive alcohol and drug use, cancer, or infectious viruses that cause hepatitis (liver inflammation). The most common liver diseases are as follows:

  • Alcohol-induced fatty liver
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Acute and chronic viral hepatitis
  • Toxic hepatitis
  • Liver cysts
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer

Symptoms

When liver disease is mentioned, cirrhosis and viral hepatitis come to mind first. Although the symptoms may vary according to the condition, the common symptoms of liver diseases are as follows. 

  • Jaundice: It first starts in the whites of the eyes and then appears on the skin. The reason is the accumulation of bilirubin in the skin that cannot be excreted with bile. 
  • Abdominal pain and swelling of the abdomen (accumulation of fluid called ascites) 
  • Edema of the Legs and Ankles (decreased albumin synthesis, hypoalbuminemia) 
  • Itching on the skin: In the patient with jaundice, bile salts also accumulate on the skin. This causes a very annoying itching. The patient’s body is full of itching marks. 
  • Dark, Tea-Colored Urine: Increased (accumulated) bilirubin in the blood is excreted in the urine and stains the urine red. 
  • Pale Stool Color: The substance that gives stool its color is bilirubin. When bilirubin cannot be excreted with bile, the color of the stool becomes lighter. 
  • Blood in the stool (Gastrointestinal System Bleeding): Clotting factors cannot be produced enough in liver diseases. Therefore, there is a tendency to bleed all over the body. Bleeding in the stool can be fresh blood (hematochezia) or digested blood (melena). 
  • Chronic Fatigue 
  • Nausea or Vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Ecchymosis (bruising, bruises) occurs quickly on the body.
  • Detection of Liver Disease 

Liver Function Tests are a group of biochemistry tests to understand the health status of the liver. It is used to diagnose liver diseases also in the follow-up of liver diseases (e.g. hepatitis). The response of the disease to treatment and the prognosis of the disease is monitored. It is also essential to have normal liver function tests when drugs that are metabolized by the liver should be used. The most commonly performed blood tests are: 

  • Serum Bilirubin
  • Serum Albumin 
  • Serum Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) 
  • Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) 
  • Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) 
  • Prothrombin Time (PT) 
  • Gamma-glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT) 
  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) 
  • Mitochondrial Antibodies (AMA) 

Liver disease can be detected by liver function tests, which include urinalysis along with blood tests. These tests measure protein or enzyme levels in the blood or urine to determine how well the liver functions, including bilirubin clearance, protein production, and many other values.

What You Can Do / What Precautions You Can Take to Keep Your Liver Healthy

Protecting liver health is of great importance in terms of lifespan and quality. The most basic way to keep the liver healthy is to pay attention to all the foods consumed and the daily diet. Avoiding alcohol is one of the most significant precautions to take. Regular alcohol consumption directly damages the liver, and damage that progresses over the years can lead to liver cirrhosis or cancer development.

To protect liver health :

  • Alcohol consumption should be stopped.
  • Since obesity will cause fatty liver, it should be kept at an ideal weight. To lose weight, changes should be made in the diet. For this, emphasis should be placed on a Mediterranean-type diet. Sugar-rich foods, fast food products, foods containing saturated fat should be reduced. Bread, desserts, rice, pasta, french fries, fatty sauces, fatty meats, and sugary drinks should be avoided or consumed as little as possible.
  • It should be fed with a nutrient-rich diet that does not contain excessive calories and is low in saturated and trans fats.
  • Foods with additives such as salami, sausage, fatty fries, ready-made fruit juices and fast food should be avoided.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day at least four days a week
  • If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, and cholesterol disease, the given diet and treatments should be followed.
  • Unnecessary antibiotics, painkillers, and herbal treatments should not be used.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine is one of the vaccines made in childhood. Individuals who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B should be vaccinated.
  • Since viral hepatitis diseases are transmitted by blood and sexual intercourse; avoid using a common toothbrush and razor blade and having unprotected sexual intercourse.

How can urine provide information about the Liver?

The liver metabolizes harmful substances and is responsible for transporting the by-products formed in the liver to the bile or blood. After the products come to the bile, they enter the intestine and leave the body in feces. On the other hand, Blood by-products are filtered by the kidneys and leave the body in the form of urine. Any problem with all this physiological flow can cause biomarkers such as bilirubin and urobilinogen in the urine, indicating liver disease. It is recommended that these tests be done when signs of liver disease begin to appear. If bilirubin and urobilinogen are detected in the urine, it may indicate a problem with the liver. Color changes in the urine may be a sign that there may be a problem in the liver. For example, in liver and gallbladder diseases, the urine is orange, and the stool is yellowish. There is also yellowing on the skin of the patients. When faced with such a situation, it is necessary to see a specialist doctor. All liver function tests are usually evaluated together to diagnose the disease.

How does Vivoo measure and track liver function? 

Urine is a significant health indicator for many diseases, including those that problems in our livers can cause. The liver is also a secretory gland. The liver, which can both expand and renew itself, undertakes many critical vital functions. However, if the liver is damaged, serious problems can occur in the body. 

Vivoo’s liver parameter measures the level of bilirubin in the urine. In addition, low bilirubin may occur due to oxygen deficiency, and some medications. On the other hand, the causes of elevated bilirubin levels may be factors such as anemia, cirrhosis, blood transfusion reaction, viral hepatitis, reaction to drugs and alcohol-related liver diseases, gallstones, along diseases that cause decreased liver functions.

Related: Vivoo Liver Box

liver box

What Does Vivoo Measure?

Urine tests can measure the level of bilirubin in the urine. Bilirubin is a substance released during the body’s normal process of breaking down red blood cells and is found in bile, which helps the liver to digest food. If the liver is healthy, excess bilirubin will be removed from the body. Still, if your liver is damaged and unhealthy, bilirubin can leak into the blood and urine. Bilirubin is the urine can be a sign of liver disease.

Vivoo measures the level of bilirubin in your urine to monitor liver function. It checks for potential risks that may affect the optimal condition of the liver and provides nutritional advice.

What does the presence of bilirubin in urine indicate?

Bilirubin is a yellowish substance that is produced during the body’s process of breaking down red blood cells. This substance is found in the liver and is normally excreted from the body during digestion. If the liver is damaged, bilirubin can leak into the blood and urine. Bilirubin is the urine can be a sign of liver disease. In this case, the bilirubin test is applied to measure the amount of bilirubin in the blood or urine.

High bilirubin levels occur when too much bilirubin is produced (usually due to increased hemolysis) or when the liver does not have the capacity to remove bilirubin in a timely and adequate manner due to liver diseases such as biliary obstruction, cirrhosis, acute hepatitis, or inherited problems in bilirubin metabolism.

A Beginner’s Guide to Ketones

Ketones

The human body primarily uses glucose for energy. 

If ‌your‌ ‌cells‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌glucose‌ ‌they‌ ‌need‌,‌ or‌ the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose, then your‌ ‌body‌ ‌begins‌ ‌to‌ ‌burn‌ ‌fat‌ ‌instead. Your liver converts this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends it into the bloodstream for muscles and other tissues to use as fuel. This is all very normal and known as Ketosis.  You may even feel symptoms of ketosis like headache or fatigue.  In a person without diabetes, insulin, glucagon, and other hormones prevent blood ketone levels from getting too high. However, people with diabetes are at risk for ketone accumulation in their blood.  This can disturb the balance of ketone in the body and create risks. 

Related: Vivoo Ketone Box

Why do ketones form?

 Ketone is one of the essential fatty acids in the body. The liver creates ketone production. Normally, the body produces only small quantities of ketones. Starvation, a ketogenic diet, or some chronic conditions like diabetes may result in increased ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into the urine. Then problems arise.

The body needs the energy from glucose to function comfortably. To provide this energy in the body, sugar must be produced. If enough sugar is not produced in the body, the cells will start to burn fat. As the cells in the body begin to burn fat, the production of ketones in the body intensifies.

energy for ketones

What does the presence of ketones in the urine mean?

Predominantly, people with diabetes may have insufficient insulin in their bodies or the existing insulin may not be used properly. These disorders prevent sugar (glucose) from being transported to cells efficiently and can’t be used as energy.  Instead of glucose, fats and proteins are used as energy sources, and ketones emerge as their waste product. A buildup of too many ketones in the blood is known as ketoacidosis and the body tries to remove it through the urine.  Diabetics who have a high amount of ketones in their urine are likely to have high blood sugar levels.

For persons without diabetes, ketones in the urine can result when the body doesn’t have enough sugar to produce sufficient energy.  Instead of sugar, fat and fatty acids begin to burn as energy.  Factors such as following a ketogenic diet, not eating regularly, and infections can cause ketones.

Followers of the Keto Diet

Ketosis is when ketones in the blood rise above normal levels. In this state, the body uses its own stored fat as an energy source throughout the day. When followed correctly, this low-carb diet raises blood ketone levels. The body undergoes many biological adaptations on a ketogenic diet, including decreased insulin and increased fat distribution. When this adaptation occurs, the liver produces large amounts of ketones to provide more energy to the brain. At the same time, fat burning reaches its maximum. As intended, ketones may start to appear in the blood and urine- ketosis has begun.

For those who don’t

Ketones in the urine (ketonuria) are a medical condition that occurs after fats are broken down for energy use. Excess ketones result as a waste product from this breakdown and try to escape the body through urine. Under normal circumstances, ketones aren’t found in the urine, and the body keeps only a small number of ketones in the blood. Diabetes can cause ketone levels in the blood to get too high and the blood can become acidic. This condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis and threatens the health of those affected.

diet for ketones

Causes

Causes of ketones in the urine include: 

  • Diabetes
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels
  • Disrupting insulin use
  • Skipping meals
  • Not eating enough
  • Not paying attention to nutrition
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Fever onset by disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sepsis
  • Patients with severe burns  
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged hunger
  • Eating disorders
  • Fasting
  • Infectious diseases
  • Long-term exercises
  • Diuretic drugs

Symptoms

If ketones are found in the urine, the following symptoms may occur:

Ketoacidosis:

  • Dry mouth
  • Strong sense of thirst
  • High blood sugar level
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Prolonged nausea
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Confusion and inability to focus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rotten fruit smell on breath
  • Excessive sleepiness

sleepiness for ketones

Why is it important to track ketones?

When following a ketogenic diet or other low-carb diets, it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the diet. On the other hand, while not following a similar diet, increased ketone levels in the body can indicate some problems.

More Info For Followers of the Keto Diet 

The ketogenic diet or keto diet is the general name for low-carb diets that turn the body into a burning machine. While ketogenic diets have many benefits in weight loss, health and performance, they can sometimes have side effects like weakness and fatigue.  People who follow the ketogenic diet should monitor their ketosis levels. This gives them information about whether or not the body has reached optimal ketosis.  This can be done by analyzing the ketones in the body over a period of time and making a comparison. When doing so, it’s important to measure the ketone level every day at the same time.  It is more productive to analyze eating breakfast.

Optimal Achievement and Maintenance of Ketosis

Optimal ketosis is when your body is most efficiently using its sources of fat for fuel. Most people following a ketogenic diet experience various side effects during the process of reaching optimal ketosis.  These side effects are typical “keto flu,” occasional dips in energy levels, and weight loss plateaus.  When people keep their commitment, they can reach the optimum level of ketosis.

After the body adapts to ketosis, ketones won’t be found in the urine anymore. Uric acid levels in the blood elevate and the kidneys get the drift of what’s happening, stop leaking the ketones, and start leaking the uric acid instead.

Over time, our uric acid levels return to normal, a key sign of keto-adaptation.  The body has adapted, adjusted, and accepted the keto diet.

Here are the reference ranges that Vivoo use for ketosis;

  • Negative: 0 mg/dL 
  • Trace: 5 mg/dL
  • Optimal: 15-50 mg/dL
  • High: 50-150 mg/dL

Ketones without Keto Diet

Ketones that accumulate in the blood can disrupt the balance of the body.

Excretion of ketones accumulated in the blood occurs through the urinary tract. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough insulin or isn’t able to use its insulin properly. Ketone bodies, the waste product formed from burning fat as energy, first begin to pass into the blood and, as their amount increases, into the urine.  The presence of a high ketone level in the blood can be understood by checking the level of ketones in the blood or urine. Performing these control measures will allow you to take precautions should you have an elevated level.

If you are not following the ketogenic diet, here are the reference ranges for urine ketones that Vivoo use:

  • Great: 0 mg/dL
  • Moderate: 5-15 mg/dL
  • Weak: 15-150 mg/dL

How to Improve High Ketone Levels

If you are not following a ketogenic diet, but receive high ketone results from the Vivoo app, all factors that affect ketone formation should be eliminated.  Furthermore, drinking plenty of water help reduce ketone levels in the body.  Also, it’s important to eat regularly and not skip meals, take in enough carbohydrates, and sleep well.

How often should the presence of ketones in the urine be monitored?

sport

The‌ ‌ketogenic‌ ‌or‌ ‌keto ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌low-carb,‌ ‌high-fat‌‌, and‌ ‌moderate-protein‌ ‌diet.‌ ‌A ‌common‌ ‌goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌keto‌ ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌ketosis,‌ ‌a‌ ‌natural‌ ‌state‌ ‌where ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌burns‌ ‌fat‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel.‌ ‌However,‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌challenging‌ ‌to‌ ‌determine‌ ‌whether‌ ‌your‌ ‌diet‌ ‌needs‌ ‌to be adjusted to reach and maintain ketosis.‌ ‌‌Because of that, Vivo ‌strips‌‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌used‌‌ to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌your‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌level.‌ Thanks to Vivoo strip tests, you can learn about your body’s ketone level in just 2 minutes. Because of this, Vivoo is a great help for you; both with following your diet and determining your goals in the future. ‌Using‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌fast,‌ ‌cheap,‌ ‌and‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌method‌‌ compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌blood-testing‌.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌gives‌ ‌you‌‌ personalized‌ ‌advice‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌it‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone‌‌ levels.‌

‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌check‌ ‌your‌ ‌day-to-day‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone ‌levels,‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌times‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌‌ ‌the‌ ‌early‌ ‌morning before breakfast or‌ ‌the‌ ‌late‌ ‌evening‌ ‌after‌ ‌dinner.‌  Although there isn’t clear information about how often the ketone level should be measured, it is important for individuals who have just started the ketogenic diet to measure their ketone levels frequently during the first two weeks. This way, it’s easier to see whether the diet works or not and whether there is an excess of ketones. 

Whether you follow the keto diet or not, it is still crucial that you regularly measure your ketone levels. Follow-up can be done every week using Vivoo strip tests.  During‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌of‌ ‌going‌ ‌keto, Vivoo’s‌ ‌urinalysis‌‌ is‌ ‌an excellent‌ ‌tool‌ ‌to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌ketosis‌.  Thanks to the Vivoo application, you can indicate that you are currently on a ketogenic diet and receive nutritional advice based on your results. This is a beneficial option for people at the beginning of their diet and for people who need additional dietary advice.

You do not need to be on a ketogenic diet to use the Vivoo strip tests.  It’s already determined that there is a benefit in monitoring your ketone level anytime. Our Vivoo strip test result can provide a lot of information. If you want to get information about the ketone level in your body and still have a look at the recommendations, Vivoo strip tests will assist you in doing that.

 

 

 

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.

What Do Your Hydration Levels Really Say About Your Body? – Here’s How To Track Them With Vivoo

There are two essential elements necessary for the survival of all living things: oxygen and water. In this respect, water can be defined as a critical element that ensures biological life maintenance.

In the body, water intake and excretion are carried out in a certain balance. The amount of water consumed daily should protect the fluid volume in the body. To preserve the body’s fluid volume, daily fluid intake should be equal to daily fluid loss. Deterioration of this primary fluid balance will cause disorders to occur. Consuming a sufficient amount of water for the body allows most of the body’s trace elements to be met.  When this happens, the results are reflected through the beauty of the skin and the strengthening of the immune system. The risk of developing colds, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder cancer is reduced with adequate water intake.

In order not to encounter serious situations and to avoid diseases, plenty of water should be consumed. The amount of water consumed is responsible for the overall health of the body.  The state of the body’s water level is easily learned with specific tests. According to the results, it is now easier to take precautions.

What is urine specific gravity test?

The urine specific gravity test compares urine density to water density. This can help determine your hydration level and how well your kidneys are diluting the urine. 

What is the urine specific gravity used for?

The main reason we use urine specific gravity is to assess hydration levels. When we combine the specific gravity with our other parameters, it gives information about your organ functions such as the kidneys’ wellness.

What are the possible results?

First, you need to know that water’s specific gravity is 1000.  Since urine contains different waste products filtered by the kidneys, we expect the urine specific gravity to be higher than 1000. The urine specific gravity can range from 1005 to 1035. A value close to 1000 indicates that you drink too much water and are overhydrated, and a value of more than 1020 indicates that you aren’t drinking not enough water and are dehydrated.

glass of water

Dehydration

Dehydration is a biological event that occurs when someone uses or loses more fluid than they take in. As a result, there is not enough water and fluid in the body to perform routine functions. Approximately 65% of the human body is made up of water. It loses an average of 2.5-3 liters of water per day. When the lost fluids are not replaced, there will be dehydration. In addition to water loss, minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium that regulate the body’s electrolyte balance are also thrown out.

Symptoms

Mild signs of dehydration are the sensation of thirst, muscle cramps, headache, dryness, and coldness of the skin, decreased urination and dark yellow urine, dry and sticky mouth.

Severe dehydration signs are difficult with urinating, urine that is very dark yellow or amber, dry and wrinkled skin, confusion, loss of consciousness, increased heart rate and breathing, dizziness, squinting in eyes, and low blood pressure, especially when standing up.

Causes 

Dehydration can occur due to simple reasons such as forgetting to drink water, not having enough water on hand, not being able to consume enough while traveling, and other reasons as summarized below.

Sudden onset of severe diarrhea and accompanying vomiting, which is common especially in infants and children, high fever caused by infection or heat stroke, excessive sweating due to excessive exercise or high temperature, excessive urination due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, diseases that cause the kidneys to lose their water retention, diuretics, blood pressure, and antihistaminic drugs, alcohol consumption, endurance sports such as marathon running, climbing, triathlon. 

Health risks

Loss of fluid can lead to dehydration.  Signs of dehydration are:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreasing in physical performance
  • Decreasing in mental performance
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Decreasing in stamina
  • Constipation
  • Having higher than normal heart rate
  • Headache
  • Migraine attacks

Remedies

The most effective method to remedy dehydration is to replace lost fluids and lost electrolytes. The best approach to dehydration depends on age, severity, and cause of dehydration. In general, increasing water consumption is the most appropriate solution in mild and moderate dehydration. Fluids containing electrolytes may also be preferred when fluids are lost due to excessive exercise. For severe dehydration, it is crucial to take the patient to the nearest medical center.

For mild to moderate dehydration due to diarrhea, vomiting, or fever, drinking more water or other liquids can improve conditions.

Coldwater is the best option for working or exercising outside in hot or humid weather. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes and carbohydrate solutions can also help. Cases of severe dehydration can recover faster with the help of intravenous salt and water solutions (saline).

Optimal Hydration

Benefits of staying hydrated

Hydration: It keeps the water and electrolyte levels required for the body at a certain level to increase efficiency. Water lost during daily activities must be returned to the body.  Otherwise, a dangerous situation will occur.  Hydration, which plays a role in everything from mental focus to joint health, means the water leaving and entering the body is in balance.  Reaching maximum efficiency in daily life can only be achieved through hydration.

Does enough water help prevent health problems?

Water is essential for life and is considered to be a nutrient. Water and other beverages play a role in the digestion, absorption, and transportation of our food to the cells, the formation of biochemical reactions necessary for life and health, the functioning of cells, tissues, organs, and systems, transport and disposal of dangerous substances resulting from metabolism, control of body temperature and lubrication of joints. In addition to all of these, it also provides essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and fluorine. Herein, the fulfillment of body functions is possible by maintaining the water balance called “hydration”.

How much water do we really need?

Daily water needs vary from person to person. Age, weight, health status, medications are taken, exercise and environmental factors make a difference in daily water consumption.  Studies underline that an adult woman should drink 2.7 liters per day and a man 3.7 liters per day.  However, it should not be forgotten that foods with a high amount of water, such as watermelon and cucumber, are great sources of water and you can also eat your water!

How do I know if I’m drinking enough?

 If enough water is not taken into the body for a few days, certain symptoms appear in the body.  These symptoms are dry mouth, dry skin, dry eyes, joint pain, prolonged illness, fatigue, frequent hunger, and various digestive problems.

Overhydration

Drinking too much water can be dangerous to health, and this phenomenon is called overhydration. Overhydration can lead to water poisoning. It occurs when the amount of salt and other electrolytes in the body becomes too dilute. Hyponatremia is a condition in which sodium (salt) levels are dangerously low. It is the primary concern of overhydration.

There are two main types of overhydration. The first is “Increased water intake”, which occurs when more water is drunk than the kidneys can excrete in the urine. It can cause too much water to pool in the bloodstream. The second event is called Water Retention, and this event occurs due to the body not being able to get rid of water properly. Some medical conditions can also cause excessive water retention in the body. Both of these are dangerous. The reason is that the balance between water and sodium in the blood is neglected.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of overhydration is a headache. Feelings of nervousness and confusion are also related to overhydration.  The most severe symptoms of overhydration are double vision, difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure, and numbness.  In addition to these symptoms, nausea, vomiting, body swelling, and muscle spasms can also be seen.

Causes

Overhydration is the imbalance of fluids.  It happens when the body takes in more fluid than the kidneys can extract or retain excess fluid.  Drinking too much water or not having a way to remove it can cause water levels to rise.  Water needs vary according to age, gender, weather, activity level, and general dependency.  Common conditions such as extreme heat, strenuous activity, long duration of the activity, and febrile illness require higher than average fluid intake.  In a healthy person, urine is an indicator of an overhydration state. 

Healthy Risks

Some medications and health conditions can cause your body to over hydrate by holding more fluid; the following are some examples:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

Other conditions and medications can make you dehydrated, causing increased water intake. These include:

  • Diuretics
  • Dry mouth

How is it improved?

The type of treatment for overhydration is determined by how severe the symptoms are and what caused the condition. Treatments can include:

  • Reducing fluid intake,
  • Stopping the medications that cause the problem,
  • Changing sodium intake habits in severe cases.

Why use Vivoo?

It is unique that Vivoo informs us about our body’s water level by giving us feedback in a straightforward and fast way.  You sometimes forget to fulfill your most basic needs due to the intensity, workload, and responsibilities in your daily lives.  Using Vivoo, you can learn about your body’s hydration level, learn the precautions you will take according to the situation you are in, and learn how far these situations have progressed by taking a very simple test.

Related: Vivoo Water Box

vivoo hydration parameter 

How Vivoo keep us on track?

 Vivoo helps us learn the hydration level of our body by measuring specific gravity thanks to the strip tests it contains.  According to these test results, it gives specific advice to us and maximizes our body health.  Vivoo not only tells the test results but also offers us nutritional advice according to the hydration state of our body. Thanks to these suggestions, the hydration level can always be followed regularly.

What affects water consumption?

The total amount of water to be consumed can be changed by taking into account daily activities, the climate, health conditions, and pregnancy.

If exercising or engaging in any activity that causes sweating, extra water consumption is needed to compensate for the lost fluid.

Hot or humid weather can cause sweating and require additional fluid consumption.  Besides, the heated air in closed areas in winter can cause the skin to lose moisture.

In the presence of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, the body loses extra water.  In these cases, more water should be drunk.  Also, if certain conditions such as a bladder infection or urinary tract stones develop, more water consumption may be needed.  On the other hand, several conditions such as heart failure, certain kidney, liver, or adrenal gland diseases may impair water excretion.  Even these such situations may require a limitation of the amount of water taken into the body.

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding need to drink extra water to stay hydrated.  Large amounts of water should be taken, especially during breastfeeding.

cucumber for hydration

Is water the only option for staying hydrated?

One of the easiest ways to get the body hydrated is to drink plenty of water.  However, some vegetables and fruits can be consumed to maintain the body’s water balance. These are: 

Cucumber: Cucumber contains 95% water in its content.  Therefore, it is a beneficial vegetable in terms of replacing the liquid lost in the summer heat. 

Tomato: Tomato saves cells from dehydration with nearly 95% water content. 

Watermelon: The water content of watermelon is 92%.  Besides, it contains beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C. 

Yogurt: Yoghurt includes 80% water.  It is also an intestinal regulator with beneficial bacteria. 

Strawberry: Strawberry, which is very rich in vitamin C, is made up of more than 90% water.  It prevents cardiovascular diseases and helps fight infections.

 In addition to drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables can keep the body hydrated.