Kidney Function and Diseases
Kidneys, or the renal function system, play a vital role in maintaining electrolytes and fluids for the body. This is done through filtration (blood), secretion (waste) and reabsorption (calcium). It is also responsible for excreting metabolic waste out of the body through the production of urine.
Amazingly, the kidney is responsible for so much within the human body. A healthy kidney ensures that potassium levels are kept tightly within range, regardless of the potassium content of the food eaten, transports vitamins throughout the body, regulates blood pressure, secretes hormones, fuels red blood cell production in bone marrow, stimulates intestinal absorption of calcium and urine production. Urine clearance is a necessary function to rid the body of toxic waste. If the toxic waste is not disposed, the body then is thrown out-of-balance and the toxic waste will start having negative impacts upon bodily systems, as do diseases.
There are many types of kidney diseases, some are diet-related, as a result from other bodily conditions but there are diseases that are congenital and some kidney damage can result from trauma.
- Glomerular diseases can be caused by autoimmune disorders, infection-related sicknesses, and sclerotic diseases. The first symptom that this disease might be present is too much protein in the urine. This condition is known for slowly killing kidney function .
- Severe dehydration can cause the body to store water to compensate for the dehydration and thus damage blood vessels causing high-blood pressure that the kidneys cannot control.
- Continual urinary tract infections can spread to the kidneys.
- High uric acid content is instrumental in creating kidney stones
- Diabetes causes the body to not process sugar as it should, thus the sugar is not broken down for filtration through the kidneys. If it does not break down, sugar acts as a poison to the organs.
- High-blood pressure tend to shut down the kidney’s filtration system by damaging the blood vessels in the kidney thus slowing down blood purification.
Whatever the cause, symptoms of the disease seem to be similar. It should be noted that in the early stages of renal disease there are no signs or symptoms. Later stages of the condition brings about that can include: increased/decreased urge to urinate, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, swelling in hands and/or feet, concentration problems, muscle cramps, darkened skin, and/or extreme drowsiness.
Blood tests commonly used to monitor the health of the kidney are Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)/creatine, Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR), Microalbumin, creatinine, urinalysis, potassium, electrolytes, urine total protein, serum cholesterol, and uric acid. One of the benefits of Direct Access Testing is the ease in which one can monitor their renal function through laboratory testing. These important chemistry and wellness blood tests can save your life.