It is undeniable that our kidneys play a vital role in all our bodily functions and our bodies would be unable to rid itself of waste products and harmful substances without them. But, did you know that there are specific kidney biomarkers that can alert you to possible health problems before symptoms start to show? Checking and tracking these biomarkers has the ability to protect you from diseases and could even save your life.
Here is what you need to know about keeping your kidneys healthy, and what measures to take if you notice any abnormalities!
What are Kidney Biomarkers?
The kidney’s main function is to remove waste from your blood, as well as to produce hormones, which help guard against conditions such as anaemia.
Blood tests will help you track your kidney’s health through certain biomarkers, while also keeping track of abnormal levels of waste in the blood.
These will include levels of urea, which is a waste product of protein assimilation, and creatinine, also a waste product produced by working muscles.
The Importance of Kidney Testing
Having your kidneys tested is as critical to your health as having your heart health measured—and possibly more so.
For one, kidney disease is known as a “silent” killer, since symptoms of it can go unnoticed until it is too late. This is unlike heart health, which usually has pronounced symptoms, such as chest pains and heart palpitations, which indicate when your health isn’t optimal.
Are There Any Signs of Kidney Disease?
It is important to go for regular checkups that ensure the health of your kidney, particularly so because kidney disease can go unnoticed until it is too late.
However, be sure to look out for even the smallest of symptoms, which could indicate that it’s time to have your kidney health evaluated. Here are some examples:
- Odd coloured urine
- Foamy Urine which is occurs for a prolonged period
- Kidney pain
- Traces of blood in your urine
- Frequent urination over extended periods of time
- Always feeling tired and/or cold
- Chronic itching
- Poor appetite
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs and/or hands
If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly for an extended period, it is time to visit your doctor for an evaluation of what is causing them. While some symptoms may have nothing to do with your kidneys, there is also the chance they have everything to do with your kidneys, and the sooner you find out, the better.
5 Nutritional, Lifestyle, and Doctor Recommended Rules for Averting Kidney Disease
Here are the 5 things you need to do to keep your kidneys healthy and to minimize your risk of Chronic Kidney Disease:
- Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water and other non-diuretics. Other than helping to flush your kidneys, staying hydrated has many benefits. Your kidneys will be able to function optimally without the need to return filtered fluids to the bloodstream due to dehydration.
- Avoid tobacco products and excess alcohol consumption. Doing so will ensure your blood vessels are not constricted, which reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet, and get enough exercise, which can help your blood pressure stay low. Keeping to a healthy diet will ensure that your kidneys get the nutrients they need while also ensuring your blood pressure remains at a healthy, balanced level. Foods that you should include in your diet include cabbage, fish, lemon, onion, kale, red grapes, cherries, blueberries, and raspberries.
- Avoid processed foods and the excessive use of table salt. Both of which can lead to high blood pressure, which will have dire effects on your kidneys.
- Take some time to relax and try not to overly stress yourself. Try to include activities such as meditation or yoga, in your daily life. These activities may just be the answer to lowering your blood pressure.
As a key part of our body’s natural detox system, our kidneys are one of our most important organs. Without them, we would not be able to function normally and even our daily tasks would be a struggle. Thus, it is in our best interest to protect them from possible diseases and ensure they function with ease.
And, while there are simple blood and urine tests your doctor can perform to determine the health of your kidneys, you should also take precautions as eating right, exercising, and drinking ample fluids to ensure your kidneys stay as healthy as possible.
In other words, be good to your kidneys, and they will be good to you!
If you’re interested in learning more about tracking your kidney's health and balancing key biomarkers such as creatinine, bicarbonate, and urea, read on more about it in our biomarker post here!