Do You Have Chronic Renal Disease? Know The Symptoms
Your kidneys are probably not something you think about very often, but they are vitally important to how your body processes everything that you digest on a regular basis. Every time you eat a meal, drink beverages or alcohol, take vitamins, prescription medication or drugs, your kidneys are hard at work processing all of that, disposing of unneeded waste, filtering your blood and monitoring your body’s natural acidity level (PH). It’s the silent workhorse that is easy to ignore, until something goes wrong.
Studies show that 1 in 9 American adults have some form of medical renal disease or kidney failure. Renal is the Latin word for kidney, so when you hear your doctor talking about renal problems, he or she is discussing the state of your kidneys. Renal (or kidney) disease has reached epic proportions in America, especially with the rise of obesity and diabetes. Both conditions are directly linked to chronic renal failure (CRF).
This is often called a silent disease, because it’s really hard to detect in its early stages. Most people only discover they have it during a later stage of the disease. Unfortunately, many don’t get diagnosed until they are at the stage where they need dialysis or a kidney transplant. When caught earlier, it is treatable, so that’s why it’s important for you to know some of the symptoms that come with this condition.
In general, there are five stages of renal failure:
Stages 1 and 2 – There will be mild kidney damage.
Stage 3 – There is moderate kidney damage.
Stage 4 – There is a severe decrease in kidney functions.
Stage 5 – There is acute kidney damage and drastic life saving measures are needed.
In the early stages, you will probably not notice much of anything. However, as the disease progresses, more symptoms will reveal themselves, such as: frequent urination, or the opposite, urinating less than you normally do, bloating of hands, face, ankles and abdomen, headaches, itchy skin and feeling lethargic. These symptoms will develop gradually as your kidneys slowly degenerate over a period of time. This is what makes it a chronic condition.
As long as you are not at the end stages of the disease, you can regain normal kidney function by making some strict dietary changes. There is a diet plan that addresses chronic renal failure and the toxins building up in your system. Your kidneys may fail for a variety of reasons, but this failure guarantees that they will be unable to process all the toxins that are accumulating in the bloodstream. Without this filtering, you will increasingly become ill. It is now known that people with chronic renal failure have abnormally high levels of phosphorous in their body. You will also have accumulated too much protein. Your health will continue to degenerate because of this build up.
Since you are getting most of your phosphorous and protein from the foods you eat, the amount of foods that contain these elements will need to be greatly reduced. A good chronic renal disease diet plan will give you a list of foods that you can eat, and recommend that you do not eat others. You may have to consult with your physician or a dietitian before beginning such a diet, especially if you’re already being treated for diabetes or heart disease.
Monitoring Your Protein Intake
As you already know, the human body needs protein in order to function normally. Protein contains a lot of nutritional benefits and helps build muscle tissue and red blood cells. However, when the kidneys break down, they can no longer process protein as they normally do, so it starts building up in your bloodstream. In order to get your protein levels back down to normal, you’ll have to eat a lot less meats and other foods that contain protein. In order to keep your energy levels up at all times, you can add a protein supplement to your every day diet that won’t conflict with your meals.
Foods With Low Phosphorous
Part of the kidneys job is to regulate the amount of phosphorous in your blood. When they can’t do this normally, your phosphorous levels increase. These high levels of phosphorous decreases the amount of calcium in your blood. Calcium is necessary for healthy teeth and bones. When you lose calcium, your bone density decreases, which puts you at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis.
That’s why the end stage renal disease diet will show you which low phosphorous foods you should be eating to correct this problem. Some of the foods on the list of things you are allowed to eat are: cottage cheese, rice milk, cabbage, eggplant, white bread, crackers, pasta, beef, poultry, fish (except pollock, walleye salmon or sardines), potatoes, green peas, onions, cucumbers, bagels, white rice, broth-based soups, mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, margarine, sherbet, ginger ale and hard candy.
Some of the foods you’ll be giving up are: milk (including soy milk), hard cheese, ice cream, foods made from whole grains, soup containing milk, peas or beans, cornbread, biscuits, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, organ meats like liver, cream (all varieties), sesame butter, sour cream, soft drinks (except root beer and lemon lime soda) and chocolate.
As you can see, this is an eating plan that excludes many foods that you probably enjoy eating. But, when it comes to your kidneys, they are so important to the quality of your life, that you should be willing to do anything to get them back to a normal state. The alternative is to ignore the problem until it becomes too late to do anything but hook you up to a dialysis machine. While this would save your life, it’s not an ideal situation. There are many end stage renal failure patients who must spend every two to three days in the hospital getting a dialysis treatment. Too many of them are on a long waiting list to receive a kidney transplant.
By making some simple dietary changes, you (or a loved one you know with this disease), can avoid that fate and turn things around while there is still time. If you feel that you have even one of the above symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor for a full kidney evaluation. The sooner you find out that you have chronic renal disease, the sooner you can take action to solve the problem.
Source by Janine Michaels