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The kidneys are essential organs in the body whose principal task is filtering the waste products of our cells and excreting it via our urine. Although these two bean-shaped organs are comparatively smaller than other organs, we absolutely cannot do without these filtration mechanisms. If our kidneys ever malfunction because of disease or prolonged neglect, our heart, lungs, and liver could follow shortly after!
If you feel like something is wrong with your kidneys, especially if you have a family history of kidney disease, seek medical advice right away. 10 subtle symptoms of kidney disease include:
• Changes in urination. For example – constantly having to get up in the middle of the night to pee, then only having a few drops come out, is a common sign that there’s something wrong with your kidneys.
• Pain in the legs, abdomen, or upper back. Leg and flank pain are the most common complaints of patients that test positive for kidney disease.
• Low grade fever. This counts as one of the earliest signs of a lot of diseases, including kidney disease.
• Having blood in the urine or having foamy, saturated urine.
• Swelling in the joints and face.
• Feeling tired really easily (this could indicate many things).
• Sudden and prolonged changes in how food tastes. People with untreated kidney disease often report a foul, metallic taste in their mouth and food.
• Feeling unusually cold, even in hot weather.
• Having frequent trouble catching your breath.
• Having extreme, unusual itching; usually on the back and legs. 
9 Simple Ways to Reduce your Risk of Kidney Disease:
1. Eat healthy. Fill your diet with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. A kidney-friendly diet, according to the American Kidney Fund, consists of a low protein, low salt diet so your kidneys have a lighter load to process. 
Note also that non-organic food is likely to contain pesticide residues. You should know that glyphosate has been implicated in the chronic kidney disease epidemic.
You can eat less meat and still reach your recommended daily protein intake. Cheese, oats, sunflower seeds, eggs, walnuts, almonds and lentils are noted for their good protein content. Fruits rich in protein: passion fruit, currants, figs, oranges.  Vegetables rich in protein: Beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, turnip greens, avocados, asparagus, squash, broccoli. 
2. Eat Less Salt.
Keep an eye out for foods that are high in sodium; they raise your blood pressure and give your kidneys a hard time. Make it a habit to read nutrition labels; you might be surprised at the amount of sodium in some food like canned soups and sauces.
3. Avoid / limit purines. Excess purine makes the kidneys inflamed, leading to kidney damage and disease.  Avoid foods high in purine such as red meat, animal organs, anchovies, seafood and alcoholic beverages.
Butter, oatmeal, nuts, tomatoes and other fruits, as well as wheat germ contain all the purines our bodies need to function.
4. Keep your blood sugar in check. Our kidneys play a major role in sugar absorption.  Excessive amounts of sugar in our diet tend to build up in the kidneys. Avoid this by regularly checking your blood sugar levels and staying away from processed sweets and sugary beverages.
5. Keep your blood pressure controlled. A constantly high blood pressure level damages blood vessels, including the ones in the kidneys crucial for proper kidney function.  Aside from a healthy diet, you need to get your weight down to your ideal BMI as well as control caffeine intake. If you take prescription medication for maintaining your blood pressure, make sure you take that regularly and as directed.
6. Exercise. The numerous benefits of regular exercise include lowering blood pressure, weight loss, and prevention of heart and kidney disease. 
7. Stay hydrated. Water flushes out toxins from the body. It also dilutes build-up of purines, sugars, and salts in your system, helping your kidneys with an easier time at eliminating them. Note however that you should not go too crazy as extreme consumption of water can harm the kidneys.
8. Use Medication Wisely. The World Health Organization specifically mentions over-the-counter painkillers as one of the heavy hitters on kidney health.  Use analgesics sparingly, and ask your doctor for the right dose and duration for taking any type of medication.
9. Stop Smoking. Smoking damages almost all the systems of the body,
including our kidneys. If you stop smoking, you’ll no doubt notice an overall improvement on health, as well as reduce your risk of kidney disease.
5 More Crucial Facts You Should Know:
1. Be sure to understand the various kidney lab tests and their implications. A common evaluation for kidney disease function – the BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and Creatinine levels/ratio – is not a complete diagnosis. BUN concentrations may be elevated when there is excessive protein breakdown (catabolism), significantly increased protein in the diet, or gastrointestinal bleeding (because of the proteins present in the blood).  Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is another of the key tests indicating kidney health. It gives an estimation of how much blood passes through the glomeruli per minute. The higher number you have, the better your kidneys are performing. The lower number, the closer to kidney failure:
2. Toxic heavy metals can cause permanent kidney damage Heavy metal poisoning can push your kidneys into a toxic overload and cause you to permanently damage and lose kidney function!
3. Avoiding just >> this one problem food can help reduce your odds of kidney failure by up to 3 years!
4. Diet plays an important role in kidney health. A study in the Journal of Renal Nutrition states “Dietary protein restriction is recommended for patients with moderate to severe renal insufficiency.” 
5. Note the liquids you should NOT drink which can worsen your kidney disease and IRREPARABLY DAMAGE THEM!
 10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease. Life Options. https://lifeoptions.org/kidneyinfo/ckdinfo.php?page=3
 Kidney-Friendly Diet and Foods: Healthy Eating for People with Chronic Kidney Disease. American Kidney Fund. https://kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-friendly-diet-ckd/
 Nutrient Lists for protein in fruits. Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report?nutrient1=203&nutrient2=205&nutrient3=291&fg=9&max=25&subset=1&offset=0&sort=c&totCount=73&measureby=m
 Nutrient lists for protein in vegetables. Agricultural Research Service of The United States Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=203&nutrient2=205&nutrient3=291&subset=1&fg=11&sort=c&measureby=m
 Purinergic signaling in inflammatory renal disease. Frontiers in Physiology. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725473/
 Understanding the kidneys’ role in blood glucose regulation. US National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22559853
 High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease. Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, Inc. https://kidneyurology.org/Library/Kidney_Health/High_Blood_Pressure_and_Kidney_Disease.php
 Exercise: What you should know (National Kidney Foundation) https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/exercisewyska
 WHO Drug Information Vol.14, No. 1, 2000. World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Jh1462e/1.html
 Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) test https://labtestsonline.org/tests/blood-urea-nitrogen-bun
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This is especially important if you spend a significant amount of time sitting every day (I do, and this really affects me in a big way!)
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
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