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Advice for good kidney health

The kidneys are two organs in the body whose proper functioning is vital for human life. In each kidney there are thousands of small microfilters (glomeruli) that are responsible for maintaining the proper balance of water, minerals, acids, bases, toxic substances and nutrients necessary for a good functioning of our body. In addition, the kidneys produce hormones that help in the production of red blood cells and maintain hemoglobin (Hgb) and other substances that strengthen our bones to acceptable levels. These microfilters act as “strainers” where, depending on the holes or pores of each, normal or excessive amounts of albumin or red blood cells in the urine are retained or leaked. The presence of small amounts of albumin in the urine (microalbuminuria) may be indicative of an initial kidney disease. Among the diseases that can affect these microfilters are diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2, and hypertension. These conditions can affect the performance of microfilters and, depending on the damage they cause to these structures, the filters or pores are enlarged, allowing large amounts of albumin and red blood cells to pass into the urine. Progressively, the microfilters and their pores are clogged, and can not perform the functions of the kidneys to normal levels. According to the loss of the microfilters, toxic substances can be retained that can do damage in our body. In addition, anemia (under Hgb) and possible weakening of the bones can occur. The overall functioning of microfilters is well known, such as renal function. There are clinical laboratory tests that can, in a simple way, detect whether your microfilters are working properly. The two tests used to evaluate kidney function are serum creatinine, which measures the function of the kidney and albumin in the urine. If we know the value of these tests, we can detect the overall functioning of microfilters or, in other words, the total renal function of both kidneys. This way, you can know if your kidneys are functioning normally, mild, moderate or severe and if you need dialysis. It is vital that you know the functioning of your kidneys. Ask your doctor to tell you which stage of function your kidneys are in. In short, early detection of problems in the functioning of your kidneys can help you avoid, in many cases, the progressive deterioration of your kidney function and the possibility that you need dialysis. Prevention now or pay later: that is the slogan. To protect the functioning of your kidneys, the following is recommended:
  • Controlled blood pressure.
  • Decreased microalbumin, if detected.
  • Normalization of blood sugars.
  • Maintain the ideal weight for your height.
  • Decreased consumption of salt.
Suitable cholesterol levels, especially bad cholesterol, known as LDL. Acceptable protein intake (levels acceptable for a healthy adult are: 1 gram for each kilogram of weight). Avoid using medications to control pain (such as naproxen-related medications). Proper use of natural medicines, as some of these can cause damage to the kidneys. The author is chief medical director of P.R. RENAL HEALTH & amp; RESEARCH, in Carolina, Guaynabo, Ponce and Toa Baja. For information, call 787-710-CKDC (2532).
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Taking good care of your kidneys

Diabetes Mellitus, either type I or II, is a health condition that affects the necessary kidney function essential for living.

In each kidney there are thousands of tiny microfilters that are responsible for keeping the balance between water, minerals, acids, bases, toxins and nutrients for proper body function.  Also, kidneys produce hormones that aid in the production of red blood cells to maintain hemoglobin levels and other substances that keep the bones in optimal conditions.

These microfilters act as strainers where, due to each one’s pores, they retain or filter normal or excessive quantities of red blood cells. The presence of small amounts of a type of protein called albumin in urine can be the start of kidney disease. When diabetes – and arterial hypertension – cause kidney damage, pores are enlarged and permit the passage or large quantities of red cells in urine. Progressively, the microfilters and pores get blocked and are unable to perform their required normal functions.

Due to this blockage of the microfilters, toxic substances can get retained and cause damage to the human body. Also, anemia can develop and bone deterioration could follow. The microfilter’s global functions are known as renal function. There are clinical laboratory tests that can detect if the microfilters are working well. The two tests that are used to evaluate renal function are serum creatinine, that measures the kidney’s function, and albumin found in urine.  After getting the results from these tests, the kidney’s filtering capacity can be detected and can show if further treatment may be needed.

It is always recommended to ask your doctor to inform you in which functional stage your kidneys are.  An early detection of kidney disease, in most cases, can help avoid deterioration of renal function and the chances of requiring dialysis.

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