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Kidney Disease Symptoms: The Top Ten Guide (and more…)

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Kidney disease symptoms… what are they, when do they occur, and why do they occur…?

For many, kidney disease symptoms remain confusing. This however is not surprising…

•    Kidney disease has little awareness amongst the general public, and therefore is largely misunderstood.
•    There are numerous conditions that fall under the ‘kidney disease’ umbrella term, each with their own set of symptoms.
•    Kidney disease can be “acute” or “chronic”.
•    ‘Kidney disease’ is one of many terms that label the same condition. Others terms include: chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, renal failure, renal disease, end-stage-kidney-disease… etc.
•    Kidney disease symptoms rarely show themselves early on in the disease process; hence kidney disease is often called “The Silent Killer”.
•    And surprisingly when kidney disease does enter its final stages, often patients are told that every symptom that they are experiencing is caused by the kidneys.

What Is The Purpose Of This Article?

The purpose of this article is to clarify exactly what the signs and symptoms are for kidney disease. And when I say the signs and symptoms of kidney disease, I mean the signs and symptoms of a kidney that has already begun to diminish in function. Therefore a urinary tract infection that has spread to the kidneys, but has not lowered the kidney function, is not applicable here (for example).

Kidney Disease Symptoms

Below I have listed the most common signs and symptoms resulting from under functioning kidneys. I have also tried, where I believe more information is needed, to explain the reasoning as to why these signs and symptoms occur. This will help you understand your condition better, and by doing so, enable you to heal yourself better.
Note: The following signs and symptoms can occur at any stage of kidney disease, however most individuals begin to experience them at stage 3 or 4*.

*Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is categorised in five distinct stages (based on your level of kidney function) to better help care for kidney disease sufferers. Kidney function is measured by what’s called an Estimated Gromulrular Filatration Rate (eGFR) test (for more information on this, please go here). Here is a brief analysis of each of the five stages:
•    Stage 1 with normal or high GFR     (eGFR > 90 ml/min)
•    Stage 2 Mild CKD             (eGFR = 60-89 ml/min)
•    Stage 3 Moderate CKD         (eGFR = 30-59 ml/min)
•    Stage 4 Severe CKD             (eGFR = 15-29 ml/min)
•    Stage 5 End Stage CKD         (eGFR <15 ml/min)

Symptom 1: Changes In Urination
Changes in urine are common, which makes a lot of sense considering that the kidneys main function is to regulate the body’s chemistry via the urine. These changes include:

–    increased night time urination (aka: nocturia)
–    foamy or bubbly urination (caused by excess protein in the urine)
–    increased/decreased urine output
–    dark yellow/brown urine
–    blood in urine (aka: hematuria)
–    increased urge, or a feeling of pressure on the bladder

Cause: The cause of this symptom is obvious. The kidneys that produce the urine are damaged, and therefore impact the way urine is processed. Out of all the kidney disease symptoms, this is one is probably the most common that I see in clinical practice.

Symptom 2: Fatigue
Feelings of constant fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, and lethargy.

Cause: There are numerous causes for this symptom:

–    Anemia: the kidneys produce the hormone EPO which is required to produce red blood cells. When the kidneys decrease in function, so too does the production of EPO.
–    Decreased oxygenation: as mentioned above, kidney disease can cause red blood cell production to decrease, when this occurs you have fewer red blood cells to transport life giving oxygenation around the body. On top of this fluid can build up around the lungs causing inhalation difficulty, and therefore drawing in deep, long, oxygenating breaths is a rare occurrence.
–    Adrenal fatigue: The Kidneys And Adrenals Are ONE – Although technically they are not the same organ/gland they are structurally connected, the adrenals produce a hormone call aldosterone which increases the kidneys reabsorption of sodium and water (and elimination of potassium), and from an energetic stand point, are the same.

The adrenal glands literally sit on top of the kidney like a hat – Please refer to following article for a diagram – and because of this, both impact each other. The adrenal glands are your body’s anti-stress/energy centre, by releasing such hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrinecortisol they increase the body’s energy. If the kidneys are not functioning well, then so aren’t the adrenals. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also refers to these two organs as one. In their philosophy their in no distinction between the two, they are simply known as the ‘kidney’ meridian. The kidney meridian is regarded as the body’s most important reservoir of essential energy. And in the TCM philosophy, the “kidneys” house the body’s will power, control short-term memory, and provide the capacity for drive and strength. A person with deficient “kidneys” will be deficient in potency and stamina.

Kidney Recipe: Healthy Baked Rice Pudding with Berries

kidney recipe - rice pudding with berries

Look I know I am guilty of it, and I sure bet you are too… Sometimes you just get over eating healthy and crave something sweet. The great thing however is you don’t need to be unhealthy while doing it. There are plenty of options (available in your local health store right now) to replace unhealthy sugar, with healthy natural sweeteners.

The most common (and best) is Stevia. Stevia is a plant, stevia is natural, and stevia is definitely NOT created in some laboratory. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar without the calories, and also helps regulate blood levels. How awesome is that? Guilty pleasures here we come!

Note: On the other hand, avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague! These are some of the most poisonous substances around. They are linked to cancer, neurological problems, psychiatric side-effects, fatigue, weight gain, and many others. And frankly, they should be banned from our food. Aspartame for example converts into formaldehyde (embalming agent) and formic acid (found in the stings of ants and other insects) when it is digested.  But that is a whole other article. Artificial sweeteners include: Aspartame, Equal ™, Sucralose, Splenda (TM), Acesulfame K, Saccharin, and Neotame.

Today I thought I would give you a recipe that will help stop those cravings, be kind to your kidneys, and not give you an unhealthy hit of sugar.

Healthy Baked Rice Pudding – Kidney Disease Recipe

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie. It is simple to make, requires few ingredients, and is often a childhood memory favourite.
Let’s dig in shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4)
•    220g ( 1cup) short grain rice (such as Aborio rice)
•    500ml water
•    2 eggs, beaten
•    500ml (2 cups) Soy or Rice milk (preferably rice milk)
•    10 drops liquid vanilla stevia extract (to taste) – if using stevia powder, use ½ teaspoon
•    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
•    200g mixed fresh or frozen berries
•    Pinch ground nutmeg
•    Flaked toasted almonds (optional)

Baking Directions
1.    Preheat oven to 160 C.
2.    Bring to boil water in a large saucepan (3 litre), and then add in rice. Stir rice often to avoid sticking on the base of the pan. Cook rice on a gentle simmer until tender (15-25 minutes).
3.    Mix well in a large bowl, the beaten eggs, rice milk, vanilla essence, and stevia. Stir in rice and berries.
4.    Pour mixture into a baking dish (e.g. 20x30cm).
5.    Place baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes; after 30 minutes stir pudding and add nutmeg and almond flakes. Bake for another 30 minutes.
6.    Rest for 5 minutes and then serve.

And Viola!

This dish does take a little while to create (up to 90 minutes); however 60 minutes of this is just oven time. So put it on as you are preparing dinner and then set and forget!

I really hope you find this an enjoyable dessert option. As sometimes changing your diet can be… well, let’s just say, a challenge.

Keep up the good work with your kidney diet and you will sure see improvements in your health and kidney function.

If you enjoyed this kidney recipe please be sure to click the “Like” button below, and leave a comment.

To Your Endless Health,
Duncan

Hyperparathyroidism Treatment: Top 7 Natural Treatments For Secondary Hyperparathyroidism

hyperparathyroidism treatment

Have you been struggling to find clear & concise hyperparathyroidism treatment information on the internet? If so, you’re not alone.

For a lot of people experiencing kidney failure, hyperparathyroidism is by far one of the most puzzling of all complications – this is somewhat due to the fact that most people are unaware that there is even such a gland that exists in the body, but mostly due to the fact there is hardly any information out there on how to treat hyperparathyroidism effectively (and naturally).

It is therefore my goal with this blog post to demystify hyperparathyroidism treatment, and to provide a quality resource of information you can refer back to treat hyperparathyroidism naturally. I’ve made sure I have given you 7 of my best tips on how to reverse it.

Getting To Know Your Parathyroid Gland

Before we can treat parathyroid disease we need to know then, what it is, and its function.
The parathyroid gland is actually a collection of glands situated in the neck, behind the thyroid gland – which lies over the voice box. There are four parathyroid glands in total (though some individuals can be born with more), and surprisingly all four of them are the size of a grain of rice! It blows my mind that such small glands can have such an influence on the body.

Function…

The only function of the parathyroid gland is to manage calcium levels within the blood; this is an important job, as your entire nervous and muscular systems functionality depends on it. Our nervous system literally communicates from the presence of calcium, or I could say one nerve communicates to another nerve through the electrical conductivity of calcium. Not only that, but calcium is also required for muscular function, particularly muscular contraction – magnesium on the other hand relaxes muscles.

So What Does The Parathyroid Do?

Well, the parathyroid gland is like a 24 hour calcium monitor, when the gland detects that blood calcium levels have dropped under a certain amount, they produce parathyroid hormone (PTH).
The goal of the parathyroid hormone is to increase circulating blood levels of calcium. It does this in four ways:
1. PTH causes the skeletal bones to breakdown and release calcium in to the blood stream
2. PTH increases absorption of calcium via the intestines by activating vitamin D (this activation occurs within the kidneys)
3. PTH increases reabsorption of calcium via the kidneys
4. PTH increases the excretion of phosphate in the urine. Phosphate inhibits the rise of calcium in the blood. Both calcium and phosphorus work on a see-saw effect – when one is up the other is low.

That all make sense? Good.

So How Does It All Go Wrong?

Because this website is dedicated to helping those with kidney disease, we’ll just concentrate on the issues that relate and affect you… Hyperparathyroidism can be caused by a number of ways (benign tumour growth, hyperplasia, and carcinoma) but when one has kidney disease it occurs for a number of different reasons. These different reasons cause what is termed “secondary hyperparathyroidism”, because they cause hyperparathyroidism indirectly. As you will soon see.

Note: This is where it is important to pay attention as it is these causes we turn in to the basis of our hyperparathyroidism treatment => which leads to healing.

The Causes Of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (remember hyperparathyroidism treatment starts from here)

1. When the kidneys begin to decline, their ability to remove phosphate from the blood also declines: As you may remember phosphate acts as an antagonist to calcium, so when high levels of phosphate are in the blood supply, there are low levels of calcium. This in turn will cause the parathyroid gland to produce more PTH to increase calcium levels.
2. Kidneys on the decline also have trouble converting vitamin D to its most biologically active form. This in turn reduces absorption of calcium via the intestines.

Therefore in kidney disease hyperparathyroidism is caused by low active forms of Vitamin D, and high phosphate levels… which cause low calcium, and therefore an overactive parathyroid!

What Are The Symptoms and Problems Associated With Secondary Hyperparathyroidism?

The main problem with this type of hyperparathyroidism is that calcium and phosphorus bind to together. This binding causes bone disease because calcium is taken from the bones, making them weak and brittle, and then calcifies in various parts of the body. It is this calcification that causes most of the problems. Calcification is essentially deposits of calcium phosphate in places where it should not occur.

hyperparathyroidism treatments