Bean-shaped and about the size of a fist, the kidneys lie in the back on either side of the body. Hey filter blood continuously and regulate the blood pressure. They are also responsible for removing the waste matter from the body through urine. Getting the right amount of nutrients will help the kidneys function normally or better if their function is already compromised.
Kidney disease is more common than most people think. What’s unfortunate is that most people do not realize that they have compromised kidneys until very late. This is usually because symptoms do not present early in the disease. Not all foods and supplements are good for your kidneys. A nephrologist in Lahore listed a few supplements that are vital for optimal kidney health. A few are listed below along with their benefits and sources.
Symptoms of early kidney disease that are ignored
Following is a list of symptoms that people do not link with early onset of kidney disease. These symptoms are easy to ignore and do not set off any alarm bells. But when aggravated can suddenly lead to a diagnosis of an advanced kidney disease.
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Fatigue and sometimes insomnia
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling in ankles and feet
- Trouble catching your breath
Supplements to stock up on for healthy kidneys!
Although the best way to maintain good kidney health is essentially through a well-balanced diet, a supportive role can be achieved by using some supplements. These vitamins and minerals are good for enhancing the health of the body’s internal filters. If you suffer from kidney disease, it is still better to consult your healthcare practitioner before using any of these by self-prescribing.
Vitamin D is not used up in the form it is originally available in the blood. It is converted into its active metabolite by the kidneys. The kidneys are also essential for absorbing calcium and phosphorous. Damaged kidneys do not sufficiently convert vitamin D into its active form. Therefore, people with compromised renal function have low levels of vitamin D that they need from outside sources in the form of supplements.
Anemia is a disease where your body has insufficient hemoglobin to carry oxygen to all cells of the body. Hemoglobin is a red pigment that is the main component in the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells are formed when the kidneys release a hormone named erythropoetin which further triggers the bone marrow. In compromised renal function, enough red blood cells are not formed leading to anemia. Anemia causes fatigue and lack of energy and other complications. Taking an iron supplement is necessary if your kidneys aren’t functioning properly to avoid this. Iron may help make red blood cells to counter this.
Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that is beneficial in kidney disease patients as well as patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. This essential antioxidant is produced in the powerhouse of the cells – the mitochondria. It helps turn nutrients into energy as well as protects your body from reaching oxidative stress levels. This reduces inflammation in the kidneys as well. Alpha lipoic acid is also known to prevent kidney stones as well.
Vitamin B9 or Folic acid
People with kidney disease are said to have high levels of phosphorous in the blood. Phosphorous is harsh on the kidneys and may damage them. This is countered with the intake of Vitamin B9 commonly known as Folic acid. This vitamin is also essential to make red blood cells. In a deficiency of folic acid, the red blood cells formed are of abnormal shape. This hinders their oxygen-carrying capacity.
This vitamin is also necessary to make new cells, maintain nerve cells, and work with folate to make red blood cells. Its deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage. It is undoubtedly important while treating kidney diseases.
While vitamins may be beneficial to the body, they are not a substitute for a good diet and medications. Use these wisely and as per the recommendations of your healthcare practitioner for optimal health effects and minimum adverse reactions. Start off with having your kidney function tests done and get going to a doctor if something does not feel right!