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World Kidney Day: 5 reasons for kidney damage you need to know!

Not being bothered about your diabetes and blood pressure could kill you in many ways, kidney damage is one of them. Know other ways how you could be damaging this vital organ.

The sad part of suffering from a kidney disease is that, you realise about the damage when it is too late. Even if you have the earnest intentions of undoing all your wrong habits and putting yourself on the right track of fitness and well-being to save your kidneys, your efforts might just not be enough. In severe cases of kidney damage going under the knife for a transplant or lifelong dialysis is the only resort. Here are 12 symptoms of kidney diseases you should never ignore.

Most of the time some health crisis or everyday habits might silently damage your kidneys and you may hardly realise it or see any immediate symptoms. The reason being, while the kidney functions start to deteriorate, the body s biochemistry starts to adjust to it till the kidneys are damaged to a large extent. When the body stops supporting the affected kidneys, it is only then that one realises the extent of the damage. In most cases it is an irreversible one, says Dr Joytsna Zope, Nephrologist, Medical Director, Mukta Dialysis Centre, Mumbai. Here are 14 hidden symptoms of kidney diseases you should know.

To help your kidneys be healthy and safe, here are five things you should take control of right now:

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Elevated blood sugar levels: Suffering from type 2 diabetes puts one at risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes leads to high levels of glucose in the blood due to less production of insulin or the body s incapability to use the hormone to the optimum. This takes a toll on the kidneys, as they have to filter much more blood. Over the years, the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys get affected and become less effective in cleaning the toxins. This situation leads to excess water and salt retention in the body, along with protein leakage through urine. This marks the extent of kidney damage, which usually results in chronic kidney failure. So if you are suffering from diabetes, try hard to maintain your blood sugar levels with proper diet, exercise and medications, if needed. You are not only taking care of your diabetes but doing your kidneys a huge favour. Here is more on how uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney diseases.

Fluctuating blood pressure: Blood pressure when in the range of 120/90 mm/Hg is considered normal. A high blood pressure in particular along with a condition like diabetes can give more trouble to your kidneys. High blood pressure leads to narrowing, weakening or hardening of the arteries around kidneys that deliver blood to them for proper functioning. Less blood reaching the kidneys would mean less oxygen and nutrients reaching the nephrons or the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys. Over a period, the nephrons get damaged, and the kidneys stop working effectively in removing toxins out of the body. Hence, with a condition like high blood pressure, it is important to maintain the pressure around the normal range for better functioning of the kidneys. Here's more on dangers and complications of high blood pressure.

High intake of protein: There are studies that indicate having high amount of protein in the diet can cause kidney damage over a period of time. This is because protein metabolism results in a waste product called blood urea nitrogen, which the kidneys have to filter out. Excess of this waste product makes the kidneys get into an overload mode and do more work. In the process, the urea damages the filtration mechanism of the kidneys and leads to an irreversible damage. Although, one cannot compromise on protein intake, but excess of it isn t going to do you any good. The ideal way to equate your protein intake is to have 0.8 g of protein per kilo of your body weight, which means if you weigh an ideal 70 kg, your total protein intake should be 56 g, theoretically. However, protein requirements are different for athletes, pregnant women, people suffering from certain illness, etc. So talk to your doctor and get a better analysis of your protein intake. Read to know more if high protein diet does more harm than good to your body.

Suffering from infectious disease: Infections can range from being mild to severe, which could harm your body in one way or the other. Sometimes, suffering from a viral infection like malaria, leptospirosis or dengue can affect the kidneys, leading to acute kidney disease. On the other hand, massive internal bleeding or toxic build-up in the body, leading to a condition called nephrotoxin, can also be a cause. Such patients need immediate hospitalisation and proper treatment for kidney revival, informs Dr Zope.

Taking painkiller medications: It is well-known that loading up on painkiller medications can damage your kidney to a large extent. This is because these medications are excreted through the kidneys after being broken down by the liver and passed through the digestive tract. Overuse could hamper the filtration process of the kidneys. One way to limit the use of over-the-counter intake of painkillers is to take them during emergencies. Also, prescribed painkillers have the same effect on kidneys, so talk to your doctor about the dosage if you are worried or have other existing health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.

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