(NaturalNews) The prevalence of kidney disease is frightening and our elevated levels of toxin exposure continues to chip away at the proper functioning of this important organ. Once your kidney function becomes compromised, so does your health. Know the signs of kidney damage, and things you can do to naturally improve its function.
Lower back pain
One of the first and most consistent signs of kidney damage, or just slow and unhealthy kidneys, is lower back pain.
Sometimes it's only on one side, which occurs if someone sleeps on only one side, and this will be the side the kidney is having more problems with due to gravity. But in most cases, at least shortly after it's on one side only, the pain will move to both sides.
A typical example is waking up in the morning or even in the middle of the night and your lower back, one side or both, aches. You go to urinate and it may or may not come easily. Then your back loosens up a bit and feels much better.
This is an early warning sign of kidney damage, and is much more treatable if addressed quickly.
Rashes, itching, and dryness
Kidneys help remove wastes from the bloodstream, so when they fail, the build up of wastes in your blood can cause rashes, severe itching, and dryness.
This is often an early sign of kidney damage, and should be taken seriously. Avoid the temptation to treat it with topical creams, which does nothing to rectify the actual problem.
Changes in urinary function
Since kidneys make urine, when they are failing your urinary patterns may change. Some examples of this change include:
• Urine may be foamy or bubbly • You may start getting up more in the night to urinate • You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine • You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark colored urine • You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating • Your urine may contain blood
Preliminary changes in urinary function are moderate signs of kidney problems, with change in color being a sign of more acute damage.
Swelling in various body parts
Kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from the body, so when they are not working properly and are unable to perform this function, extra fluid will build up. This often causes swelling in the face, hands, legs, ankles, and feet.
At this point, kidney damage has become much more acute and should be addressed immediately.
Fatigue and weakness
Your kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen. When you have kidney disease it lowers the levels of this hormone, which causes decreased red blood cells in your body resulting in anemia.
This decreased oxygen delivery to cells causes fatigue and general weakness, and should be addressed quickly.
Causes of kidney damage
One of the major sources of kidney problems is through the heavy metal cadmium, which primarily enters the environment through the burning of oil and coal and the incineration of municipal waste. Cadmium is also found in phosphate fertilizers which contaminates our food supply.
It's important to note that smokers directly inhale cadmium into the lungs, and contain more than twice the amount of cadmium as non-smokers.
How to improve kidney function
There are several ways to improve kidney function through diet and lifestyle.
First of all, ensure you don't smoke and avoid environments and products that contain excessive amounts of cadmium. Make sure to exercise, stay hydrated, and consume unsweetened cranberry juice on a daily basis.
Also consider herbal support that such as corn silk, juniper berries, uva ursi leaves, horsetail herb, burdock root, goldenrod flowers, and chanca piedra.
About the author: Derek Henry, B.Kin, is a highly revered holistic health coach and world renowned natural health blogger who created Healing the Body to help people understand the fundamental principles to exceptional health so they can overcome their own health challenges.
In this pursuit he created THRIVE, an 8 week online holistic lifestyle course based on the foundational structure that needs to be in place to create a healthy body and mind. It provides the specific knowledge, tools, strategies, and insights in a clear and concise format that allows you to clearly navigate your own healthy lifestyle, without all the confusion. It is the ultimate road map to healing the body. Check out this unique and exciting program, starting September 28th, 2014!