The Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs, which are located in the back of the abdomen. The size of each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long. Kidneys play essential regulatory roles in human. The major function of the kidney is to filter the blood by removing excess organic molecules. Kidney serves in homeostasis, where they function in the regulation of electrolytes, maintain pH of fluid and regulate the balance of electrolytes.
Various problems associated with kidney
- Pyelonephritis: Bacterial infection of kidney
- Kidney stones: One of the major problem occurred by formation of crystals of minerals leading to blockage
- Glomerulonephritis (nephrolithiasis): Improper functioning of the kidney due to an over-reactive immune system, resulting into the kidney failure.
- Nephrotic syndrome: Presence of large amounts of protein in the urine, due to the damage to the kidneys. Symptoms are leg swelling (edema).
- Polycystic kidney disease: Presence of large cysts in both kidneys that impair their function.
- Acute renal failure (kidney failure): A rapid loss in kidneys' ability to remove waste and body fluid balance.
- Chronic renal failure: A permanent partial loss in the functioning of kidney.
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD): It is a permanent loss of kidney function, followed after progressive chronic kidney disease. It needs regular dialysis for survival.
- Papillary necrosis: A disorder of the kidneys indicated by the death of all or parts of the renal papillae, resulting in total kidney failure, if not treated.
- Diabetic nephropathy: Damage in the kidney’s functions due to high blood sugar level.
- Kidney cancer: Known as renal cell carcinoma, cancer affecting the kidney. Smoking has been reported as a major cause of kidney cancer.
- Interstitial nephritis: It is an Inflammation of the connective tissue in the kidney, leading to acute renal failure. Drug side effects and allergic reactions are the usual causes.
- Renal cyst: These are the abnormal, fluid-filled sacs formed in kidneys.
During chronic kidney disease, there is a slow loss of kidney functioning like removing wastes and excess water from the body. Usually, the early symptoms of the disease are quite unnoticeable. Eventually, that leads into the final stage of chronic kidney disease, called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). At this stage, the kidneys fail to remove wastes and fluids from the body, which could be only compensated by dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Diabetes and high blood pressure
- Genetic or birth defects (polycystic kidney disease)
- Autoimmune disorders (e.g. scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Kidney stones, infection and injury to kidneys
- Problems in the arteries associated with kidneys
- Medications like pain and cancer drugs
- Backward flow of urine into the kidneys (reflux nephropathy)
The early symptoms of chronic kidney disease may include:
- Appetite loss, illness
- Fatigue, itching and headache
- Weight loss
Symptoms on later stages:
- Bone pain
- Numbness or swelling in the hands and feet
- Muscle twitching or cramps
- Easy bruising, or blood in the stool
- Breath odour and Shortness of breath
- Vomiting, often in the morning
- Problems with sexual function
- Menstrual periods stop (amenorrhea)
- Abnormal dark or light skin
- Excessive thirst
- By controlling blood pressure
- Changes in lifestyle such as quit smoking, food with a low level of fats and cholesterol, regular exercise, controlled blood sugars, avoid salt or potassium
- Consult doctors on a regular basis
The patients with chronic kidney are not cured at the final stage. The only alternative to this disease is dialysis to remove waste from the blood.
Ayurveda in Kidney Failure:
According to Ayurveda, Chronic renal failure (kidney failure) is a disease of ‘Mutravaha Srotas’. The Doshas (cause) involved in the disease are, Kapha, causes blocking of microvessels and developing ‘microangiopathy’. Vata is responsible for the structural degeneration of kidney. In Ayurveda, principles of management of the disease says, damages in tissue can be prevented and repaired by Rasayana drugs. Because they rejuvenate and improve the qualities of tissues. Effectively, increases the resistance in tissues. There is a class of drugs called Lekhana drugs, which have to scrape effect on blocked channels.
In Ayurveda, it is recommended to reduce the dosage of potassium in the diet, which is compensated by natural herbs like corn silk, Mutrakrichantak churna, Purnarnava mandur tablets, Asparagus etc., where they act as diuretics. The use of herbal remedies for renal failure is an alternative to revive the kidneys to their normal functioning. There are huge natural herbs, which acts on normal functioning of kidneys and are available in the market.