Kidney Disorders: Main Aspects

Health dimensions reveal challenges encountered in handling kidney disorders. The whole well being of an individual is affected by the kidneys which have the main life preserving role of maintaining the body’s chemical homeostasis. The implementation of a medical nutrition therapy while treating a kidney disorder helps in the enhancement of the dimension of physical health. This article will expound on the above statements and in addition examine kidney disease and provide medical dietary guidelines that can aid in preserving the physical health of patients.

The kidneys have multiple functions within the human body aimed towards maintaining blood in a chemically balanced and clean state. Healthy kidneys are so efficient in their functions such that they recycle almost 200 quarts of blood daily, of which 2 quarts is removed to form urine and the rest reabsorbed (NKF, 2010).

Kidneys preserve life by retaining the body’s chemical homeostasis. This they do not only by filtering the blood but also by regulating the fluid volume, blood pressure and blood composition. Blood pressure is adjusted by the enzyme renin which regulates sodium homeostasis and arterial pressure therefore retains the nephron’s filtration rate at almost constant, no matter how much water one ingests or expels (Wolf, 2001). Kidney functions therefore affect the general well being of an individual by among other functions, preventing the blood from being intoxicated by the body’s waste.

Dealing with kidney disorders is still a major challenge since there are only a few effective techniques of handling the most commonly occurring kidney diseases. In cases where the kidneys need replacement, researches are yet to come up with a portable kidney and patients still have to seek kidney transplants which depend on availability of a willing donor with a compatible kidney. Meanwhile, every few days, the patients have to go through a process that is both tedious and expensive where they are hooked to a huge blood cleansing machine for several hours if they are to survive. Individuals with kidney disorders in addition have to watch their diet.

While treating chronic kidney disease (CDS), the patient has to be closely monitored by a health practitioner as self-treatment is not recommended. However, there are several vital dietary regulations that can aid in treatment of the disease by slowing down its progression and reducing the likelihood of developing complications. A high protein diet enhances the progression of the disease and it is therefore important to seek a dietitian’s help in determining an appropriate daily protein intake. The treatment of chronic kidney disease also involves limiting salt intake to less than six grams daily to keep blood pressure under check.

A patient may have to restrict excessive water intake and in addition seek advice on the recommended potassium and phosphorus intakes (Mitch & Ikizler, 2009). Potassium needs to be restricted as it cannot be removed by the kidneys and when in high levels, it can trigger abnormal heart rhythms. High potassium foods include potatoes, bananas, nuts and oranges. Phosphorous restriction is done to help protect bones. High phosphorous foods include dairy products, cola drinks eggs and beans. Other important measures that are to be taken by the patient are loss of excess weight and discontinuing smoking.

Being delicate and vital organs, any malfunction of the kidneys can lead to fatalities if not checked early enough. This may have challenges as most kidney illnesses do not possess specific symptoms, including CDS, which is diagnosed based on individuals who are perceived to possess a higher risk of developing the disease. Regular medical checkups may helps in detecting the diseases early enough.

References

Mitch, M.E. and Ikizer, T.A. (2009). Handbook for Nutrition and the Kidney. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

National Kidney Foundation (2010). How your kidneys work. Web.

Wolf, G. (2001). The Renin-Angiotensin System and Progression of Renal diseases. Basel: Karger Publishers.