Kidney Health

May 31, 2017

One of the items mentioned by Michelle in her presentation on Sleep (I'll cover Sleep in a later post) was something else I didn't know:  A good nights sleep restores my kidneys.  If I don't have it, my kidneys are progressively being damaged until they collapse.  

Our kidneys are an amazing organ. They produce hormones, filter blood, absorb minerals, produce urine and maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance.  The kidneys also help maintain blood pressure, help heart and muscles function properly, keep bones healthy and stimulate production of red blood cells. You can live a pretty normal life with only 20% of your kidney function.  That is why a steady decline and gradual damage to your kidneys can often go unnoticed for a long time.  But when the damage is noticed, it can often be too late to reverse the damage.

Michelle spoke at length about the importance of good sleep and the ingredients formulated in Sleep are designed to encourage sleep and improved kidney health.  

But good kidney health requires more than just Vasayo Sleep.  We have to do our part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle that doesn't add more kidney damage.  26 million Americans have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and millions of others are at increased risk.

Here are just a few common everyday examples of ways we add kidney damage:
  • Eating and drinking lots of sugar - Too much sugar can lead to health problems such as diabetes and obesity, both risk factors for kidney disease. A study carried out on employees at Osaka University in Japan suggested that drinking two or more soda drinks a day (diet or regular) may be connected with a higher risk of kidney disease.  
  • Smoking -  The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology cites many different studies conducted since 2003 which all link smoking to decreased kidney function.
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency -  According to the studies performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin B6 deficiency {less than 1.3mg daily] increases your risk of kidney stones.  (Core Essentials has 2 mg in each tablet.
  • Lack of exercise -  A large study published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggested that postmenopausal women who exercised had 31% lower risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Magnesium deficiency – If you don’t get enough magnesium, calcium can’t get properly absorbed and assimilated, which can result in calcium overload and kidney stone formation.
  • Frequent sleep disruption – Kidney tissue gets renewed during the night, so sleep interruptions can cause direct damage to this organ. Science Daily reports that chronic sleep disruption can cause kidney disease.
  • Not drinking enough water – Our kidneys need to get properly hydrated to perform their functions. If we don’t drink enough, the toxins can start accumulating in the blood, as there isn’t enough fluid to drain them through the kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation suggests drinking at least 12 glasses of water per day.
  • Not emptying your bladder early – When nature calls, you should listen. Retaining urine in your bladder is a bad idea. If done on regular basis, it can increase the urine pressure in your kidneys and lead to renal failure or incontinence.
  • Consuming too much sodium – Over consumption can raise your blood pressure and put too much strain on the kidneys.
  • Consuming too much caffeine – Before you know it, your blood pressure goes through the roof and your kidneys start complaining.
  • Using painkillers for a long duration of time - Long-term use of certain pain medications, especially at high doses, has a harmful effect on kidney tissue and structures. Both over-the-counter and prescription pain medications can damage and reduce blood flow to the kidneys. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a main culprit. As many as 1 to 3 percent of new cases of chronic kidney failure each year may be caused by pain medication overuse.
  • Missing your drugs – High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are two very common conditions that are often brought on by our life style and unhealthy diet. If you already have them, be aware of the damage they can cause to your kidneys and protect your precious organs by taking the prescribed medications.
  • Too much protein – In healthy kidneys protein intake has NO EFFECT on kidney health. In sick kidneys, protein can cause problems. Why? Because when the kidneys are not excreting urea bad things happen. Urea itself is not particularly toxic, but other nitrogenous waste products are neurotoxic and can cause death at high enough levels. More protein means more effort for the kidneys, which can, over time, lead to decreased function.
  • Not treating common infections quickly and properly – We are all guilty of sometimes ignoring simple colds and flu, and pushing our bodies to the brink of exhaustion. But that can cause kidney damage. Studies have shown that people who are reluctant to rest and heal properly, often end up with kidney disease.Overload - Over-multitasking without mental breaks leads to stress, mental fatigue and burnout. And consequently, your sleep is a sensitive indicator of your stress level. A high stress level means poor sleep. For children whose brains have been taxed during the day, it’s especially important that they get the requisite amount of sleep for their age. For example, The National Sleep Foundation recommends pre-schoolers ages three to five get 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night. For both children and adults, a solution for recovering from the daily mental grind or over-exposure to a fast-paced environment is to have a relaxing bedtime routine. Think of this wind-down measure as a powering-down opportunity to help ease your mind into a sleep state that’ll rejuvenate you mentally and physically.
  • Too much alcohol consumption – The toxins found in alcohol not only damage the liver, but also your kidneys. According to Kidney Health Australia and American Kidney Fund, one way to avoid kidney disease is to drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Exposure to contrast dyes commonly used in imaging - It’s important to make sure your physicians check your kidney function before you undergo any radiology procedures, such as CT scans, certain X-rays and angiograms. The dyes they must inject into your body to complete these tests can cause serious kidney problems.
  • Not enough Sleep - Experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, studied 4,000 people over a decade. They found those sleeping five hours a night were 65% more likely to experience a rapid decline in kidney function compared with those getting seven to eight hours a night. Experts previously knew that regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes .But its link with chronic kidney disease was, up until now, unclear. Now the US study suggests that kidney function may be compromised when your sleep is disrupted.
Michelle added another item to the list.  If you want Sleep to work as well as it can, don't stress your kidneys by eating before bedtime.  She suggested no later than 3 hours before bedtime.  She also suggested limiting water consumption at that time as well as eliminating any other potential interruptions to a full uninterrupted nights sleep. (approx. 8 hours)

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