The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Kidney Disease Naturally After 50
May 10, 2023
Learning to prevent kidney disease is vital. This is because early kidney disease is often silent.
Many people with chronic kidney disease could have done something in their 20s or 30s, or even 40s to prevent the complications of kidney disease.
In this post, we explore how the kidneys work, the causes of kidney disease – and how to reduce your risks of kidney disease. Or you can watch the video version.
Certain ethnic groups have a higher risk of kidney disease compared to others. For example, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans have a higher risk of kidney disease than Caucasians.
Similarly, in Africa, certain populations have a higher prevalence of kidney disease, such as those living in rural areas with limited access to healthcare.
The reasons for these ethnic differences in kidney disease risk are not fully understood.
Still, they may be related to genetic, environmental, and social factors.
For example, African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to have high blood pressure and Diabetes. Both of these conditions are major risk factors for kidney disease.
However, while certain ethnic groups may be at higher risk for kidney disease, anyone can develop kidney disease regardless of their ethnicity.
In addition, risk factors such as high blood pressure, Diabetes, smoking, and a family history of kidney disease can increase the risk for kidney disease in all populations.
The kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that are located in the lower back.
Their main job is to filter out waste from the body through the blood.
They also help to maintain blood pressure and the right amount of electrolytes or salt in the blood. In addition, they are involved in producing red blood cells, making vitamin D and some hormones that help the body function.
If the kidneys are not filtering properly, a person has kidney disease.
This function or activity of the kidneys can happen over a short period. For example, if someone develops severe diarrhoea and vomiting, the function of the kidneys can be affected. Or if they take a medicine that is harmful to the kidney.
This is acute kidney disease or acute kidney injury. Or it may develop over a more extended period. When this is over 3 months, we say the person has Chronic kidney disease(CKD).
CKD can be caused by the following: The top causes are Diabetes and high blood pressure.
1. Leg, ankle, and foot swelling. Failure of the kidneys leads to retention of salts like sodium, which forces water to be retained in the tissues. They also leak proteins from the body, which relates to fluid retention.
2. Your body produces more or less urine than usual. For example, if the kidneys fail, they may produce lots of dilute urine, leading to frequent trips to the toilet. On the other hand, the kidneys may not make as much urine as the disease progresses.
3. Something else related to the urine is producing very foamy urine. If you usually do not look in the bowl after doing a poo or wee, please start paying attention. If your urine seems extremely frothy, soapy, or bubbly when peeing, this may be a sign of kidney disease.
4. Fatigue – excessive tiredness may be a feature of kidney disease. It can result from anaemia, sluggish blood flow, blood pressure problems and accumulation of toxins.
5. Face swelling/puffy eyes. In kidney disease, your body loses proteins since the kidneys aren’t working well. Proteins help to maintain the barrier/structure of your blood vessels. When they are absent, fluid leaks out of them and causes swelling in the eyes and face. Waking up with puffy eyes and face swelling frequently should make you contact the Dr.
6. Nausea and Vomiting. Many people associate this with a sickness bug or eating something bad. For example, you may get nauseous during pregnancy or after taking some medicines. So yes, it is a fairly common symptom. However, it can also happen in kidney disease – because the body cannot get rid of toxic waste materials.
7. Unusual taste in the mouth. Some people may experience a persistent odd metallic taste. It should be checked out because accumulations of toxins from Kidney disease may contribute to this development. In addition, this may be associated with low appetite and weight loss.
8. High Blood Pressure. This is both a cause and a result of Kidney disease. So it’s essential to keep track of blood pressure readings – make it a regular habit either with a home bp monitor or check it at the clinic. High BP is also one condition that shows no symptoms at the early stages. But the kidneys are responsible in many ways for regulating the BP, so when the kidneys are not working properly, high blood pressure is one of the effects.
9. Easy bleeding/bruising is when simple or ordinary bumps cause bleeding or bruising. For example, kidney disease may affect blood levels of your platelets – these are the blood cells responsible for making blood clots after a cut or wound. From the toxins affecting these platelets, they stop working correctly, causing easy bleeding.
10. Itchy skin. You may develop itchy skin all over the body due to the toxin’s effect from kidney disease – a lot of salts collect in the body and can lead to very bad itching – it may happen later in the condition.
Other symptoms can occur, like blood in urine, shortness of breath, etc.
So, here are nine essential tips for both men and women to prevent kidney disease after 50 years of age:
Remember, taking care of your kidneys is important to overall health, especially as you age. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns or questions about preventing kidney disease.
Black people of African/Afro-Caribbean origin have a greater risk of kidney disease compared to Caucasians. This may have something to do with genetics, environment and lifestyle factors.
Some of these can be addressed, such as lifestyle choices, including our diet.
Here are certain foods and drinks (are not exclusive to blacks) that, when consumed excessively or inappropriately, can contribute to the development of kidney disease.
|Herb and Local Source||Use and Potential Complication|
|Ejinrin, Yoruba||Used as herbs and sponge. |
Yorubas believe it’s medicinal for treating malaria, skin problems and diarrhoea.
|Uyayak, Ibibio||It’s a brownish plantain-like dry leaf used as spice to make food, pepper soup and its medicinal for stomach cramps.|
|Onugbu, Ibo||Onugbu refers to a bitter leaf used to make a popular bitter leaf soup and used as a herb to treat fever, malaria, dysentery, diarrhoea, and cough as well as used to reduce sugar levels and repair the pancreas and kidney. Inappropriate use may lead to kidney failure.|
A seed-like herb like melon seed, is used to cure a wide range of health problems, including low sexual libido.When soaked in coconut milk, it serves as an effective aphrodisiac.
It also serves as an anti-inflammatory medicine, boosts the immune system, stomach problems and snake bites. Excessive use can lead to Kidney failure.
| Goat weed, Imi-esu, Yoruba||This traditional medicine treats low sexual libido, pain, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis and other enzyme and sexual-related problems.|
It is possible to use these herbs appropriately. But, still, often, we need regulations that ensure that the traditional practitioners are using them or showing people how to use them properly, which is when problems arise.
There are several common misconceptions that people have about kidney disease. Here are some examples:
It’s important to understand the facts about kidney disease and to take steps to protect kidney health, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing chronic health conditions, and getting regular check-ups with a healthcare provider.
African populations may have additional misconceptions or cultural beliefs about kidney disease. Here are some examples:
It’s important to address these misconceptions and cultural beliefs about kidney disease through education and awareness-raising campaigns. Healthcare providers and community leaders can play an important role in educating people about the importance of kidney health, the risk factors for kidney disease, and the importance of early detection and treatment.
Now you have an overview of steps you can take to reduce the risk of Kidney Disease. Let us know if you have any questions on how to improve your kidney health.
Editing By AskAwayHealth
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
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