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Bladder & Kidney

Bladder & Kidney

Healthy kidneys are essential to good health.

The body cannot survive without any kidney function. Most people are born with two kidneys. They are about the size of an average adult’s fist and they are shaped like their namesake the kidney bean. Your kidneys are located on either side of your spine just under your rib cage which helps provide protection. Kidneys are the filtration system for the human body removing wastes and fluids. They play an indispensible role in the daily function of our bodies. Every hour your blood supply circulates through the kidneys roughly 12 times. Kidneys: Act as filters for your body to clean blood of wastes, while retaining essential elements
Keep the proper balance of salts and acids in the body, and produce hormones and enzymes

which helps to:

  • Erythropoietin stimulates the production of red blood cells
  • Renin helps control blood pressure
  • Active vitamin D controls calcium uptake and helps make strong bones.
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Process the fluid component of blood (called plasma) to maintain appropriate water volume and concentrations of chemicals to keep your internal water balance
  • Make red blood cells and help maintain your blood composition and pH levels
  • Maintain strong and healthy bones and help to keep mineral balance

Our kidneys are also known as the Master Chemists of the body. Kidney infection is a general term used to describe infection of the kidney by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The infecting microbe may have invaded the kidney from the urinary tract and bladder or from the bloodstream. The disease is characterized by fever, chills, back pain, and, often, the same symptoms associated with bladder infection. Urine is the waste product created from the filtration process performed by the kidneys. Urine travels from the kidneys via the ureters to the bladder and is eliminated via the urethra. Your kidneys and your ureters make up the upper urinary tract, and the bladder and the urethra comprise the lower urinary tract. Kidney infections and upper urinary tract infections occur when microbes such as bacteria, invade the tissues of the kidney and multiply. One or both kidneys may be infected. Inflammation occurs in response to the infection. As a result of the infection and inflammation, scarring and other tissue damage can occur. Most cases of acute kidney infection resolve without any permanent kidney damage.

Types of Kidney Infections

Causes & symptoms Certain women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Researchers have found that women who have recurrent infections possess certain markers on their blood cells. Also, the bacteria which commonly cause urinary tract infections stick more readily to the vaginal cells of women who have recurrent infections. The symptoms of kidney infection include fever, shaking chills, nausea, vomiting, and middle to lower back pain which may travel to the abdomen and groin. This pain may be severe. These symptoms may be preceded or accompanied by those associated with bladder infection—frequent, painful urination. Kidney infections are primarily diagnosed by symptoms, urinalysis, and urine cultures. Urine dipsticks that detect signs of infection are often used right in the doctor's office. Urine samples are examined with a microscope for the presence of bacteria and leukocytes (white blood cells). A urine culture will also identify which microbe is causing the infection.

Delays in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney infection can lead to permanent kidney damage. If you suspect you have an infection in your kidney contact an alternative healthcare practitioner immediately.

Dietary practices which may help to control and prevent kidney infection include:

  • Drink eight to 12 glasses of fresh, clean water daily to wash out bacteria.
  • Acidifying the urine by eating few alkaline foods (dairy and soda).
  • Follow a diet rich in vegetables, and acidifying juices, like Cranberry. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice provides the antimicrobial agent hippuric acid. Cranberry capsules can be substituted for the juice.
  • Eliminate or minimize sugary and junk food.
  • Eat at least one clove of garlic daily for its anti-infective properties.
  • Magnesium may be helpful in treating renal disease.
  • Zinc may boost the immune system.
Traditional Chinese medicine treats bladder and kidney infections with acupuncture, herbs, and patent medicines. The Chinese patent medicine Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill) is often used to treat bladder and kidney infections. Patients should consult a traditional Chinese medical provider or other qualified healthcare provider for the treatment best suited for them.

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