THE "TRUTH" BEHIND
You don't have to be a doctor to understand kidney diseases.
But you HAVE TO BE A DOCTOR TO TREAT KIDNEY DISEASES
Let's make that ABUNDANTLY CLEAR.
As a GENERAL PUBLIC, all we can do is be EQUIPPED with INTELLIGENT INFORMATION concerning kidney FUNCTION and PHYSIOLOGY.
Once we are equipped with this knowledge, we can PREVENT and CONTROL kidney diseases.
The first thing to know is that the kidneys are the FILTERS of the body. There are FOUR FILTERS in the body.
What is a FILTER? An apparatus that CLEANS or PURIFIES, no?
What is it FILTERING? Impurities of the BLOOD. Simple enough.
But the kidneys do something else; it is a REGULATOR or an OSCILLATOR.
The kidneys are also considered to act as DISTRIBUTORS to various OTHER ORGANS and ORGAN SYSTEMS.
The kidneys also have sitting on top of them the ADRENAL CORTEX, which are part of yet, another SYSTEM; THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM.
This makes the kidneys act as a HORMONE REGULATOR AND STIMULATOR (meaning, that it "signals" the "release" of other hormones which act upon other hormones).
The human body has three other FILTERS: The Liver, The Spleen, And the Lungs.
The small and large intestines, plus the colon, form the EXCRETORY SYSTEM which eliminates WASTES from the body.
ALL FILTERS OF THE BODY CONNECT TO THE SMALL AND LARGE INTESTINES (via duct and ductless glands), and FACILITATE in the process of digestion (of food) and elimination (of wastes). Also, simple enough.
Why does the body have four FILTERS, you may ask?
Actually, the SKIN is also a FILTER and a BARRIER (for both within and without).
Actually, our entire BODY can act as a FILTER (including your mind!).
But yes, the HUMAN BODY has four PRINCIPAL FILTERS which aid in the body's HOMEOSTASIS (or balance)
NO ONE is born with diabetes! Diabetes is a condition that WE CREATE
by abusing and taking for granted what we eat (aside from being hereditary).
NO ONE is born with RENAL DISEASES, either (unless it is genetically descended upon)
So what causes diseases to occur and kidneys to fail?
From a physiological point of view, problems with your kidneys is directly related to a BREAKDOWN of the NEPHRONS (and their tubular systems).
The nephrons are the FUNCTIONING ASPECT of the kidneys. It is a "series" of tubular "bundles" of fibrous capillary vessels which ascend and descend down the tubes of both right and left kidneys. These tubing systems merge and create a LARGE TRUNK which breaks into two arteries or arterioles and veins (both ascending and descending columns), and eventually collect into the BLADDER (by way of the uteres, which connect the kidneys to the bladder, and, through the regulation of WATER PRESSURE (or what's called "osmotic pressure"), and in a complex fashion, releases UREA or URINE (which is a 'cocktail" of ALL KINDS OF WASTES, COLLECTED FROM THROUGHOUT THE BODY), which is then expelled from the body, simple enough?
So what "causes" the nephron's malfunctioning?
In order to answer that we must look at the other three FILTERS in order to get a complete picture of the ENTIRE PROCESS OF METABOLISM AND HOMEOSTASIS.
The Liver is your BEST FRIEND!!! It protects the body from invaders-whether they come from the food you eat, or what you drink.
If you like SMOKING POT, know that when you HAD ENOUGH, the Liver will release enzymes (a form of protein) to BREAK DOWN the drug (and this is true of ALL DRUGS-both legal and illegal!)
Had too much to drink? Have a BAD HANGOVER? Pray that the liver will go to work and begin the BREAKDOWN of the alcohol for you. Have you ever woke up the next day after HEAVY DRINKING, pass out or sleep it off, but wake up the next morning, rather, in a state of PANIC-because the room is "spinning"?
That's your Liver BREAKING DOWN THE ALCOHOL! However, the alcohol metabolized becomes a more TOXIC BY-PRODUCT, thus increasing the ACIDITY LEVEL of the blood (sometimes people DRINK MORE, just to stabilize themselves)
In extreme cases, ACIDOSIS occurs and that can be VERY DANGEROUS!
Drinking water will correct and STABILIZE the condition (but more on that later)
Are you a poor villager in RURAL AFRICA, and all you have to eat is grain-no meat? no fruits? no complex carbs (other than the grain eaten)?
How are you going to get B COMPLEX VITAMINS WITHOUT CONSUMING MEAT? (B Complex does exist in Nature but in parts, never completely like in meat)
But don't worry, the LIVER is here to the rescue! The Liver will BREAKDOWN FAT AND CREATE THE MISSING NUTRIENT!
But what if you have NO FAT TO BURN for this purpose-what then?
Again, the Liver will TAKE PART OF THE FOOD YOU EAT AND DIVIDE IT INTO TWO PARTS; ENERGY (one), AND CREATE THE MISSING NUTRIENT! (the other)
This is absolutely amazing!
The Liver performs a HOST OF METABOLIC FUNCTIONS
If you have no fat, IT WILL TAKE FROM THE CARBOHYDRATE AND CREATE FAT
If you have LOW PROTEIN (starvation), if 1 LOAF OF BREAD was fed to you-THE LIVER WILL IMMEDIATELY CONVERT THE STARCH INTO PROTEIN (to help keep you alive!)
The liver is considered the FACTORY HOUSE or WAREHOUSE or STOREHOUSE of the body.
The Liver is the ONLY organ that can REGENERATE ITSELF, meaning, that if part of it is cut out-IT WILL GROW BACK!
This organ is absolutely AMAZING IN WHAT IT DOES FOR THE BODY!
But as amazing as this organ is, it doesn't perform EVERYTHING in the body. It "ASSIGNS" METABOLIC FUNCTIONS TO OTHER ORGANS AS WELL (the Thyroid Gland, Thymus Gland, and the Hypothalamus SUPERVISES these functional processes).
One of those organs is the KIDNEYS. But before I begin to discuss renal physiology let me give you a typical scenario:
Johnny Lembeck is taking a hit of CRACK, but he notices he has to take a hit every five minutes. The high is quickly mitigated, why? The liver is just as quickly breaking down the drug by flooding the BLOODSTREAM with "specialized enzymes" to SPECIFICALLY BREAKDOWN THE CRACK (thus developing what's called ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY; meaning, when Johnny engages in this type of drug in the future, the body WILL REMEMBER and will not create the specialized enzymes-it has a stored MEMORY of the protein and will release it EVEN FASTER into the bloodstream)
This is called TOLERANCE. When you build tolerance (which happens over time), the body has become FAMILIAR with the drug in question and will NEUTRALIZE it. You will have to DO MORE OF THE DRUG TO GET THE SAME "HIGH" (thus increasing your chance of OVERDOSE)
It is the LIVER which is "messing with your high". But it is suppose to do this-to protect you from poisoning yourself or OVERDOSING (which you will never feel coming until it's TOO LATE)
People, like Johnny, can abuse their bodies in this way for YEARS, forcing the organs to OVER WORK (and develop SCAR TISSUE over time).
In time, SCAR TISSUE WILL IMPAIR the function of the organ. If this happens, the LIVER, which has been your friend and protector, will now only perform HALF OF THE JOB IT HAS TO DO TO KEEP YOU IN HOMEOSTASIS (balance).
The rest of the RESPONSIBILITY of MAINTAINING HOMEOSTASIS WILL FALL ON THE KIDNEYS.
This situation will cause the kidneys TREMENDOUS STRAIN, since it now has to perform 209 metabolic functions IN ADDITION to its own 119 metabolic functions. This type of strain will SET THE TONE for RENAL DISEASES IN THE FUTURE (and you won't feel any symptoms for years to come, remember that!)
And if that happens, the NEXT organ to suffer will be THE HEART, and trust me, even thou I'm not a doctor, it usually goes down hill from here (but more on that shortly)
A second scenario goes like this: Tameka eats and eats and eats, does minimal exercise, but works hard in school. As she grows older she becomes heavier; she 's now 25, married, and by age 30 has her second child. Her eating habits don't improve. She eats lots of fried chicken, ribs, mac and cheese, corn bread (with jelly), and a tall glass of soda (16oz). She smokes pot and eats in between snacks all through the night. Gets minimal sleep (due to toddlers), but also works nights (and eats there, too!). RARELY does Tameka drink WATER (maybe she did once as a halloween "trick or treat". she took the treat and "treated" herself to some much needed glass of water!). Suddenly, she starts developing headaches, strong ones-and long lasting. She dismisses it and occasionally takes an aspirin. She also notices her skin being more ashy and itching a lot. She also feels "dry mouthed" and can't seem to generate enough saliva to SWALLOW COMFORTABLY. She feels sluggish, lethargic. By age 40 she now has LOWER BACK PAIN, but it doesn't seem to be radiating from her spine-but the sides of her waist. One night she wakes up in INTENSE PAIN, begins to sweat and is experiencing rapid heart rate, coupled with fright, her anxiety escalates to an ATTACK.
Tameka is not putting together HER YEARS OF ABUSIVE EATING (in her youth), TO HER PRESENT DAY GALL BLADDER ATTACK.
The following year her doctors find GALL STONES (kidney stones).
But Tameka DOES NOT CHANGE HER EATING HABITS, AND NEVER DRINKS WATER (or at least sufficient enough to HYDRATE THE BODY).
People FORGET that we are 70% WATER and only 30% solid matter!
How could Tameka NOT DRINK WATER, and sodas, juices (even the natural ones!), beer nor alcohols QUALIFY TO DO WHAT WATER DOES TO AND FOR THE BODY!
If you want to live a LONG LIFE with MINIMAL exposure to diseases and infections, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND EAT PLENTY OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, AND FIBROUS GRAIN FOODS.
You will be DISEASE FREE AND CANCER FREE! (and this applies to people with genetic predisposition to these diseases, as well)
The body will ARREST the pre-existing conditions that can cause these diseases to SPRING FORTH!
Unfortunately, Tameka Lewis died of RENAL FAILURE AT AGE 49, LEAVING A HUSBAND AND FOUR CHILDREN (who, unfortunately are following the same EATING PATTERN as their mother)
The ACTUAL CAUSE OF DEATH, however, as listed in the death certificate, is HEART FAILURE.
Now we can discuss RENAL ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY, but not in the dry (hopefully) boring sense we learned it in high school or a college introductory course.
Once we discuss the kidney function, we can concentrate on the THIRD FILTER OF THE BODY: THE LUNGS; because everything CONNECTS (and I'll show you how)
I mentioned before that the kidneys are regulators and acts as an oscillator. We will discuss these two terms separately.
The kidney regulates the FLOW of other HORMONES in maintaining OSMOTIC PRESSURE. The kidneys are in a state of constant OSMOTIC PRESSURE, which, in turn, maintains BLOOD PRESSURE, and is at the HEART OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM. The kidneys act as a filtration system, cleaning the blood of ALL IMPURITIES, before the blood is redistributed into the circulatory system.
I mentioned that the kidneys act as an oscillator. What this simply means is that the kidneys act as a GAUGE of ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.
What is an electrolyte? An electrolyte is a PARTICLE OF A NEGATIVELY CHARGED ION.
DON'T PANIC! I might have to go into some CHEMISTRY here, for a minute:
You've heard of Carbon ATOMS, and Oxygen ATOMS, and Nitrogen ATOMS, right? These are all COMPLETE ATOMIC MOLECULES (the way we learned them in high school chemistry class, remember?)
Well, INCOMPLETE ATOMS ARE CALLED IONS.
You have POSITIVELY CHARGED IONS, and you have NEGATIVELY CHARGED IONS.
You can think of it like this: PROTEINS ARE LIKE ATOMS, BUT AMINO ACIDS ARE LIKE IONS (which make-up the whole protein molecule, yes?)
FATS ARE LIKE ATOMS, BUT FATTY ACIDS ARE LIKE IONS
CARBOHYDRATES ARE LIKE ATOMS, BUT SIMPLE SUGARS ARE LIKE IONS.
In other words ATOMS represent the WHOLE and IONS represent its PARTS (of a whole)
Therefore, Carbon ATOMS become C+-ions, Oxygen ATOMS become O+- ions, and Nitrogen ATOMS become N+- ions, H2O+C6H12O6, POTASSIUM P+-, SODIUM= na+- ions. This breakdown of molecules into IONS is a METABOLIC PROCESS and is HIGHLY TOXIC TO THE BODY.
It is the kidneys' job to GET RID of this TOXIC WASTE through the process of URINATION (urea).
If this urine is not expelled, the TOXICITY LEVEL of the BLOOD will increase, disrupting the PH BALANCE (of alkalinity or acidity levels in the blood). Sodium, Phosphate, Sulfides and Sulfite ions and all IONIZED SALTS like them , can cause considerable TISSUE DAMAGE the longer they stay in the body (as a form of waste). Potassium ions REGULATE THE HEART, if it goes out of CONTROL due to a failing kidney, THE LIFE OF THE ORGANISM IS IMMEDIATELY THREATENED.
ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER ORGAN CAN REGULATE POTASSIUM ION BUT THE KIDNEYS!
Now we can discuss the LUNGS and the physiology of CELLULAR RESPIRATION.
CELLULAR RESPIRATION is another fancy word for METABOLISM. However, unlike the BREAKDOWN of ENERGY which leads to WASTES, cellular respiration deals with the process of GENERATING ENERGY, for the body.
We, as humans, breathe using our LUNGS, but our cells of our body breathe through the OPENING and CLOSING of PORES in our CELL WALLS, which ALLOWS the TRANSFER of nutrients, ions, electrolytes, and a HOST of other MOLECULES in and out of the CELLS.
This is how the body STAYS ALIVE (homeostasis), and what's KEEPING IT alive and keeps the ENGINE RUNNING, is the OXYGEN we breathe.
It is the COAL or FUEL of the BODY.
CARBON DIOXIDE is the BY-PRODUCT and the LUNGS are responsible for disposing it
If the KIDNEYS ARE COMPROMISED, the LUNGS wll have to take over some of the functions of the kidneys
The ACCUMULATION of UREA in the body, will not be completely processed out of the body, so the Nitrate (and its electrolytes), ammonia and other strong and pungent fluids (found in the urine) will be CONVERTED into GASES, and EXPELLED from the body via LUNGS
This is why people with severe renal diseases suffer from HALITOSIS (bath breath).
Do you see how each ORGAN SYSTEM is AFFECTED WHEN ONE ORGAN CEASES TO FUNCTION?
those gases have a "toll" on the HEART (weakening its walls, chambers,and valves)
Heart disease can develop either immediately or over time (provided conditions are not corrected, death will follow)