Dr Natalie Choong, Primary Care Doctor

1 February, 2023

Pain in My Kidneys - Are they failing?

Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage and behind the stomach. They are about the size of a fist and play a crucial role in maintaining the overall health of our bodies. The kidneys are responsible for filtering and excreting waste products from the body, regulating electrolytes and acid-base balance, controlling blood pressure, maintaining intravascular volume, stimulating red blood cell production, and preserving bone strength.

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Given the importance of the kidneys, it is important to take care of them and avoid anything that could harm them. If the kidneys stop working entirely, the body cannot filter and excrete waste products, which accumulate in the body, causing the biochemical makeup to become imbalanced. Additionally, the body will retain extra water, leading to a condition called uraemia. Symptoms of uraemia include swollen limbs, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin changes, itchiness, and pigmentation, and breathlessness. When the kidneys lose their function completely, dialysis is necessary, and if left untreated, it can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

To prevent such dire circumstances, we need to take care of our kidneys. Here are some things to avoid to protect them:

Taking Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Taking Over-the-Counter Painkillers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, which are easily available over-the-counter, can damage the kidneys if taken in excess or too frequently.

Not Drinking Enough Fluids

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, increasing the risk of developing kidney stones. Drinking enough water helps kidneys clear sodium and toxins from the body. The recommended amount of fluid intake for a healthy person is two liters per day, but this may vary depending on daily activities, health conditions, and climate. People with heart, liver, and kidney issues should consult their doctor to determine the right level of fluid intake.

Smoking

Smoking reduces the blood flow to the kidneys, impairing their ability to function normally.

Eating Too Much Processed Meat

Processed meat contains preservatives and high salt content, which can cause high blood pressure and ultimately harm the kidneys. Consuming high amounts of processed meat generates excessive acid in the blood, leading to acidosis, which the kidneys are unable to eliminate quickly enough.

Consuming Too Much Sugar and Salt

Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension are major risk factors for kidney disease. High blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, while high blood pressure constricts and narrows blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the kidneys.

To maintain kidney health, it is essential to adhere to a healthy and active lifestyle. It is crucial to have regular kidney function checks and to work closely with a doctor or nephrologist to watch out for any early signs of kidney failure. Managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as being compliant with medication, are essential in reducing the risk of kidney damage.

In conclusion, our kidneys play a vital role in our overall health, and it is essential to take care of them. By avoiding the above-mentioned harmful habits and adhering to a healthy lifestyle, we can protect our kidneys from damage and ensure their proper functioning for a healthy life.

Seek assurance on your current health condition and peace of mind by going for a comprehensive health screening with us. Early detection of health risks is crucial to protect you and your family against unpredictable health outcomes at every stage of life. Purchase now!

Speak to Dr Fong Voon Ken, Consultant Nephrologist (Kidney) & Internal Medicine if you have concerns about your kidney health today. Our Specialist Clinic can be reached at 016-226 7680.

Dr Fong Nephrologist

Dr. Fong Voon Ken

方文权医生

Consultant Nephrologist & Internal Medicine Physician

Specialty

Nephrology

Languages

English, Mandarin, Malay, Cantonese

Qualification

MD (UCSI), MRCP (UK), ESENeph, Fellowship in GLOMCON,

Clinic

LifeCare Diagnostic Medical Centre, Bangsar South

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Dr. Fong is currently away and will not be available for appointments

Dr Fong Nephrologist

Dr. Fong Voon Ken

方文权医生

Consultant Nephrologist &
Internal Medicine Physician

Specialty

Nephrology

Languages

English, Mandarin, Malay, Cantonese

Qualification

MD (UCSI), MRCP (UK), ESENeph, Fellowship in GLOMCON, ISN-ANIO Pathology Certificate

Clinic

LifeCare Diagnostic Medical Centre, Bangsar South

--

Dr. Fong is currently away and will not be available for appointments

License Number

MMC No. 32602, NSR No. 126567

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