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The kidneys are essential organs in the body whose principal task is filtering the waste products of our cells and excreting it via our urine. Although these two, bean-shaped organs are comparatively smaller than other organs, we absolutely cannot do without these filtration mechanisms. If our kidneys ever malfunction because of disease or prolonged neglect, our heart, lungs, and liver could follow shortly after!
If you feel like something is wrong with your kidneys, especially if you have a relative that has kidney disease, seek medical advice right away. 10 subtle symptoms of kidney disease include;
• Changes in urination. For example – constantly having to get up in the middle of the night to pee, then only having a few drops come out, is a common sign that there’s something wrong with your kidneys.
• Pain in the legs, abdomen, or upper back. Leg and flank pain are the most common complaints of patients that test positive for kidney disease.
• Low grade fever. This counts as one of the earliest signs of a lot of diseases, including kidney disease.
• Having blood in the urine, or otherwise having foamy, saturated urine.
• Swelling in the joints and face.
• Feeling tired really easily.
• Sudden and prolonged changes in how food tastes. People with untreated kidney disease usually report a foul, metallic taste in their mouth and food.
• Feeling unusually cold, even in hot weather.
• Having trouble catching your breath constantly.
• Having extreme, unusual itching; usually on the back and legs. 
9 Simple Ways to Reduce your Risk of Kidney Disease:
1. Eat healthy.
Fill your diet with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. A kidney-friendly diet, according to the American Kidney Fund, consists of a low protein, low salt diet so your kidneys have a lighter load to process.
Low protein doesn’t mean that you have to work with less protein; opt for organic pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables and less meat to reach your recommended daily intake.
2. Eat Less Salt.
Keep an eye out for foods that are high in sodium; they raise your blood pressure and give your kidneys a hard time. Make it a habit to read nutrition labels; you might be surprised at the amount of sodium in some food like canned soups and sauces.
3. Avoid / limit purines.
Excess purine makes the kidneys inflamed, leading to kidney damage and disease.  Avoid foods high in purine such as red meat, animal organs, anchovies, seafood and alcoholic beverages.
Butter, oatmeal, nuts, tomatoes and other fruits, as well as wheat germ contain all the purines our bodies need to function.
4. Keep your blood sugar in check.
Our kidneys play a major role in sugar absorption.  Excessive amounts of sugar in our diet tend to build up in the kidneys. Avoid this from happening by regularly checking your blood sugar levels and staying away from processed sweets and sugary beverages.
5. Keep your blood pressure controlled.
A constantly high blood pressure level damages blood vessels, including the ones in the kidneys crucial for proper kidney function.  Aside from a healthy diet, you need to get your weight down to your ideal BMI as well as limit caffeine intake. If you take prescription medication for maintaining your blood pressure, make sure you take that regularly and as directed.
The numerous benefits of exercise include lowering blood pressure, weight loss, and prevention of heart and kidney disease. 
7. Keep yourself hydrated.
Water flushes out toxins from the body. It also dilutes any build-up of purines, sugars, and salts in your system, helping your kidneys with an easier time at eliminating them.
8. Use medication wisely.
The World Health Organization specifically mentions over-the-counter painkillers as one of the heavy hitters on kidney health.  Use analgesics sparingly, and as much as possible, ask your doctor for the right dose and duration for taking any type of medication.
9. Stop Smoking.
Smoking damages almost all the systems of the body, including our kidneys. If you stop smoking, you’ll no doubt notice an overall improvement on health, as well as reduce your risk of kidney disease.
 10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease. Life Options. http://lifeoptions.org/kidneyinfo/ckdinfo.php?page=3
 Kidney-Friendly Diet and Foods: Healthy Eating for People with Chronic Kidney Disease. American Kidney Fund. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-friendly-diet-ckd/
 Nutrient Lists for protein in fruits. Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report?nutrient1=203&nutrient2=205&nutrient3=291&fg=9&max=25&subset=1&offset=0&sort=c&totCount=73&measureby=m
 Nutrient lists for protein in vegetables. Agricultural Research Service of The United States Department of Agriculture. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=203&nutrient2=205&nutrient3=291&subset=1&fg=11&sort=c&measureby=m
 Purinergic signaling in inflammatory renal disease. Frontiers in Physiology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725473/
 Understanding the kidneys’ role in blood glucose regulation. US National Library of Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22559853
 High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease. Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, Inc. http://www.kidneyurology.org/Library/Kidney_Health/High_Blood_Pressure_and_Kidney_Disease.php
 Exercise: What you should know. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/exercisewyska
 WHO Drug Information Vol.14, No. 1, 2000. World Health Organization. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Jh1462e/1.html
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