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8 Things You Should Know About Your Kidneys

The Kashmir Monitor

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Kidneys have the primary task of filtering waste and impurities from blood by producing urine. Kidneys also produce hormones and enzymes that ensure the well-being of bone health and are pivotal in the production of hormones responsible for stimulating red blood cells.
But very often, people complain of ailments which are directly or indirectly associated with kidneys. With modern lifestyle and stressful life, it is important to combat different situations where kidneys are most affected. There are few signs which invariably indicate kidney disease which are discussed as follows.
1.Insomnia
There is a link between obesity and kidney disease and sleep apnea. Due to kidney malfunction, toxins aren’t removed from the body, which, in turn, leads to insomnia.
2.Diabetes and Kidneys
Due to diabetes, human body suffers micro-vascular damage and kidneys are no exception. In fact, all over the world, many diabetic individuals suffer from serious kidney ailments.
3.Presence of Blood in The Urine
When kidney’s filters are damaged, blood comes out along with urine. Not only kidney disease, but blood in the urine also indicates the presence of tumours, kidney stones or infection.
4.Swollen Ankles and Feet
Due to sodium retention, kidney function gets hampered and swelling in ankles and feet thus become evident. Such condition may also be triggered by heart disease, liver disease or chronic leg vein problems.
5.Consistent Muscle Cramps
Due to impaired kidney function along with low calcium level and poorly controlled phosphorus, electrolyte imbalance is not an uncommon feature. Often such a scenario leads to consistent muscle cramps.
6.Persistent Puffiness Around the Eyes
Puffiness around the eyes clearly indicates that kidneys are leaking large amount of protein along with urine.
7.Poor Appetite
Due to the buildup of toxins resulting from reduced kidney function, poor appetite is evident in individuals.
8.The Urge to Urinate More
If individuals experience the need to urinate more, mostly at night, then it categorically indicates kidney disease. Although in some cases, it may also indicate a sign of urinary infection or enlarged prostate in case of aged men.
Anyhow there are some golden rules, following which one can definitely ensure healthy kidneys.
Monitoring Blood Pressure Regularly: High blood pressure is often the reason behind kidney damage. Thus, it is important to discuss the risks associated with the same with a concerned physician and monitor blood pressure from time to time.
Checking Blood Sugar Level: It is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check kidney function and consult a doctor for medication.
Opting Balanced Diet: Eating healthy can be instrumental in controlling weight gain and help prevent diabetes, heart diseases and other ailments which are associated with chronic kidney disease.
Maintaining Healthy Fluid Intake: Although there is no fixed amount of fluid intake prescribed for any individual, still, consuming plenty of water helps kidneys to clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body.
Quitting Smoking: Smoking invariably slows down the flow of blood to kidneys and thus quitting the same improves their function.


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Health

Balanced protein intake better for health

The Kashmir Monitor

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Researchers suggest that excessive consumption of protein for building muscle mass could have a negative impact on the body. However, wide-range of protein is best to maintain balance. Amino acids have long been touted by the fitness and bodybuilding communities for their muscle building benefits. From ultra-bulk protein powders to lean mass-promoting snack bars, there’s no shortage of products available for those seeking a muscle boost.

However, protein’s popularity has also meant that less attention has been paid to researching its potentially negative side-effects.

According to the study published in the Journal of Nature Metabolism, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain.

 

BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids. It’s a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine, and are most commonly found in red meat and dairy.

BCAAs great for adding muscle mass, but science says you could pay for it later.

Researchers have investigated the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of metabolic health, reproduction, appetite and ageing.

“While diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates were shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, they had detrimental effects for health in mid-late life, and also led to a shortened lifespan,” one of the researchers, Dr Samantha Solon explained.

“What this new research has shown is that amino acid balance is important. It’s best to vary sources of protein to ensure you’re getting the best amino acid balance.”

The current research examined the impacts that dietary BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan had on the health and body composition of mice.

“Supplementation of BCAAs resulted in high levels of BCAAs in the blood which competed with tryptophan for transport into the brain,” explained one of the researchers, Professor Stephen Simpson.

“Tryptophan is the sole precursor for the hormone serotonin, which is often called the ‘happiness chemical’ for its mood-enhancing effects and its role in promoting sleep. But serotonin does more than this, and therein lay the problem,” he added.

Dietitian and public health nutritionist Dr Rosilene Ribeiro recommend eating a wide range of proteins.

It’s important to vary protein sources in order to get a variety of essential amino acids, through a healthy and balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

BCAAs are essential amino acids present in protein-containing foods, with red meat and dairy being the richest sources. Chicken, fish and eggs are also nutritious sources of BCAAs.

Vegetarians can find BCAAs in beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins.

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Health

Know the severity of falling sick in the morning

The Kashmir Monitor

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While sickness comes irrespective of the time, the severity of afflictions ranging from allergies to heart attacks differs in the morning from that in the night highlighted a new study. The study was published in the Journal Trends in Immunology which compiled studies, predominantly in mice, that looked at the connection between circadian rhythms and immune responses.

The body reacts to cues such as light and hormones to anticipate recurring rhythms of sleep, metabolism, and other physiological processes. The numbers of white blood cells, in both humans and mice also oscillate in a circadian manner.

Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, researchers in the study found that:

 

Heart attacks in humans are known to strike most commonly in the morning, and research suggests that morning heart attacks tend to be more severe than at night.

In mice, the numbers of monocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights off bacteria, viruses, and fungi –are elevated in the blood during the day. At night, monocytes are elevated in infarcted heart tissue, resulting in decreased cardiac protection at that time of day relative to morning.

Parasite infections are time-of-day dependent. Mice infected with the gastrointestinal parasite Trichuris muris in the morning have been able to kill worms significantly faster than those infected in the evening.

Allergic symptoms follow a time-of-day dependent rhythmicity, generally worse between midnight and early morning. Hence, the molecular clock can physiologically drive innate immune cell recruitment and the outcomes of asthma in humans, or airway inflammation in mice, the review notes.

“Investigating circadian rhythms in innate and adaptive immunity is a great tool to generally understand the physiological interplay and time-dependent succession of events in generating immune responses,” said senior author Christoph Scheiermann, University of Geneva.

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Health

ICMR develops affordable quick test kits for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders

The Kashmir Monitor

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed a cost-effective and rapid point-of-care test kit for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders such as haemophilia A and Von Willebrand disease (VWD).

Diagnostics which are currently available require special equipment and are expensive.

“Both Haemophilia A and VWD are under diagnosed disorders in our country. There are only handful of comprehensive diagnostic centres for bleeding disorders,” an official at ICMR said.

 

“Lack of awareness and diagnostic facilities, high cost of tests are some of the factors for under-diagnosis of bleeding disorders in our country,” he said.

According to the ICMR, the kit is the world’s first point-of-care test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder and costs less than Rs 50 in comparison to existing conventional test that cost around Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000.

The newly developed kit would help in diagnosis within 30 minutes of blood sample collection. Also, this will be available at any level of health care system including primary health care centres (PHCs) since it does not require any special expertise or infrastructure.

Worldwide, incidence of Haemophilia A is 1 per 10,000 male births and that of VWD is around 1 per cent of the general population.

“In India, there is no epidemiological data. We may have roughly 80,000-1,00,000 severe Haemophilia cases in our country, but the total number registered with Haemophilia Federation India (HFI) is only around 19,000,” the official said.

Patients with severe Haemophilia A or VWD can have life threatening spontaneous or post-traumatic bleeding like brain haemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding. In emergency medical setting, it is important to have a quick diagnosis of bleeding disorders for treatment.

This rapid test kit can be used for the diagnosis of menorrhagia cases/ post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), gynecological complications among others.

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