The kidneys are organs situated in our midsection on both sides of our spine, just above the waist. They clean our blood, keep the balance of sodium and minerals in our veins, and help control blood pressure.
When our kidneys are injured, waste materials and fluid can accumulate in our body, causing swelling in our ankles, vomiting, helplessness, inadequate sleep, and abruptness of breath. If we don’t treat them, diseased kidneys may eventually stop working altogether. Loss of kidney function is a severe and potentially fatal condition.
The link between Vitamin D and Kidney Disease
It is common knowledge that drinking too much soda, eating salty foods and holding our bladder could cause kidney troubles. What not many of us know is that the lack of vitamin D may also lead to kidney troubles. Here’s why.
Medical scientists found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were more than twice as likely to have protein in the urine, also called albuminuria. Albuminuria is an early sign of kidney damage. Its presence in the urine suggests that kidneys are damaged because the kidneys should retain protein for use in the body.
It is unknown if vitamin D levels are a cause or condition of kidney damage. Nevertheless, the research could support and strengthen the issue for a more deliberate vitamin D monitoring and utilize vitamin D levels to identify individuals who may at be at danger of developing kidney disease.
Vitamin D is also responsible for:
- Establishing and conserving strong bones
- Controlling the right level of calcium and phosphorus in our blood
- Keeping bones from becoming weak or deformed
- Preventing rickets among children and osteomalacia in adults.
Too much vitamin D can be toxic though, and it is recommended to take a maximum limit of 25 mcg (1,000 IU) for infants and 50 mcg (2,000 IU) for children and adults with normal kidney function.
What are the common signs and symptoms that we might be vitamin D deficient?
- You have darker skin, avoid the sunshine and wear sunscreen
- You feel depressed and have difficulty thinking clearly.
- You must be 50 years old or over
- You are overweight
- Your bones are either painful or deformed and fracture frequently
- You have a sweaty head
- Your muscles are weak, and you experience unexplained fatigue
It doesn’t necessarily mean that because we suffer from any of the symptoms suggests that we are vitamin D deficient and have kidney problems. However, if any or many of them apply to us, we should know if our vitamin D level is in the right range and have our vitamin D levels tested.
It is paramount to remember that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Aside from making sure that our vitamin D levels are correct, we should promote healthier kidneys by staying hydrated and eating a balanced, low-potassium and high-iron diet.
Where do we get vitamin D?
Vitamin D is primarily obtained from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, but the amount of UV rays absorbed and produced into vitamin D depends on our skin color, weight, where we live, the time of the day, the season, clothing and if we are using sunscreen. People who live in sunny countries at lower latitudes obtain sufficient vitamin D compared to people living at higher latitudes, especially during late autumn and winter.
Some foods are naturally good sources of vitamin D. The best food sources of vitamin D are fatty fishes including salmon, sardines, cod, tuna, and halibut. Many foods, such as some breakfast cereals, cheese, soya milk, yogurt, orange juice, margarine, and milk are fortified with vitamin D. Beef, beef liver, mushrooms and egg yolks have proper amounts of vitamin D too.
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