Our Kidneys and Aging Could Have A Connection

Our kidneys and aging is not a question as we all get older, it is a reality that all of us will face at some point.

The reason for this is very simple; just like the rest of our key organs and other major functions, they are slowing down and wearing out.

However, our lifestyle that we have led, as well as the lifestyle we choose as we pass the 60 year old mark, can have huge impacts.

This impact will not only affect our kidneys, it will also affect our bladder.

To really understand what may be happening to these key organs as we age, it is very helpful to understand what they actually do.

Our Kidneys and Aging and What They Do

Our kidneys and aging should all start with what they are and what they actually do.

Here is a brief description.

  • They are bean shaped organs found in out lower back and there are two of them
  • They help to filter out waste products
  • They help to balance key acids such as electrolytes
  • They help to eliminate fluids from food and medicines we do not need  through urine
  • They help to control and moderate blood pressure
  • They help with the production of red blood cells

Although there are other numerous functions they preform, these are the key ones.

The most important part or component of each one is referred to as a “nephron” and this is why medical professionals that specialize in them are called nephrologists.

What Is Happening With Aging Changes in the Kidneys 

Perhaps the most important part of our kidneys and aging is what is happening to them as we all get older, and they include the following.

  • The number of tissues found in them begins to decrease
  • The “nephron” filters also begin to decrease in number
  • Our blood vessels that supply blood to them, starts to harden
  • Once they harden, the entire filtering process begins to slow down

Any one of the connections with our kidneys and aging is bad enough, but if they begin to wear down at the same time, several bad things can and do begin to happen.

It is also very important to note that when these two key organs become affected, so does our bladder.

Here is what is happening to our bladder.

  • The walls begins to slowing change shape and lose its elasticity
  • Once this happens, it can’t hold as much urine
  • If the urethra become blocked, it can actually prolapse

Prolapse in our bladder means that it falls out of position, putting even more pressure on our kidneys.

Older Couple Enjoying Time TogetherOlder Couple Enjoying Time Together

What Can Trigger It?

The next major connection with our kidneys and aging is what can trigger any type of disease and what, if any, are the warning signs we can watch for,

There are several potential underlying causes that can trigger a disease of these two key organs, but there are two that are far and away the major causes.

High blood and Diabetes-- with no close second.

In fact, these two conditions are believed to trigger almost 3/4 or 75% of all diseases that attack these two key organs.

However, genetics can also play a major role, and if we have a history of any type of kidney disease, once we pass 60 years of age, we need to have it checked yearly.

From first-hand experience, we have learned this all two well as my wife of 42 years twin sister and older brother, were both taken way too early by one of the forms.

In our case, she has it checked every 6 months just to be on the safe side.

There is something also very important with our kidneys and aging—they can be treated.

The First Set of Warning Signs

While we cannot eliminate any form of disease with these key organs, we can at least control most of them, depending on the severity.

In fact, there are several warning signs we can watch for and here is the first group.

  • Changes in urination-EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!
  • Swelling of any kind in our legs, hands, ankles, or feet
  • A sudden fatigue that we cannot shake
  • Starting to feel cold all of the time
  • Dizziness and the inability to concentrate

By far and away the single biggest warning sign with our kidneys and aging, is a change in urination.

If we start to urinate a lot more than normal without drinking more fluids, it is the first sign.

Next, is waking up several times at night to urinate.

If our urination is suddenly foamy in nature, if there is any reddish tone, or if we have any difficultly in urinating, these are also real warning signs.

The Second Set

Here is the next set of warning signs of our kidneys and aging that we can watch for.

  • A shortness of breath for no apparent cause
  • Backaches, especially in our lower backs
  • Skin rashes for no apparent reason
  • A sudden metallic type taste in our mouths
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting.

This disease can cause fluid in our lungs, as well as cyst-filled fluids in our back.

A buildup of waste products that have not been eliminated can cause rashes, and a buildup of waste in our blood causes “uremia”

Uremia is a condition that causes very bad breath, food to taste suddenly bad, and the taste of metal.

However, if we suddenly feel very sick and vomit, it has reached a severe stage and we need immediate medical attention.

The Most Common Diseases

There are several common diseases that can develop with our kidneys and aging and they include the following.

  • CKD, the chronic form—as well as the most common form as we get older
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Renovascular disease
  • Acute failure
  • ESRD –end stage failure.

CKD, Chronic kidney disease, is the most common of the issues with our kidneys and aging, and is estimated to affect at least 20 million seniors.

However, if caught early, it can be controlled.

Electrolyte imbalances are very common as well as we get into our 70’s and older, but again can be controlled if caught.

Nephrotic syndrome causes these key organs to excrete too much protein, and can become very dangerous.

The three final forms are all very dangerous and will be covered in detail on future pages on this website.

References

https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Kidney-Disease-warning-signs-133332.htm

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