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Ayurvedic Remedies for Acute Kidney Injury: A Comprehensive Guide

Acute kidney injury (or AKI) is a condition where our kidneys are unable to filter waste materials like creatinine, urea, potassium, sodium, and other waste materials from the body all of a sudden. Since kidneys filter out waste materials from the body, AKI can suddenly take a deadly turn for you if not treated timely. AKI is usually accompanied by some other medical conditions. You have clinical treatments and ayurvedic treatments for acute kidney injury. It is extremely vital that you treat AKI promptly, as it can even lead to death.

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Symptoms of AKI

Our kidneys are responsible for not just filtering waste products from the blood but also regulating the balance of electrolytes, fluids, and waste products in the body. An accumulation of these substances can have a disruptive impact on our kidneys’ functioning. Some of the major symptoms of AKI are:

  • Swelling: The loss of protein in our blood points towards the presence of some kidney-related issues in your body. With a constant loss of protein, our blood becomes flimsy, causing it to flow through veins and arteries with ease and land up in our feet, where it can remain for a long period of time, thus causing swelling.
  • Skin-related issues: Since kidneys are unable to extensively filter your blood, you can see patches of your skin having issues.
  • Nausea: When your kidneys are not functioning properly, there is a constant buildup of urea in your body. This negatively affects the neurological system and brain, leading to nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • Weight loss: As a result of protein loss, our body is unable to sustain muscle mass. This could lead to gradual weight loss over a period of time.
  • Bone pain: The kidney’s poor functioning plays an inhibiting role in activating vitamin D, resulting in our bones getting weaker and symptoms of bone pain also appearing.

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Causes of AKI

There could be multiple causes for AKI. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Lack of blood flow: decreased blood flow to the kidneys can easily cause AKI. Hypovolemia is one of the most frequent reasons (it is a condition where a low blood volume caused by dehydration or excessive bleeding results in a decreased blood flow towards the kidneys). In addition to this, heart failure and adverse drug reactions also hinder the blood flow to the kidneys.
  • Blockage: There are cases where a patient is unable to urinate due to certain obstructions in the urinary tract. This results in urine backing up towards the kidneys, which results in kidney swelling and eventually AKI.
  • Overuse of toxins: An overdose of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. can cause AKI. A constant overdose of drugs overloads your kidney’s filtering functions, resulting in AKI.

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Diagnosis

The following diagnostic tests may be performed to ascertain the presence of AKI in patients:

  • Urine test: Your nephrologist will perform a urinalysis to look for signs of kidney failure.
  • GFR: A simple blood test can be used to determine your GFR (glomerular filtration rate). GFR is a reliable way to assess the degree of decline in the functioning of the kidneys.
  • Kidney biopsy: In a kidney biopsy, a doctor usually extracts a few kidney cells and examines them under the microscope to detect signs of AKI.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Acute Kidney Injury

Ayurvedic remedies for acute kidney injury focus on providing a holistic treatment. Ayurveda tries to address the root cause of AKI  so that the disease is treated comprehensively. Some of the most commonly used ayurvedic herbs for AKI are:

  • Punarnava: Punarnava is one of the most potent herbs for kidney-related diseases in Ayurveda. It is a diuretic and helps maintain the cells' fluid levels to promote healthy urine flow in our bodies. The anti-inflammatory qualities of this ayurvedic herb also help in relieving inflammation or swelling in the feet and joints in our bodies due to AKI.
  • Kaasni: One of the best ayurvedic remedies for acute kidney injury is Kaasni. The anti-inflammatory properties of Kaasni play a massive role in avoiding and treating kidney irritation.
  • Varun: Varun helps in reducing the body's production of oxalate, and it also helps in inactivating the enzyme glycolate oxidase in the body. This contributes significantly to the prevention of kidney stones in the body.
  • Gokshur:- Gokshur mainly cures urinary issues brought on by kidney failure and renal infections. The cooling properties of this herb help in healing chronic kidney illness and inflammation. This herb also strengthens our immunity and improves our overall kidney functioning.

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In addition to the herbs mentioned above, there are some lifestyle modifications that also help in preventing AKI. Some of them are:

  • Have a Low Potassium Diet: A low potassium diet and avoidance of high potassium foods such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes are usually recommended to AKI patients. Try to replace them with low-potassium foods such as apples, cauliflower, peppers, grapes, and strawberries.
  • Avoid too much salt: A high intake of sodium over a long period of time results in high blood pressure. Kidney patients are recommended to have normal blood pressure.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink at least 8–10 glasses of water each day. Keeping yourself well-hydrated helps your kidneys flush out the toxins in an efficient manner.
  • Reduce Protein Consumption: Avoid meat, fish, and other meat-based proteins, as a high consumption of animal-based proteins may promote kidney-related issues.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Keep your weight in check. Don’t indulge in too many exercises. A mild jog, fast walking, light swimming, etc. are perfect for kidney patients.

AKI can turn into a life-threatening disease if not given timely treatment. It is always a better idea to prevent the disease rather than cure it. Keeping yourself well-hydrated, having a balanced diet, maintaining your weight, eating kidney-friendly foods, etc. would go a long way in preventing AKI for you.

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