In the United States alone, an estimated 26 million people suffer from kidney failure.
Is Red Meat Consumption A Reason For Kidney Failure?
More than 10 million Americans succumb to kidney diseases every year.
How does the kidney impact our health:
To comprehend the correlation between kidney failure and the consumption of red meat, it is crucial to understand what we understand by kidney failure.
Kidneys are a pair of organs located on either side of our body in the lower backside.
The primary functions of the kidneys are filtering the blood and expulsion of waste from our system.
The wastes are excreted through the urinary bladder during urination.
Kidney failure can be defined as the loss of the ability of the kidneys to filter out the waste from our system.
As the kidneys fail to carry out their normal function, the waste accumulation in the body increases which can, in turn, lead to multi-organ failures and induce life threat.
Factors instigating kidney failure:
The debilitation in the functions of the kidney can be attributed to a number of factors including, environmental pollution, the toxicity of medicines, chronic diseases, kidney trauma, acute dehydration, and diet.
The kind of diet a person intake has shown considerable effects on the condition of the kidneys of an individual.
According to studies, consumption of a higher quantity of red meat increased the probability of kidney failures by a large extent.
Alternating the daily intake of red meat by any other leaner protein source like poultry reduces the probability of developing kidney diseases.
The relationship between red meat and kidney failure was deemed to be dose dependant, meaning, higher the consumption of red meat, the more the probability of kidney failure.
Why is red meat harmful for the kidneys?
Red meat consumption comes with an elevated intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, iron, and salt.
It also induces the production of trimethylamine n-oxide, indoxyl sulfate, and p-cresyl sulfate, which in turn hamper the acid profile of the intestine and disrupts the microbe profile of the gut.
A study found that red meat is metabolized within our body into acid, followed by consumption.
Although the kidneys can process the acid and help the body get rid of it, persistently high levels of toxins in the body cause a condition called acidosis, which is when the kidney cannot eliminate the waste fast enough.
Eventually, this hurts the kidney functions, resulting in kidney failure.
According to experts, some safer alternatives to red meat will be substituting it with poultry, fish, and eggs.
Soy and leguminous products also prove to be a healthier alternative.
Diets should be high in fruit and vegetable content as they promote the general well-being of the body and its vital organs including the kidney, heart, and gut.
What are the symptoms of kidney failure?
Kidney failure shows certain symptoms in almost all individuals, whereas there are exceptions, where no apparent symptoms are visible for long.
However, the most common signs and symptoms of kidney failure include reduced volume of urine, swelling in legs, feet, and ankles caused by retention of fluid within the body, shortness of breath, persistent fatigue and nausea, confusion, seizure, coma, and discomfort in the chest.
Treatments available for kidney failure:
Kidney failure in the present times can be treated by many medical options, including dialysis, kidney transplant, and medication.
In dialysis, the filtration of the blood is carried out artificially outside the body with the help of a machine.
The machine essentially replicates the function of the kidneys. Patients undergoing dialysis are advised to maintain a low potassium-sodium diet.
In case of a successful kidney transplant, the patient no longer needs the dialysis; however, the drawback of this surgical procedure that it comes after a long wait a finding a donor is not always easy.
Such surgeries are followed by the administration of immunosuppressants drugs which can have adverse effects on the body.
Means to prevent the condition:
Kidney disease can be averted by following a generally healthy lifestyle, undergoing screening for kidney damages, following the advice of the doctor, and taking appropriate prescribed medication.
Keeping the other risk factors for kidney damage like diabetes or high blood pressure under check also ensures the prevention of kidney failure.
However, it is always advisable to reach out to the doctors if any concerns may arise regarding our health.
Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.