In summer, we drink a lot of water without sweating in an airconditioned room so that excess water is easily accumulated in the body, but we have to be careful about edema that could be a sign of serious diseases.
Edema is the condition that when you press the skin with your finger, the water where is pressed is lost and a dimple is retained for about 10 seconds, while fat is the condition that the pressed area returns very quickly.
Edema caused by normal excess water can be improved by sweating a lot by taking a relaxing bath or exercises.
But if edema is not improved by sweating, there is a possibility of kidney diseases.
When you have kidney diseases, water can be discharged from your body and is accumulated in your body, resulting in edema of the whole body.
Edema in the leg in the morning (Fig. 1) and edema in the face in the evening (Fig. 2) are dangerous.
Edema in the leg in the evening is okay because water tends to be accumulate in the leg that is locate in the lower part of the body during the daytime.
But if you have edema in the leg in the morning, it could be caused by kidney diseases because the leg is not located in the lower part of the body while sleeping. Excessive water retention could be caused by some problems in the kidney.
On the contrary, edema in the face in the evening means that there is a possibility that water could be discharged sufficiently from the kidney as urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) includes IgA nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, membranous nephropathy and nephrosclerosis. The kidneys filtrate the blood and excrete wastes and toxins as urine. But even if the function of the kidneys lowers down, there are few subjective symptoms. If you keep putting a burden on the kidneys by eating too much salt, the kidney function stops before you realize. If the kidney function becomes less than 10 %, the kidneys can’t filtrate wastes and toxins in the blood sufficiently, resulting in necessity of dialysis.
Dialysis is a cleansing process of the blood that uses a special machine to filter wastes and toxins from the blood and return the blood to the body. In general, dialysis needs 4-5 hours per treatment, 2-3 times a week so daily life can be restricted. Dialysis also have to be continued for life. So it is important to prevent chronic kidney diseases.
But if you improve the kidney function before it gets worse, you can expect the improvement of swelling, high blood pressure and frequent urination.
The methods to remove salt from the body are urination and sweat. Since sweat is difficult to control, urination is the only method to remove salt taken from the mouth. The organ doing the job is the kidney. So if the kidney works too much, the kidney becomes exhausted and the function lowers down.
The sense of the taste started becoming weak at the age of 65 in men and at the age of 60 in women. The insensitivity to the taste makes you take more salt.
People who have kidney diseases are insensitive to salty taste. If they continue eating lightly salted food for about a week, their sensitivity to salt returns normal.
How to reduce salt
(1) Choose seasonings which show “Salt Equivalent”. You can calculate about how much salt you are taking.
(2) Use a small measuring spoon, 1/8 tsp.
(3) Season with materials with strong smell such as ginger or garlic.
(4) Season with soup stocks or spices instead of salt.
(5) Eat from light seasoned food.
(6) Record what you ate and the amount of salt.
(1) Use juice of citrus fruits instead of salt.
(2) Use crushed nuts for salads instead of dressing.
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