Bruised Kidney? Try These Simple DIY Remedies for Relief

Think you might have bruised a kidney? This type of injury usually happens as a result of blunt trauma – maybe you fell or were playing a sport with your grandkids and got whacked by the ball?

Any injury to a major organ is potentially serious, and you should absolutely go to your doctor if you suspect your kidney may be bruised.

That being said, there are some remedies for a bruised kidney which may prove helpful.

Your kidneys are a pair of small organs located in the back of your abdomen.1 One of their main functions is to filter liquid waste from your body, but they are also responsible for keeping blood pressure regular, helping reabsorb nutrients, and regulating fluid levels.2

Kidneys are the organs most susceptible to injury in the urinary tract.3 Though their location often protects them, kidneys can become bruised due to trauma from car accidents, falls, or contact sports. Professional football players, for example, often suffer from bruised kidneys.

Symptoms of a Bruised Kidney

A bruised kidney is also called a renal contusion. One of the main symptoms is blood in the urine. This is called hematuria. It can be enough blood to be seen by the naked eye, or the amount of blood may be seen only by a microscope.4 Other symptoms of a bruised kidney include abdominal pain and bruising on the back of the abdomen.5

Kidney injuries can cause other, more severe symptoms. If, in addition to blood in the urine, you have nausea, vomiting, fever or increased heart rate, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

should i go to doctor for bruised kidney

Should You See a Doctor?

Yes. If you suspect you have a kidney injury, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can determine the severity of your injury and set a course of treatment.

Most injuries to the kidneys are “low grade,” or minor.6 It’s important to know what kind of injury you’ve sustained, since some kidney trauma can be life-threatening. A bruised kidney is not serious, but bruised kidney symptoms can be similar to those of a laceration, or tear, in the kidney.7 A lacerated kidney can be serious if left untreated. Complications, such as infection, high blood pressure, and even kidney failure, can occur.8

Additionally, patients who have fallen or been involved in automobile accidents may have injuries to other parts of the body, such as the rib cage. It’s important to see a physician right away to have your injuries assessed and treated.

Tests Your Doctor May Use

Urinalysis, or a test of your urine, is one assessment your doctor may use. Urinalysis can help doctors see if you have microscopic amounts of blood in your urine.9 This gives them one part of the picture of your kidney injury.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may also order a computerized tomography (CT) scan to check the extent of your injury. This is the most common test done to determine injuries to the kidneys. During a CT scan, the patient lies on a table while images are taken. The procedure is similar to an X-ray, but more detailed.10 A CT scan takes about half an hour to complete.

Your doctor may also order an angiogram, which is a kind of x-ray taken after a special dye is injected into your blood.11 Ultrasounds are also sometimes used to determine kidney injuries.12

How to Remedy Bruised Kidney At Home

If you have a mild kidney contusion, you should be healed in about a week. In the meantime, here are some ways to help your kidneys heal at home.

Get Plenty of Rest

remedy bruised kidney at homeYou may need to stay on bed rest until there is no longer blood in your urine. This can take one to two weeks.13 Bed rest means that you are lying down most of the time. Avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise and lifting heavy objects. Your doctor may have you stay overnight in the hospital so your vital signs can be observed.

Regulate Fluid Intake

Doctors advise kidney contusion patients to drink enough fluids, but not so much as to overtax your kidneys. Aim to drink around eight to 10 glasses of water each day.14 Your kidneys need water to function correctly, especially while they heal.

Pain Relievers

Kidney bruises can be painful. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you find your pain can’t be controlled by these medications, talk to your doctor about prescription pain relief.

Diet Changes

Your doctor may ask you to make changes to your diet in order to allow your kidneys to heal. Eating a diet with too much sodium can cause your healing kidneys to work too hard.15 Limit the amount of sodium in your diet by eating less processed foods and adding less table salt to your food.

Surgery

In most cases, a bruised kidney will heal on its own. However, in some cases of more severe kidney injury, surgery may be needed.

The Takeaway

A bruised kidney can be uncomfortable, but it is usually not life-threatening. Follow your doctor’s advice carefully, as well as these remedies for a bruised kidney, and your body will heal in just a few weeks. Your doctor will conduct a follow-up examination, after which time your will likely be able to resume normal activities.

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Sources
1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305488.php
2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305488.php
3. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
4. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/hematuria-blood-urine
5. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/kidney-(renal)-trauma/symptoms
6. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/genitourinary-tract-trauma/renal-trauma
7. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
8. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
9. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/440811-workup
10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/basics/definition/prc-20014610
11. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Angiography/Pages/How-is-it-performed.aspx
12. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/379085-overview
13. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/injury-kidney-and-ureter
14. https://www.fairview.org/healthlibrary/Article/116472EN
15. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/kidney-friendly-diet-for-ckd.html

NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes

Mindfulness meditation has been around for centuries. You’ve probably already heard it’s an effective tool for staying calm and relaxed. Now, a recent study shows it could actually have an affect on your genes. It may even help to reverse some of the stress-related damage to your health.

Here’s a look at how this form of meditation might play a bigger role in wellness than first thought:

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation has been around for more than 2,000 years. It’s a way to focus the mind so that you concentrate on the current moment, rather than thinking of the past or the future. Beginners usually practice this type of meditation for about 20 minutes per session. More advanced practitioners may meditate for up to an hour.1 Many people believe mindfulness meditation is great for the soul. Some also believe it can help heal both the body and mind.

Everyone has the quality of mindfulness, but not everyone realizes its value … or that it should be actively cultivated.

Advocates believe practicing mindfulness meditation can lead to a fuller, more enriched life.

How? Because practicing this type of meditation can help you live in the moment. Instead of putting your mind on “auto pilot” and going through the motions day-to-day, you’re appreciating your life as it unfolds… moment to moment.

There are several other types of meditation as well. Here are some of the most popular:

· Spiritual meditation

This is somewhat like prayer, in that you are trying to establish a deeper connection with your God. It’s used not only in Taoism, Hinduism, and other religions of the East, but in the Christian faith as well. Many people use certain essential oils to enhance their experience, such as cedar, frankincense, and myrrh. You can practice spiritual meditation either at home, or at your house of worship.

· Movement meditation

Most people associate movement meditation with yoga. But, you can incorporate it with any form of gentle motion. This includes working in your garden or taking a walk through the woods near your home.2

· Mantra meditation

Have you ever seen someone sitting in the “lotus” (cross-legged) position on a mat repeating a phrase such as “Om”? More than likely, they were practicing mantra meditation. It involves the use of a repetitive word or phrase to help clear the mind. It’s supposed to help you become more in tune with the environment that surrounds you.

· Transcendental meditation

“TM” is the most popular type of meditation worldwide. Over 5 million people practice transcendental meditation.3 It’s good for people who are serious about meditation but are just starting out. Practitioners usually have two 20-minute sessions each day.

Common Reasons People Practice Meditation

There are several reasons people turn to meditation. They may practice it because it helps them manage anxiety or stress. They might meditate to help increase their focus, so they can be more productive in their jobs. Some people use it to help eliminate unhealthy habits, such as overeating or smoking. Still others meditate to get past some sort of difficult life event. People may meditate to gain a better understanding of their purpose in life.

Meditation and the Genes

Researchers analyzed 18 studies that involved nearly 850 participants. They wanted to see what kind of effects different forms of relaxation can have on the body. These included meditation as well as Tai Chi, breathing exercises, yoga and Qi gong. They came to the conclusion that these methods of connecting the mind with the body help to suppress gene expression. They do so in a way that can inhibit certain processes that can be harmful to our health.

For example, the researchers focused on the effect meditation can have on inflammation. This is an important process that lets us know when we’re sick or we’ve been injured in some way. But inflammation can also hurt us both mentally and physically. They believe meditation can reverse some of this damage because it inhibits the expression of certain genes.

What is Gene Expression?

Gene expression is where DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) gets the information it needs. It then takes this information and makes proteins. It not only controls when a protein is made, but also the amount that is made.

When a gene is turned off, it’s considered dormant. When it is activated, gene expression occurs. The epigenetic process involves mechanisms that basically act as an on/off switch for genes. Some of the most important epigenetic mechanisms are what make us different from other people. For example, epigenetic mechanisms control the color of our skin and hair, and why some of us love okra while others can’t stand it.4

Factors such as lifestyle and environment can have a major effect on whether different genes are expressed. These genes, in turn, can play a large role in determining several important things. These include how long we will live and whether we’ll be at risk of developing certain diseases. Mindfulness-based stress reduction can help reduce stress-related changes. These changes signal genes to produce proteins associated with inflammation.

According to the study, people who practice meditation on a regular basis experience a reverse in some of the effects of stress. This is because of a decrease in activity of genes that are involved in the inflammatory process.5 As a result, they were at a lower risk of illnesses caused by inflammation.

The Takeaway

Research into the physiological effects of meditation is still in its earl stages. This study supports the idea that meditation can be beneficial. They may improve not only your mood, but your health as well.

For more helpful health and wellness news, keep reading:

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Sources
1.https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/07/mindfulness-meditation-empathy-compassion/398867/
2.https://www.gaia.com/article/which-type-meditation-style-best-for-you
3.http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-maharishi6feb06-story.html
4.https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/what-is-epigenetics/
5.http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00670/full

Is Drinking Coffee the Secret to Longevity?

If you’re a coffee drinker, you might just think that your beverage of choice tastes great and gives you a nice pick-me-up after a good night’s sleep.

But research indicates that drinking coffee on a regular basis might actually help extend your life.

Two studies show that coffee consumption could provide benefits you might not have previously considered possible.

What the Science Says

In one study, researchers found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death than those who don’t drink the beverage. The authors of the study conducted a survey involving more than 500,000 people in countries throughout Europe.1

According to the results, there is an inverse relationship between drinking coffee and suffering from problems such as circulatory and digestive illnesses, cancer, suicide and liver disease. Even though people in different countries prepare and drink coffee differently, the relationship between the beverage and a lower risk of death due to certain health issues remained consistent.

Coffee Drinker’s Advantage

Coffee drinkers, according to the European study, tend to have a higher level of healthy fats, show better control of glucose levels, and have less inflammation. Certain compounds in coffee, the researchers said, have properties that can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and other illnesses. However, further studies will be needed in order to determine which specific compounds provide specific benefits.

It appears that the benefits of drinking coffee go across racial lines. While the European study involved mainly caucasians, another study involved more than 185,000 coffee drinkers who were primarily African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. The results were very similar to the European study, providing yet more evidence that coffee consumption can lower a person’s risk of death.

According to the results of this study, people who consume two to four cups a day are 18 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who avoid coffee.

While both of the studies involved smokers as well as nonsmokers, one surprising result was that smokers who drink coffee tend to live longer as those who don’t. But researchers are quick to point out that there is absolutely no evidence that drinking coffee can counteract the health effects of smoking.

Yet another study showed that people who drink 3-5 cups of joe each day are about 15 percent less likely to die prematurely than non-drinkers. This study had even more good news – according to the results, people who prefer decaffeinated coffee can also enjoy substantial health benefits.

Drinking coffee has been associated with other health benefits as well, such as reducing the risk of developing tinnitus, a condition characterized by buzzing or ringing in the ears.²

Coffee might also help improve workouts, increase your safety behind the wheel and lower your risk of developing depression.3

How Much is Too Much?

Of course, it can be pretty easy for a coffee drinker to go overboard with his or her favorite beverage – if you love coffee, you might even be more inclined to overdo it after learning the potential benefits. Over-consumption of coffee can make it hard to sleep and leave you feeling jittery all day long. It can also increase your risk of suffering from heartburn.

Taking most things in moderation is usually the best way to stay healthy. Drinking coffee is no exception. According to one study, about 200 mg of caffeine (about two cups of coffee) is the best amount for helping your cognitive functioning.4 However, not all coffee is created equal, of course. A 16-ounce cup could contain anywhere from 250-500 mg of caffeine. Before you buy anything in the Starbucks drive-thru, find out just how much you’ll be ingesting.

The Bottom Line

While these studies don’t necessarily prove that if you start drinking coffee you’ll live longer, the research does indicate there’s an association. There are a lot of nutrients in coffee beans but researchers haven’t yet determined exactly how they affect a person’s health.

Nevertheless, it seems that drinking coffee on a regular basis not only does no harm, it can actually provide substantial health benefits. Coffee consumption – as long as it is in moderation – can be a major component of not only a healthy lifestyle, but also a healthy diet. If you’re not a coffee drinker and you’re thinking of starting, talk to your doctor first to make sure it will be safe to do so.

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Sources:
1.http://annals.org/aim/article/2643435/coffee-drinking-mortality-10-european-countries-multinational-cohort-study
2.http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(14)00198-3/abstract
3.https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/i-dont-drink-coffee-should-i-start/
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424548