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Adrenal Fatigue: Kidney and Lung Disease as Common Causes of Acidosis

One risk factor for adrenal fatigue is acidosis, when the blood becomes too acidic. Two factors that can contribute to acidosis are kidney disease and lung disease.

Kidney disease

The kidneys and the adrenal glands play an important role in eliminating excess acid from the body. Diseased kidneys, especially in the latter stages of kidney disease, have difficulty eliminating the excess acid from the body, which leads to acidosis.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, so you can run into a real problem if you have both conditions. Other causes of kidney disease include hypertension, genetic causes such as polycystic kidney disease, and various types of inflammatory conditions called nephritis. Examples include medication-induced nephritis and lupus-induced nephritis.

Symptoms of kidney disease include swelling of the legs, the presence of blood in the urine, urine that may be frothy or bubbly, and high blood pressure that's difficult to control. Many times, however, a person doesn't have any symptoms. The only indication that a kidney problem is present is through abnormalities on the blood work (an elevated creatinine level) or the presence of blood or protein in the urine.

If you have a history of hypertension or diabetes (the two most common causes of kidney disease), ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner about the status of your kidney function.

Advanced kidney disease certainly affects the body's ability to get rid of excess acid. The corollary to this is also true: Several studies suggest that acidosis has the potential to worsen kidney disease. Not only can alkali supplementation improve bone health, but it may also prevent kidney disease from worsening.

Here are several things you can to do improve your kidney health:

  • Eat a plant-based diet.

  • Take a daily probiotic.

  • Drink alkaline water.

  • Supplement with vitamin D if your vitamin D levels are low in the blood.

  • If you have diabetes and/or high blood pressure, get your blood glucose levels and blood pressure levels under control.

By optimizing kidney function, you can help eliminate acidosis and correct the pH of the blood.

Lung disease

Together, two types of lung disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, remain the most common reason besides congestive heart failure (CHF) for admission to the hospital. Many people are also suffering from sleep apnea and a technical condition called alveolar hypoventilation; simply stated, they're having breathing problems, especially with eliminating carbon dioxide from the lungs.

Normally, every time you breathe, you inhale oxygen, which goes deep into your lungs. The alveoli in the lungs avidly take in the oxygen, and then you exhale carbon dioxide. If you have lung disease, you may not be fully able to get rid of the excess carbon dioxide, so the acid level builds up in the blood and causes acidosis.

If the lungs are unable to eliminate the carbon dioxide, then the kidneys and the adrenal glands have to work that much harder to eliminate the acid load from the body. Medical conditions that affect the lung also increase total body inflammation, which is a further stressor on the adrenal glands.

The two biggest reasons for lung issues in the U.S. are cigarette smoking and obesity. Here are some things you can do to improve your lung health:

  • Stop smoking.

  • At home and in the workplace, be aware of and minimize exposures to toxic substances such as asbestos and heavy metals.

  • Take a probiotic. Taking a daily probiotic has been shown to decrease the severity of lung problems such as asthma.

  • Increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake; it may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

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