Your kidneys work to maintenance fluid volume, osmolarity, electrolyte (mineral) balance, and acid–base status. They are key to regulating blood pressure. The kidneys work all day to excrete toxins while preserving valuable minerals. These amazing marvels of bioscience will last a lifetime unless we abuse them. How do we abuse our kidneys? Here is a list of the top causes of kidney disease and what we do to drive them:
- High blood pressure – this affects the blood flow to the kidneys. When we gain weight, eat poorly, incur excess stress we can be driving this mechanism.
- Diabetes – this is one of the worst things we can do to the kidneys as it causes broad damage. It is our diet and lifestyle that causes diabetes, not our genetics.
- Drugs & Alcohol – prescription drugs often cause some insult to the kidneys or drive nutrient deficiencies that create challenges. Our dependence on prescription drugs is driven by our lifestyle choices.
- Heart disease – the very things that damage our heart vessels (coronaries) also damage blood flow to the kidneys. Some heart disease is the result of faulty valves but the vast majority is the result of poor choices.
- Dehydration – Starbucks, Gatorade, Pepsi and 5 hour energy drinks are not sources of hydration. Water, plain water is what we need to support our kidneys detoxification.
- Liver disease – the fasting growing liver insult today is fatty liver deposits driven by high carb diet. Less liver performance means more toxic load for the kidneys to manage.
- Infection – a weak immune system offers greater opportunity for opportunistic infections to take hold. Once again our lifestyle, stress and sleep take center stage.
Chronic kidney disease is a scary reality it can lead to dialysis for the rest of your life. Being tethered to a dialysis center (hemodialysis) or daily home peritoneal dialysis is life saving and miraculous but also tedious and limiting. Much can be done to reverse the trend in that direction by addressing the diabetes, high blood pressure or glomerulonephritis that started this trend in the first place. Through aggressive attention toward reversal of other chronic issues such as blood sugar reversal, the goal is to stop the damage and support repair.
Often the source of damage may go undetected in the traditional medical model. Looking for autoimmune triggers such as IgG food allergy or outside toxicities from heavy metals is not included in the standard workup. Exploring drug induced nutrient deficiencies becomes key when looking at kidney function. A lack of proper minerals, vitamins and antioxidants such as coenzyme-Q10 place the cells of the kidney at a distinct disadvantage. The nephrons of the kidney can’t defend themselves against the toxic flow of elements withing the urine but also struggle to repair. Providing the right nutrition and missing nutrients restores balance.
Lymphatic flow is critical to waste removal in the human body and as the kidneys are a part of our detoxification process, their lymphatic drainage is paramount to their survival. There are no drugs that enhance lymphatic flow but we offer a host of natural elements for that specific purpose.
Drugs known as NSAIDS (anti-inflammatories) such as Advil, Naprosyn, Aleve, Meloxicam and others are one of the primary causes of kidney damage and failure.
Having sat bedside for hundreds of kidney stone patients, I wouldn't wish this upon anyone. Unfortunately, in the traditional medical arena where nutrition is a mystery to most doctors, we offer poor advice like avoiding calcium foods as we intuitively assume that calcium intake creates stones. Wrong. Calcium is found most abundantly in a healthy pH from vegetables and this calcium in the gut when eaten binds oxalates and drags them out through your bowels (poop) so they never get seen by the kidneys. What role does sugar and high carbohydrate intake play in your stones? Diabetics double their risk of stones by virtue of high blood sugar. Fructose increases risk for stones. Yes, you can reduce stone risk through diet, lifestyle, exercise, and a good night’s sleep.
There are nutraceuticals, homeopathic elements and drainage formulas that dramatically assist in your kidneys ability to heal.