High blood pressure and diabetes have been discovered by scientists as the leading causes of poor kidney health. However, diabetes and high blood pressure are triggered by poor lifestyle, diet, and obesity. Several research has recommended that the only trustworthy long-term remedy for kidney disease is to consume more clean water, exercise more regularly, and, most importantly, replace processed and unhealthy foods with natural whole foods. Scientists have also identified foods that can boost renal function and treat kidney disease; some of these foods include watermelon, ginger, and garlic. But there are also some other effective natural remedies for kidney disease.
Table of Contents
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of kidney disease
- What the kidney can do
- Causes of kidney disease
- Symptoms of kidney disease
- How kidney disease is diagnosed
- Natural remedies for kidney disease
What is Kidney Disease?
Kidney disease can prevent your body from being able to help control your blood pressure, filter extra water from your blood, and generally clean your blood. Kidney disease can also affect the production of red blood cells and the body’s vitamin D metabolism for bone health.
Every normal human being is born with two kidneys, and they are on either side of the spine, just above the waist. When there is damage to the kidneys, fluid and waste products can build up in the body. The fluid buildup can cause swelling in the ankles, shortness of breath, poor sleep, weakness, and nausea.
What The Kidneys Can Do
Healthy kidneys can perform the following functions:
- Produce a form of vitamin D that the body needs for bone health and other things
- Produce a chemical known as erythropoietin, which causes the body to produce red blood cells
- Produce renin, which is used by the body to help manage blood pressure
- Draw out waste from the body after exposure to medications or chemicals, muscle activity, and digestion
- Maintain a balance of minerals (such as phosphorus, potassium, and sodium) and water in the blood
Causes of Kidney Disease
If your kidney stops performing its functions, the doctor refers to this condition as acute renal failure or acute kidney injury. The main causes of kidney disease are as follows:
- Urine backed up in the kidneys
- Direct damage to the kidneys
- Inadequate blood flow to the kidneys
Those things can occur when you:
- Have complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Take certain medications or are close to certain toxins that directly damage the kidney
- Have an enlarged prostate that inhibits the flow of urine
- Go into shock because of a severe infection known as sepsis
- Are dehydrated, or the tissue of your muscle breaks down, sending an overabundance of protein into your bloodstream
- Sustain a traumatic injury with blood loss, such as in a car accident
Autoimmune diseases (a situation where the immune system attacks the body) can also cause acute kidney injury. People with severe heart failure often go into acute kidney injury, too.
Doctors refer to it as chronic kidney disease when your kidneys refuse to function well for more than three months. You may have symptoms in the early stages. Treating early-stage symptoms is the best and simplest. The most common culprits are HBP (high blood pressure) and diabetes (types 1 and 2). High blood sugar levels can harm your kidneys over time. Also, high blood pressure creates wear and tear on the blood vessels, including those that enter your kidneys.
Other conditions include:
- Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic and medical condition where fluid-filled sacs develop in your kidneys
- Inflammation in the glomeruli (tiny filters) in your kidneys. This can occur after a strep infection
- Pyelonephritis is a urinary tract infection inside the kidneys that can cause scarring as the infection heals. This infection can also cause kidney damage if it occurs several times
- Long-lasting viral illnesses, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, AIDS, and HIV
- Immune system diseases (if you suffer from kidney disease as a result of lupus, your doctor will refer to it as lupus nephritis)
Birth defects can affect the kidneys or block the urinary tract. One of the most common defects involves a valve between the urethra and bladder. A urologist can often perform surgery to fix these problems, which may be identified while the baby is still in the womb.
Toxins and drugs – such as IV street drugs, long-term use of some medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen, and lead poisoning – can destroy the kidney permanently, so can being too close to some chemicals over time.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease
Your kidneys are pretty adaptable. They can compensate for some of the challenges that occur when you suffer from kidney disease. Therefore, if the damage to your kidney worsens slowly, your symptoms will slowly reveal themselves over time. In fact, you may feel no symptoms until your disease has become advanced.
You might have:
- Shortness of breath, if there is a buildup of fluid in the lungs
- Chest pain, if there is a buildup of fluid around the lining of the heart
- Itching that won’t go away
- Swelling in your ankles and feet
- Muscle cramps and twitch
- Sleep issues
- Trouble thinking
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and nausea
- High blood pressure
- Loss of weight for no obvious reason
- Noticing foam in your urine
- Loss of taste
Diagnosing Kidney Disease
Your doctor will commence by asking questions about your family medical history, which kinds of drugs you are taking, and if you notice that you are urinating more or less than normal. After this interrogation, they will perform a physical exam.
You may also have:
- A kidney biopsy, where tissue from your kidney is tested in a lab to understand the cause of your kidney issues
- Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, allow the doctor to see your kidneys
- Urine test, to check for kidney failure
- Blood tests, to identify how much waste product your blood contains
Natural Remedies for Kidney Disease
It is important to monitor food and fluid intake if you have chronic kidney disease because kidneys that are diseased cannot remove waste products from the body as healthy ones can. The following are the natural remedies for kidney disease that can help you deal with your kidney disease:
1. Kidney-friendly Foods
The following are foods that can help repair your kidneys if they are damaged or diseased; these foods will also help you remain healthier for longer.
- Apples: Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber. This pectin can reduce glucose and cholesterol levels. Pectic contains high antioxidant levels. Fr4esh apples are also an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are low in calories and a source of vitamin C and fiber. Studies indicate that blueberries have the potential to guard against heart disease and cancer – they also provide the brain with health benefits.
- Fish: Some fish, such as sardines, herring, tuna, mackerel, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is essential in controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain. Studies indicate that fish may decrease the risk of having an abnormal heartbeat, reduce the levels of triglycerides, and slightly reduce blood pressure. Fish may also provide health benefits in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer.
- Kale: Kale contains rich calcium, vitamins A and C, and several minerals. It is also a source of flavonoids and carotenoids, which are essential for cancer protection and eye health. Kale also contains vitamin K, which naturally thins the blood. It also has a moderate level of potassium. Therefore, kale should be avoided by people on dialysis.
- Spinach: Spinach contains high vitamins A, C, and K – including folate. The beta-carotene contained in spinach helps boost immunity and protect vision. Spinach is also an incredible source of magnesium.
Other foods that are kidney-friendly include:
- Summer squash
The following are also good foods you can eat if you are diagnosed with both kidney disease and diabetes:
- Fruits: plums, apples, cherries, papaya, and berries
- Vegetables: spinach, onions, and cauliflower
- Proteins: unsalted seafood, eggs, and lean meats (fish, poultry)
- Carbohydrates: pasta, unsalted crackers, sandwich buns, and whole-wheat bread
- Fluids: unsweetened tea, clear soup, and water
2. Limit the Intake of Some Foods
Several foods that are part of a typical healthy diet may not be healthy for a person suffering from kidney disease. If you suffer from kidney disease, your doctor may recommend that you reduce the intake of some food items, such as:
- Salt: Stay away from table salt and seasoning food items that contain high sodium. Sodium affects blood pressure and assists in maintaining the water level in the body. If you have fluid build-up around your lungs and heart, breathing difficulty, high blood pressure, and ankle swelling, you should stay away from salt. You must maintain below 1500 milligrams of salt in your daily diet. Replace salt with herbs or spices. Avoid packaged food and read labels whenever you shop. Maintain fresh, home-cooked food. You will get used to foods with little to no salt within a week or two.
- Potassium: If you have kidney disease, high levels of potassium can develop in your blood and can result in severe heart problems. The right level of potassium keeps your muscles and nerves working efficiently. Avoid whole-grain bread, broccoli, avocados, potatoes, bananas, oranges, and tomatoes because they contain high levels of potassium. Instead, consume salads, carrots, and apples. Your doctor may recommend using a potassium binder to help your body eliminate extra potassium. Your doctor may also recommend eating foods such as cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, strawberries, cranberries, and apple.
- Protein: Though your body needs protein, more protein makes your kidney overwork and may make kidney disease worse. Consult your dietician to understand the right combination and amount of protein you need. You may need to limit foods such as dairy products, seafood, and meat.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus helps keep your bones healthy and strong. If you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot effectively remove extra phosphorus from your blood. The extra phosphorus may further weaken the bone and damage your eyes, blood vessels, and heart. Avoid foods that contain high levels of phosphorus, such as dark-colored sodas, packaged foods, whole-grain bread, nuts, beans, dairy, fish, and meat. If you suffer from late-stage kidney disease, your doctor may recommend having less than a thousand milligrams of phosphorus-rich foods in your daily diet. Consider low-level phosphorus foods like cereal, rice, corn, veggies, and fresh fruits.
- Calcium: Your doctor may also recommend avoiding over-the-counter calcium supplements and reducing calcium-rich foods such as dairy. Foods with high levels of calcium also tend to contain high levels of phosphorus.
- Fluids: Kidney disease or not, it is important that you maintain the water level in your body. But in early-stage kidney disease, it is crucial that you limit your fluid levels. Because damaged kidneys are unable to get rid of extra fluid, excess fluid can be dangerous for you. The fluid can even cause high blood pressure, heart failure, and swelling. The extra fluid may build up around your lungs and cause difficulty breathing. You should also reduce the intake of some foods that contain a lot of water, such as grapes, watermelon, gelatin, and ice cream.
Your doctor’s advice or recommendation largely depends on the stage of your kidney disease. Still, they often advise patients with kidney disease to reduce their diet’s protein, phosphorus, and potassium levels.
The following are ways you can keep your kidney healthy:
- Don’t overdo certain medications
- Take care with antibiotics
- Skip herbal supplements
- Eat healthily
- Watch your salt
- Drink enough water
- Get screened
- Be careful with alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Manage health problems
If you have either diabetes or high blood pressure (or there is a history of kidney disease in your family), confirm with your doctor how often you need to be tested. Doing this is very important so your kidney can work as well as possible. And if your kidney disease is still in the early stage, consider the natural remedies for kidney disease already provided in this post.
What Herbs Can Maintain Kidney Health?
While there isn’t a single herb that can cure kidney disease, some herbs can strengthen the immune system and help cleanse the body of toxins. These include stinging nettle, hawthorn, flaxseed, and alfalfa.
What Medicines Cure Kidney Disease?
There are many different medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, that can help people with kidney disease. Your nephrologist (kidney doctor) can recommend the best treatment for you. Some types of medicines are: ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Diuretics, Phosphate binders, Protein blockers.
What Causes Kidney Disease In Adults?
Many causes of kidney disease in adults include diabetes, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, sickle cell disease, and lupus.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.