Kidney disease can be a life threatening condition if not treated promptly. If treated in the early stages, kidney disease is most treatable, and little damage will occur to the kidneys. Most often disease of the kidneys is caused by an underlying condition; the two most common diseases that result in kidney dysfunction are diabetes and untreated heart disease. If you have these conditions it is important you treat them. There are other diseases that may result in damage to your kidneys. These may result in an obstruction for example to the urinary tract, which can result in damage to the kidneys.
If your doctor removes the obstruction, then your kidneys will return to proper function. If your doctor begins treatment for diabetes, then your kidneys are more likely to retain good functioning. If you use medicines that damage the kidneys, your doctor can address this with you, as long term use of some medications that affect the kidneys can also result in kidney damage and disease. Here are some medicines that can affect the kidneys for your reference:
– Herbs, including Chinese herbs
– ACE inhibitors (like ramipril, captopril, and enalapril)
– Angiotensin II receptor blockers
– Certain cancer treating drugs
If you are on any of these medications, you should talk to your doctor about tests to assess kidney function.
Common Treatments for Kidney Disease
– Eat well for your disease and exercise regularly, at least 2 to 3 hours each week when possible.
– Do not allow your body to dehydrate. Make sure you receive an adequate intake of fluids, but do not receive too many fluids if you are at an advanced stage of kidney failure.
– Do not use tobacco or nicotine products or smoke. This can reduce the flow of blood to your blood and your kidneys.
– Do not use alcohol
– Do not use illegal drugs
– If you have high blood pressure, treat it according to the recommendations provided by your doctor.
– Use medicines as recommended by your doctor, which may include medicines to reduce proteins in the urine.
– Control your blood sugar level, this is particularly important if you have diabetes; it is also important you maintain an adequate weight.
More aggressive treatment may be necessary if you are at a more advanced stage of kidney dysfunction; this depends on many factors. Your doctor will keep tabs on the condition of your kidneys to determine what types of treatment you require at various times. These tests will include tests to assess how well your kidneys filter your blood. For example, a GFR test may be ordered. Other tests include tests to monitor the amount of protein spilled in the urine. Your doctor may adjust the amount of medicine you require based on the results of those tests.
Even with treatment your disease sometimes will get worse, because kidney disease is often progressive. Symptoms of worsening kidney disease may include nausea, loss of appetite, and worsening fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe a stricter eating plan that will help slow the progression of the disease. Sometimes complications result from kidney disease including a buildup of chronic diseases and wastes in the body; this condition is known as uremic syndrome. It can affect many body systems and may result in a need for dialysis.
When chronic kidney disease is not easily controlled, the kidneys can begin to fail, which can make a person very ill. This can result in serious illness throughout the body. When this happens dialysis is necessary; hemodialysis is the use of a machine that helps clean the blood. Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the belly to help clean the body.
Natural Treatments for Kidney Disease
There are natural treatments one can use to help with kidney disease as well. These include:
– Enjoy 1-2 cups of Nettle tea daily
– Watermelon, asparagus, black beans, and celery have all been shown to improve kidney function.
– Drink 1-2 liters of pure fresh water, spaced out in ‘mouthfuls’ throughout the day rather drinking large glassfuls close together – to take off the load on your kidneys
– Try using natural diuretics, which can help eliminate extra water from the body; these include red clover tea; dandelion leaf; parsley; juniper berries. Please note: if you have high potassium levels in your blood, please do not take dandelion leaf
– Try consulting with a natural health provider who can make thorough and personalized recommendations.
– As always, get plenty of rest and exercise.
Duncan Capicchiano N.D. is a fully qualified Naturopath, Author, and Medical researcher specializing in kidney disease. For more information on kidney disease treatment and how you can improve your kidney function naturally, please visit his website at www.KidneyDiseaseSecrets.com where you can grab a FREE copy of his kidney disease secrets mini-course.
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