Kidney disease is an unpleasant condition at the best of times (to say the least), particularly when the symptoms of kidney disease creep in un-expectantly. Symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness (even when walking to the letter box), dry skin, urination changes, gout, thirst, sore back, just to name a few. But one of the most exasperating symptoms undoubtedly is itchy skin (kidneys itching).
Kidney disease and itching (pruritus) unfortunately go hand in hand because of the build up of phosphates (phosphorus) and uremic toxins. Uremia is the build up of nitrogenous waste products in the blood (urea) that are typically eliminated via the urine. But because the kidneys and not functioning as well as they could, they are unable to eliminate all of the waste products.
But not to worry, Nature has our back! Nature has provided us many real solutions in helping reduce the itchiness.
Here are my top 7 natural treatments for kidney disease and itching:
1. The number 1 most important thing you can do is to treat your kidneys as a whole. You can’t just slap on a cream and hope that is all you need to do. Yes it may help, but are you really healing? No. Just masking. And yes even if it is a “natural” cream you are still “masking”.
There are many things you can do to heal yourself and turn the tables in your favour, even if it is just to prevent any further deterioration; eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, take supplements such as fish oil, vitamin C (less than 1.5g a day), glycine, cordyceps (and that is just the tip of the iceberg), and practice mindfulness (meditation – mindset). You’ll be amazed at the turn around.
2. Chickweed: Chickweed is a fabulous plant, and is probably the best plant to reduce itchiness in any type of condition. Mainly used in conditions such as eczema and dermatitis where itchiness is involved, you will find it a soothing and healing cream for the skin. Normally available in most health stores where it is ready made into a cream, ointment, or salve. Otherwise search online where you will sure to find this fabulous cream (please do not take this herb internally). Note: Aloe Vera gel (the one you use for sunburn) could also be a suitable topical skin remedy, though try Chickweed cream first.
3. Homeopathy: is another fantastic way to stop itchiness, but to make sure you get the best one for you; you need to match up the homeopathic that fits your condition the best. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but the closer the match the better. Here is what I mean with the following homeopathic remedies…
- Arsenicum is best for: itching, tickling, crawling, burning. Worse after itching.
- Carbolicum acidum is best for: itching, prickling, burning, numbness. Better after scratching (but returns soon).
- Mezereum is best for: intense itching, feels as if insects are crawling over skin. Worse after itching.
- Dolichos is best for: intense itching, cold water makes itchy skin burn. You may suffer from constipation.
Which of those remedies suited your symptoms most? Again, doesn’t have to be perfect match, but the select the one that is the closest to you. Homeopathy comes in many different strengths, look for a 30C if you can get, otherwise purchase what is available.
4. Bath treatments: bath treatments are great when you make the effort, because they kind of kill 3 birds with one stone, being: cleaning, treating, and relaxing.
- Baking soda bath: Soak yourself for 15-30 minutes using a cup of baking soda per full bath tub. This works by drawing out the toxins. However, if the skin is broken, baking soda should not be used.
- Peppermint bath: there is a number of ways you can do this, either grab a handful of peppermint leaves from your garden, crush them in your hand, and place them in a bath. Or, buy a box of 100% peppermint tea bags, and place 4 teabags within a lukewarm bath. You may also like to throw in some oatmeal (let’s say 2 cups), while you’re in there! Soak yourself for 15-30 minutes.
5. Emergency tip: believe it or not Vicks vapour rub has a few more tricks up it sleeve than simply relieving that head cold. Vicks can be applied to a trouble spot for immediate quick relief. While it is not a ‘cure’ as such, it sure can give you relief when you really need it, plus it will leave you smelling eucalyptus and minty fresh! Also provides quick relief from mosquito bites.
6. Management: common sense also plays a role in treatment; do away with tight irritating clothing, avoid repeated use of soaps and shampoos (etc), topical irritants on clothing, and any other chemicals on or around your skin. Use natural products where possible.
7. Seek professional help! Always seek professional help if it just getting too much. It very may well be a symptom of kidney failure, but it could be something else all together, and therefore require another treatment altogether. When doubt, seek advice.
So there you have it, my 7 top tips in treating kidneys itching. I hope they do just the thing for you!
UPDATE: Always one to want to give you more, I have an eigth tip to reduce itching in kidney disease. Because itching is commonly caused by an build up of phosphates in the blood, then it stands to reason that one of the primary treatments is to reduce phosphates in the diet. However, please confirm this via a blood test first, as not all kidney patients with itchy skin have high phosphate levels in the blood. Foods that need to be resistricted due to their phosphate levels include: meats, seafood, fish, dairy, milk, cream, cola or coke, chocolate, biscuits, ketchup, mayonnaise, cheese, ice-cream, lentils, nuts, seeds, beans.
About the Author: Hello, my name is Duncan Capicchiano, I am the owner and creator of KidneyCoach.com. My professional background is Naturopathy, and I am also an International Author and Researcher that specialises in the treatment and management of kidney disease. My most famous work in kidney disease is The Kidney Disease Solution Program. Lastly - but most importantly - I am the loving "father" of my two dogs Ruby and Pebbles, my horse Cossie, and husband to my beautiful wife, Fiona.