As with any condition, learning how to manage and treat the symptoms is an important step to break-free and live a normal healthy life. In the case of renal failure symptoms, there are unfortunately many to contend with, but it is my hope that this post will serve as guide to eliminate one of the most common of them known as: renal failure edema.
Renal failure edema is a renal failure symptom whereby the kidneys are unable to excrete enough fluid, via the urine, to create a healthy internal balance.
There are many pharmaceuticals drugs (diuretics) and alternative therapies that can help improve urine flow and reduce swelling (edema), but the trick is getting the right one for your kidney disease symptom.
Unfortunately many diuretics can cause renal failure, or reduce kidney function as part of their side-effects… Doesn’t make sense does it?
This is not an exhaustive list by any measure, but the following drugs have been implicated with renal failure or decreased renal function: Spironolactone (Aldactone), Chlorothiazide (Diuril, Diuril Sodium), and Triamterene (Dyrenium). I would recommend asking your doctor next time you visit to double check the side effects of the diuretic that he or she has prescribed you. Otherwise, jump online at www.drugs.com to assess the side effects for yourself; and then bring up any concerns you have with your health care professional.
Note: Diuretic drugs can play a much needed role in the management of kidney disease, especially when a fast and much needed action is required. You just need to play it right, and play it safe.
Option Number 2 (or should it be number 1?)
Thankfully Mother Nature has some answers of her own! She has been busy the last few hundred million years formulating specific plants to provide the same benefits as drugs – the only difference being that there are virtually no side-effects.
That’s not to say you can take any at random, no that is definitely not the case, in fact you have to be just as careful prescribing natural remedies during kidney disease as you do drugs. The only difference is, is that when you select the appropriate plant, the side-effects are always less than the pharmaceutical drugs counterpart.
So What Are The Best Natural Treatment For People With Renal Failure Edema?
Herbal Medicine Tips
In no particular order, here are some of the best herbs to reduce renal edema and improve urination:
- Celery seed: the is a fantastic remedy, one of the best, but those categorised with stage 3-5 kidney disease need to avoid it; it may be consumed freely as a part of your diet, but not as a concentrated supplement. The plant is also fantastic at treating gout, rheumatism and urinary tract infections.
- Green tea: has been used as a diuretic in China for centuries, and is very safe. Green tea is also beneficial for atherosclerosis, prevention of cancer, high cholesterol, and infections.
- Gravel root: a gentle herb used to eliminate excess fluid. Also beneficial for rheumatic conditions, prostatitis, urinary tract infections, and of course kidney stones (hence the name ‘gravel’ root).
- Goldenrod: beneficial for both the kidneys and reducing edema, however this herb cannot be used in all stages of kidney disease (avoid in stages 3-5). Goldenrod is also an excellent herb for sinusitis, throat infections, cystitis, and flatulence.
- Dandelion leaf (not to be confused with the root): is a well known diuretic for many centuries. This plant needs to be avoided in those with high potassium blood levels (hyperkalemia), and those with gallbladder problems.
- Nettle leaf (not to be confused with the root): a great all round herb that is gentle, nutritious and helps heal the kidneys.
- Juniper: this herb is excellent for eliminating fluid retention, but like celery seed it needs to avoided in cases where stage 3-5 kidney disease is present; also beneficial for rheumatism, digestion, and cystitis.
- Butcher’s broom: This is herb is a great choice in those whose main contributing factor for fluid retention is poor circulation (which is common in renal failure).
For many of you with hypertension (aka high blood pressure), a fire is burning intensely within you, which must be extinguished. Inflammation is the cause of many illnesses, and studies now point towards inflammation as a key trigger and driver for high blood pressure – the second biggest cause of kidney disease after diabetes.
If you haven’t already gathered, treating the cause of your illness is rule number one for healing yourself from renal disease (and any disease for that matter), so excuse when I repeat myself 5 billion times on this one…
“Treat the cause, not the symptoms. Treat the person, not the disease.”
So when I came across this study, I just had to show you. The results weren’t just suggestive, they were straight out conclusive! (Study: JAMA December 10, 2010, Vol 290. No. 22 2945)
A group of researchers came together to observe whether C-reactive protein (= a marker of systemic inflammation) is linked to high blood pressure. C-reactive protein has already been connected with the increased likelihood of myocardial infarction (= heart attack) and stroke, so the dangers to the cardiovascular system is already well established. On a side note: inflammation has also been associated with the development of diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, dementia, increased aging, arthritic conditions, skin disorders, immune dysfunction, and many more.
The study began by taking blood samples from 20,525 people with normal blood pressure. 7.8 years later they measured the same individuals again, and discovered that now a quarter of them had high blood pressure (5,365). C-reactive protein was then tested and shown to be significantly associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
They concluded “C-reactive protein levels are associated with future development of hypertension, which suggests that hypertension is in part an inflammatory disorder.”
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), practice mindfulness (meditation – mindset), or even follow my Kidney Disease Solution program =>> www.BeatKidneyDisease.com (Yes that was a shameless plug, but it’s my blog I figure! ). 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.
First of all I would like to say … Merry Christmas!!! Thank you to all of you who have wished me happy holidays too. I REALLY appreciate it. I also want to thank all of you who have supported me and my blog throughout this year. Again, I REALLY appreciate it!
OK today I thought I would hone in on something that is often a result of over indulgence, and since it is Christmas … well, it is perfect.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs/cystitis) are common place over the holiday season, or any celebration, because what we consider is party food, is also ‘party’ food for the little bugs that live within us. Shame.
As you may be aware one of the top causes of kidney failure, especially acute kidney failure (aka acute renal failure), is infection of the kidneys. Now this can occur for a number of reasons: imbalance of good to bad bacteria, kidney drainage problem (often caused by under functioning bladder, or damaged ureters), diet, and the like. So when you incur a urinary tract infection it is best to turn to natural medicines to get on top of it quick smart.
With that all being said here are my top 5 natural remedies to eliminate urinary tract infections fast:
1. D-Mannose: still not a well known product, but it is slowly making its way into the main stream as an effective agent for eliminating UTIs on the back of many clinical studies. D-Mannose is a sugar that is easily absorbed in the body, where its main action is to inhibit the adhesion of the bacteria E. coli. The great news is this has been shown to significantly reduce bacteria in the urine within 1 day.
2. Cranberry: is probably the most well known natural medicine that treats UTIs, and like D-Mannose its action is also by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria along the urinary tract. Studies have shown that cranberry juice can inhibit up to 75% of bacteria sticking the bladder surface.
Those suffering from kidney disease, or any chronic illness, need quality sleep to help maintain and aid the healing process. Unfortunately, this is an often over looked principle for great health. Thankfully, it was hit home again to me at a seminar that I attended on the weekend.
Dr. Craig Hassad from Monash University (Melbourne) presented and amazingly holistic approach to chronic illness; everything from stress management, spirituality, exercise, nutrition, and environmental factors were covered. One section of the talk particularly pricked my ears up. Dr. Craig stated that if the drug companies could bottle the benefits of sleep (and exercise for that matter), then a drug trial for one person, for one year, would cost in excess of $100,000 … And that is without exaggeration.
Consider these stats for increasing Advanced NK-cell Activity (=immune function) through sleep. Adequate sleep increases the activity of the immune system by a whopping 44%! And this is only out done by exercise (47%), and stress management (45%). Makes you think what all the fuss is about when scientists are high-fiving each other when they get and improvements of 2-4% through drugs, doesn’t it? Especially when it is available to all of us for free.
Insomnia (lack of sleep) occurs when the body and mind are in a state of alertness. Overactivity during the day often persists at night in the form of restless or broken sleep.
So today I thought I would share my top 10 tips for a deep, restful sleep (and they won’t cost you a penny):
Remember that habits are as hard to form as they are to break, so put each hint into practice for at least ten consecutive nights (preferably twenty one nights) before discarding this as “not for me”.
1. Notify your health practitioner of medical conditions which might interfere with sleep such as asthma, heart burn, angina, arthritis, pain or breathlessness under treatment.