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The link between Chronic Kidney Disease and Coeliac Disease

https://www.fau.eu/2017/08/07/news/research/important-messenger-substances-in-the-immune-system/

Coeliac Disease might not be one of the first things that comes to mind when we hear the term “Chronic Kidney Disease”, but there are some interesting links between the two diseases, and the increasing incidence of Coeliac Disease globally makes this a topic worth discussing, especially for those of you who have been diagnosed with either disease, or have a family history of them.

 

Coeliac Disease is on the rise…

The estimated rate of Coeliac Disease worldwide is 1%. That’s 1 in every 100 people. The fact that this rate is increasing and that there is a strong genetic link suggest that we can expect this figure to rise. The fact that we do not understand the mechanisms responsible for this increase means there is not a lot we can do at this stage to prevent it.

 

CD vs CKD…

Coeliac Disease is a complex and as yet not well understood autoimmune disease, however the predisposing factors are clear. Sufferers must experience a combination of genetic, immune and environmental factors for the disease to develop. It cannot develop without dietary exposure to the protein gluten, and can only be managed by removing this trigger.

 

Chronic Kidney Disease, although the majority of cases can be attributed to high blood pressure and diabetes, can develop as a result of many different factors, including autoimmune conditions, urinary tract infections, congenital malformations (meaning they are present at birth), physical obstructions of the urinary tract or prostatitis, and many other inflammatory and genetic conditions. Diet and nutrition can be of great benefit in reversing kidney disease as we know, but it is rarely the direct cause of the condition.

 

The conditions do not appear related do they? But a cohort study published by Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, which investigated the link between any form of glomerulonephritis, dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation and Coeliac Disease, has found statistical significance associating CD with an increased risk of Glomerulonephritis and renal failure.

https://academic.oup.com/ndt/article/21/7/1809/1821933

On the surface, the 2 diseases appear to be completely unrelated, so let’s look below the surface…

 

What are the links between the diseases?

In a nutshell, it appears that immune characteristics are at the core of the connection between these 2 common and very serious diseases.

There is currently a lot of scientific interest in the gut (our gastrointestinal tract), it’s mechanisms of immune regulation and that factors of modern life that present a threat to the delicate balance that it serves to maintain. In the gut resides the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, or GALT. This makes up around 70% of our body’s immune cells – 70%! If this balance is compromised therefore, so is our immune system and its’ ability to protect us from disease. I will not go into too much depth about the role of GALT in this article, and to be honest there is still an awful lot we do not yet know about what goes on in there! But here is what we do know about the gut, and the similarities that have been found between Coeliac Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease sufferers.

 

Activated Immune System 

The mucosal immune system exists in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and serves as our first line of defence against harmful pathogens, just as our skin does. It is an entire ecosystem made up of a complex network of immune cells and beneficial bacteria. Like any ecosystem, it relies on adequate nutrition, hydration and other factors to thrive and maintain homeostasis, or ‘balance’. When this barrier is compromised, protective mechanisms are initiated, one of which is the production and secretion of Secretory Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Almost 100% of Coeliac Disease patients have these antibodies present, and it appears that this same mucosal immune mechanism is also active in many forms of glomerulonephritis.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2249.1992.tb07947.x

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2016.00240/full

Gut permeability 

Tight junctions are part of the structural component of the mucosal immune system in the gut wall. They prevent toxins and harmful bacteria from entering the blood stream. Essentially, it’s what separates our internal environment from the outside world, so it’s pretty important! If these tight junctions are damaged, unwanted pathogens enter the systemic circulation and cause inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body. This has been linked, as both a cause and effect, to generalised autoimmune diseases including Coeliac Disease.

Studies have shown that a loss in kidney function can also reduce the effectiveness of the intestinal barrier, allowing pathogens to enter the bloodstream and potentially increase the decline of kidney function. Conversely, an impaired intestinal barrier can potentially lead to autoimmune kidney diseases in susceptible individuals due to the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by the failure of the body’s first line of defence.

 

Image source: https://uncexchanges.org/2017/04/03/leaky-gut-a-potential-contributor-to-the-brain-gut-microbiota-axis/

https://academic.oup.com/ndt/article/16/3/513/1823041

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071212/

Auto-antibodies 

What are auto-antibodies you ask? These are similar to the antibodies our immune systems produce to fight invading pathogens, but autoantibodies are produced when the immune system mistakenly identifies its’ own tissue as the foreign invader. Auto = Self. This is what happen in autoimmune disease. Being an auto-immune condition, auto-antibodies are raised in Coeliac Disease, and studies have shown the same auto-antibodies to be present in renal disease.

https://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/13497

What are the main threats to our internal environment?

  • Overuse of antibiotics and mediations
  • Stress
  • Chemicals in our food, water and environment
  • Pathogenic bacteria from food water and the environment
  • Poor diet
  • Genetics
  • Methods of birth and infant feeding

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483960/

 

In Conclusion…

As with CD, the incidence of end stage kidney disease is on the increase globally, the underlying causes of which are still largely unknown. Many other chronic, autoimmune and immune related conditions are also on the rise. There are of course theories which speculate on this phenomenon, such as industrialisation, the hygiene hypothesis, overuse of antibiotics, the quality and preparation of the modern diet, stress and infections to name a few, but at the end of the day there are no definitive answers and therefore no definitive solutions.

With the growing body of evidence linking the gut to a myriad of health conditions, looking after our internal ecosystem seems like a pretty logical place to start in preventative health and disease management though. Don’t you agree?

http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/publications/e-wgn/e-wgn-expert-point-of-view-articles-collection/the-global-village-of-celiac-disease-and-its-evolution-over-time

 

 

Seven Simple Home Remedies that can Help Stop the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

The purpose of this article is to share some simple strategies that can prevent CKD leading to kidney failure and the need for dialysis. But to understand how to stop the kidneys from deteriorating, we first need to be clear about what CKD actually is…

“Kidney Disease” – Quite simply, the kidneys have become damaged and cannot perform their function of filtering the blood properly.

“Chronic” – this means the condition worsens over a period of time.

So, that is the bad news, but you already knew that, right? Well, the good news is that if we understand the causes and risk factors of CKD, we can then modify these, potentially even removing them from the picture… and in the process stop the progression of CKD!

Now, there can be many causes of CKD, but there are some conditions that can increase the risk of developing it or increase the risk of existing CKD leading to kidney failure. Even if you do not suffer any of these conditions now, developing one of the following conditions will put your kidneys under more pressure. If you do suffer from one or more of these conditions, or if you have a family history of any of them, it is even more important that you continue reading this article. So here are the big three risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes (Type 1 or 2) or insulin resistance
  • Heart disease

These are three of the most common health issues in developed countries today and are rapidly increasing in developing countries as well. What is even more worrying is that as well as becoming more prevalent, they are beginning to appear earlier in life.

Before I tell you about to remedies the stop the progression of kidney disease though, it needs to be said that all modern chronic diseases such as the ones listed above are largely preventable through diet, nutrition and exercise, and it is NEVER too late to make improvements to our behaviours around how we eat and exercise… but that is not what I want to talk about today.

It may be that your genetics, your current state of health, or your continued diet and lifestyle choices are predisposing you to these conditions, and this is certainly true for chronic kidney disease. In other words, having CKD means you are more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, but developing any of these conditions first can increase the likelihood of developing kidney disease if you are genetically predisposed. This goes to show just how important it is to use preventative strategies to avoid these common health complications.

Adjust your diet and lifestyle by all means! But there are extra measures you can easily incorporate into your daily life if you are serious about taking control of your health and preventing or stopping the progression of CKD.

I know how hard it can be to change habits, but it is likely that there are things you are doing in your daily life that are contributing to the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease… after all, that is why these conditions are becoming so prevalent, because our modern dietary and lifestyle choices do not match our ancient genes.

We are always being told to add exercise, add medication, add supplements, add stress reduction techniques… all the changes are enough to cause more stress! So, to make it easier to adopt these remedies into daily life, I have researched the best ones that we can all use to REPLACE our current detrimental habits with ones that improve our health. You do not need to use all of these remedies every day, but next time you reach for a cup of coffee, make a conscious effort to replace it with one of the remedies I am about to share with you.

These are time proven, well documented, simple daily practices that will have you feeling better, strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation and stop the decline of your health. When incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, they can stop the progression of chronic kidney disease.

 

The Remedies

When you wake up, your body should be well rested, but it has gone around eight or more hours without any water! Hydrating your cells is the first thing you should do when you wake up. But there are simple ways you can turn a glass of water into a simple yet powerful remedy to nourish your body and support your kidneys.

Now we all know water is important, but when our kidneys are struggling, we do not want to add any extra pressure. Do not be in a hurry and do not feel you need to flood your body first thing in the morning. On a side note, please try to drink filtered water so that you are not adding any more chemicals or pathogens for your body to deal with.

 

1. Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered)

 This is an age-old remedy that has regained some status in recent years. Many people have this in their pantry already; if not, it is widely available in health food stores, supermarkets and even some pharmacies. Make sure it is unfiltered though, as it is the cloudy sediment, also known as “the mother”, that provides the health benefits of ACV.

Are Certified Organic Foods Better for Kidney Health?

organic kidney health

I would like to introduce to you to a fellow naturopath, Joel Le Blac. Joel hails from the land of Hobbits, Elves, and Wizards… New Zealand (for those of you who don’t know, the Lord of the Rings was filmed here).

I am really excited to welcome Joel’s expertise on my website, as it adds further experience and knowledge for you to benefit from. Why have I decided to welcome Joel in particular to my website? Well, Joel is a practicing herbalist and owner of a natural health clinic in NZ, he is an accomplished writer in many health magazines and journals (and poet I might add), and has a particular interest in kidney health.

So if you could please give Joel a huge welcome…

Organic fruit and vegetables seem to be a cleaner and greener food choice, but does choosing organic actually provide any health benefits for your kidneys? For years, the research on whether or not organic foods are better for you has vacillated. I’ve seen studies that shown purchasing organic foods makes absolutely no benefit to human health, while still yet there are studies that show organic foods are significantly higher in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, while also being lower in pesticides and bacteria.

In one particular study that always stayed with me, scientists in Spain found that organic strawberries had 76% more vitamin C than non-organic strawberries. Considering that many people eat strawberries for their high vitamin C and antioxidant levels, it’s good to know.

Recently, though, Stanford University came along and burst the bubble of organic foodies everywhere. After looking at a whopping 223 studies on organic foods, the boys (and girls) at Standford University concluded that there was little difference in the nutrition of organic vs. non-organic foods. With two exceptions — phosphorus and omega-3. (keep reading if you want to know why it is important to go organic).

Hemodialysis Diet Guidelines from a Veteran Nurse

I would like to introduce to you once again, registered nurse, Lynda Lampert. Lynda’s article The Definitive Guide To Dialysis: Types Of Dialysis, Indications, Side-Effects And More got a great reponse, so I have asked her back to continue where she left off. I have asked her talk to about the guidelines for a healthy hemodialysis diet. She jumped at the chance to talk to you, so please welcome Lynda back…

As a nurse in a hospital, I got the chance to see many patients come and go who were on hemodialysis for kidney failure. Most of the time, patients go to dialysis and have no problems with it, but when I got to see them, it was usually because something went wrong.

Unfortunately, this is often caused by patient noncompliance with treatment. The number one reason for patients to end up in my hospital, in my unit was because they skipped a dialysis day. The close second reason was that they did not follow their hemodialysis diet plan.

Hemodialysis and diet go hand in hand. If you do not follow the recommendations set down for you by your kidney doctor and your dietician, you will end up in the hospital. It’s just that simple. Your kidneys are the organ that filters all the waste and fluid from your body. They regulate the various chemicals that can harm you when present in great amounts. When you don’t have your kidneys to protect you, you have to carefully monitor what you put into your system. Don’t give your kidneys more problems than they already have. If you follow these guidelines for eating correctly on hemodialysis, you will have a smooth sailing treatment experience.

Fluid Restrictions

When you are told you have kidney disease, your doctor will most likely put you on a fluid restriction. This is because the kidneys are just not able to move the fluid off of your body. When you drink too much fluid, a number of symptoms will appear:

• Weight gain
• Shortness of breath
• Congestive heart failure
• High blood pressure
• Swelling

These symptoms are all because the fluid is backing up in your system and causing it to work harder than it normally would have to. This is why it is so important to follow the hemodialysis diet restrictions that your care team sets for you. You could literally drown yourself with water if you do not heed your restrictions. Common restrictions are for:

• 1000 mL
• 1500 mL
• 2000 mL
• 2500 mL

Your doctor will determine which level you need by evaluating your kidney function and how well hemodialysis will remove water from your body. You cannot move these numbers about or learn from the internet how much to drink. Instead, you must have an honest discussion with your doctor about how much you can drink. They use a complicated algorithm based on your medical history to determine your fluid levels. Remember, fluids includes:

The Definitive Guide On Potassium In Kidney Disease

high potassium levels
Let’s get one thing straight, you NEED potassium, even in kidney disease. Further to that, you do not need to run for the hills if a certain food has high potassium levels. Eating a well balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is a GOOD thing, and may even help you reverse your kidney disease…

Confused because it goes against everything you have read and have been told? Don’t be, there is good reason, and I’ll do my best to explain…

The purpose of this article: to dispel the mis-conceptions around lowering potassium in kidney disease; detail simple easy to follow steps on how to lower potassium levels naturally through diet and other techniques; to educate you on all things potassium, so the next time you are in front of your doctor you can keep up, and maybe even teach him or her a thing or two.

What Is Potassium And Why Do I Need It?

If you are new to this blog, it is important to know that before I start to get too deep into subject matter, I like first to bring it back a little so I can discuss the fundamentals. This gives you a good frame work to understand some of the principles that I talk about, and allows you to make better judgment calls when I, or your doctor, says something. This allows you to be in control of your health. The way it should be, yes?

What is potassium?
• Potassium at its most basic level is a soft silvery-white metal (mineral), sharing a very similar chemical structure to sodium. Behind only to calcium and phosphorus, it is the most abundant of all the minerals totalling 225 grams of your body weight – that’s the weight of the palm of your hand.
• Potassium is also known as an ‘electrolyte’, due to its ability to be electrically conductive. An important feature in the human body, considering you and I are a network of electrical pulses.
• Potassium naturally occurs in nature, and is found present in many foods (see further on for a list of foods).
• Potassium is 19th on the periodic table (K is the chemical symbol for Potassium in Latin)
• Fact: 1/3 of the body’s total energy is required to hold the location of potassium and sodium in and around our cells.
• Note: Normal serum potassium levels are: 3.5 and 5.5 mEq/L (reference range)

Why do I need it?
Our body depends on this mineral for its survival… no potassium, no humans. Amazingly through our evolution we have utilized the earth from which we have sprung to carry out and allow certain functions to occur in the body. You may have heard that potassium is good for the heart, good for muscle contractions, and therefore good for lowering blood pressure, and even that it is beneficial in nerve conduction. All of which are true, but there is so much more that this mineral does for you.

Here is a list of other health benefits and actions of Potassium:
• Regulates pH balance
• Helps to thin the blood
• Maintains water/fluid balance
• Eye health
• Increases secretion of hormones: ADH, FSH and aldosterone
• Regulates blood sugar
• Aids protein synthesis
• Regulates cell permeability
• Acts as a capacitor within our cells to store energy