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The Ultimate A to Z Guide to Chronic Renal Failure (Part 1)

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In today’s article I want to talk to you about chronic renal failure; what it is, what causes it, the best blood tests, and a whole lot more. However, today I want to do something a little different, I want to break it down in to an A to Z guide so you can quickly reference the major key topics – so in that way you have a valuable resource to refer back to in the future.

Interesting…

Chronic renal failure is an interesting condition, it affects 2 out of every 1,000 people in the United States; 11% of all deaths in Australia are due to, or associated with, renal failure; 20 to 30 percent of people with diabetes will develop kidney disease; 1 in 9 adults have a minimum of one renal failure sign or symptom; it is one the quickest growing diseases in the world… yet it is still largely not a condition that many understand, or have been appropriately informed about.

Definition:

But before I go into any specifics with this condition, I wanted to quickly define exactly what I am referring to when I say “Chronic Renal Failure”. For the purposes of this article, chronic renal failure means any dis-ease of the kidneys that causes diminishment of kidney function, as shown by an estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate test (eGFR). In contrast, the term “End Stage Renal Failure” only describes kidneys that have a kidney function of less than 15%.

The Ultimate A-Z Guide To Chronic Renal Failure

A is for Alkaline
Alkalinity is an important concept to understand and implement when dealing with chronic kidney failure. Alkalinity is a must for your body’s tissues to survive and thrive. In fact, your body will do anything it can to keep your blood pH in the narrow window of 7.35 to 7.45pH – your body will literally break down its bones for the calcium contained within them to keep your body alkaline!

Normally however, keeping the body acid/alkaline balance within your body is the job of the kidneys. When your kidneys begin to diminish in function so too does their ability to excrete the acid and maintain the alkalinity in your blood. Therefore eating an alkaline diet is the best way to protect and improve the health of your kidneys.

To add further strain on already strained kidneys, many of today’s lifestyle choices are acid forming as well as changes to our environment:

  • Diet: e.g. alcohol, sugar, coffee, red meat, grains
  • Chemicals: e.g. industrial chemicals, cleaning products, paint, makeup and cosmetics
  • Pesticides
  • Heavy metals
  • Excess exercise
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

For more information on alkalinity and the alkaline diet, please see my article here.

B is for Blood tests
I cannot emphasise how important it is to get your blood regularly tested. Blood tests help in the following ways:blood tests

  • Monitors the progression of your condition
  • Tracks that your treatments are working
  • Informs you of any abnormal developments in your health
  • Allows you to tailor your diet to suit your needs e.g. potassium, phosphorus, sodium, vitamin D, and calcium levels
  • By knowing the current state of your body, and understanding that state, you’re better equipped to make positive changes. It is shown people feel more in control and are more likely to make the changes when they understand their condition and all facets related to their condition.
  • It will show you your current percentage of kidney function

The best blood tests to assess your renal failure are:

  1. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  2. Creatinine
  3. 24hr creatinine clearance
  4. Urinalysis
  5. BUN
  6. Kidney biopsy
  7. Imaging

Please see my article here for a detailed description of each test in chronic renal failure: Top 7 Kidney Tests To Measure Your Kidney Function

Other important tests include: Potassium levels, Sodium levels, Phosphate levels, Vitamin D levels, Calcium levels, Parathyroid hormone levels, and Hemoglobin levels.

Top 7 Tips For A Healthy Renal Diet

renal diet

Today I wanted to clear up a few things in regards to what constitutes a healthy renal diet. I receive emails daily from confused and at their “wits end” kidney disease sufferers, wanting to know what they can eat. Especially what they CAN eat, not what they CAN’T eat (fair enough too).

This problem lays not in whether or not the right information is out there, but unfortunately in that all the good information has been diluted by all the garbage out there. Mass article writers, without any medical training, and even worse, (some) large kidney health organisations are to blame. Articles are prepared to supply a demand, but are not based on any proper healthy renal diet knowledge.

A diet can be healthy for one person, and harmful to another, a diet can be deemed healthy in terms of the right proportions of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, but totally miss the mark in taking into account foods that have a directed negative impact to the kidneys. This is the problem, and this why you are reading one article that says “X”, and another that says “Y”.

And so my goal today is to provide reliable, trustworthy renal diet information based on sound naturopathic and nutritional teachings to provide you with the top 7 tips on how to eat a healthy renal diet – so that you may at least have your foundations right; because without healthy dietary foundations, then any renal failure diet guidelines you follow… will fail.

Here Are My Top 7 Healthy Renal Diet Tips:

1. Consume: Everyone is telling you want you can’t eat, so I decided to tell you first what you can eat. Nothing’s better to knock the wind out of your sails while you are trying to come to terms with your current health situation, than to be faced we a wall of “Can’t have’s”, and “Should not’s”.

The list of foods below is deemed “healthy” in kidney disease, but also some of the foods are especially beneficial for kidney disease. These foods are marked with an asterix*.

Fruits: Apples, without skin; Apricot; Blueberries*; Grapes, red or green; Peach; Pears, asian; Pineapple; Plums; Raspberries*; Strawberries; Watermelon*.
Vegetables: Asparagus*; Cabbage, red; Cauliflower; Celery; Garlic; Lettuce, iceberg; Mushrooms; Onion; Parsley; Radishes; Mung beans, sprouted.
Protein: Fish*; Chicken; Tempeh*; Tofu*.
Miscellaneous: Carob (good alternative to chocolate); Flaxseed Oil*; Hummus; Popcorn, air-popped; Rice, white; Sea Salt; Olive Oil; Olives; Horseradish; Tapioca pearls; Oregano; Curry Powder; Sesame seed kernels; Paprika; Macadamia nuts.

Of course there are more foods than this that you can eat while suffering with renal failure, the difference being is that these foods are “healthy”. It is also important to note that these foods also satisfy the requirements of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium content for renal diet (as explained below), but with most things in life, you can have too much of a good thing – therefore the foods are healthy when eaten at normal servings sizes per day. Don’t overdo anything, moderation is the key.

2. Avoid: Unfortunately this tip cannot be avoided, there are simply foods that are downright bad for your kidneys, and these need to be removed from your renal diet. Here are a list of foods deemed “bad” for kidney disease, and therefore should be avoided in your renal diet:
Red meat: See my article on negative effects of red meat here
Dairy: this includes, milk, butter, cream, ice-cream, yoghurt, and all dairy containing pre-made products.
Alcohol: ALL alcohol, including red wine.
Gluten: is found in flour based products; and therefore in the following grains: wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, oats, and barley. Safe gluten FREE grains and alternatives include: rice, corn, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff, and buckwheat.
Highly processed foods
Sugar

There are many more foods that I could list, but these main categories encompass the best part of them. If you can follow an unprocessed, whole food renal diet, then meal times will be a breeze. If you resist change, and resort to processed, take-away, and pre-packaged foods, then you will struggle, and fail to realise the benefits that a healthy renal diet can have on you and your kidneys.

One Simple Cooking Herb May Reverse Oxidative Kidney Damage

ginger alcohol oxidative kidney damageWe’ve all cooked with it, added it to a veggie juice, or had it as a warming soothing tea. But now the scientists at the Sri Venkateswara University in India (Molecular Biology division) have taken it one step further and started running extensive tests on this humble herb. This humble herb you know as Ginger, and it has been shown to have positive and remarkable effects in the treatment and management of alcohol induced renal oxidative damage. Who would have thunk it?

It is well known that herbal medicines can help protect the kidneys, reverse kidney damage, and assist in the management and reduction of symptoms – there are literally umpteen herbs to choose from. But ginger, before this study, has not really been regarded as one of them (traditional chinese medicine has used ginger to varying degrees for kidney complaints, but in a limited capacity compared to other herbal medicines).

The study led by Shanmugam Ramdudu PhD, together with five other scientists, set out to investigate the renal protective effects of ginger against alcohol-induced oxidative stress and tissue damage. Knowing that alcohol consumption is widespread across the world, causing many diseases, and the over production of oxidative stress, the scientists considered what impact this may have on the kidneys (a major detoxifying organ), and if the herb ginger may lend a solution to this problem.

The scientists decided on ginger as they had recently completed a study proving its benefits for protecting the liver. Not only this, but in recent times ginger has been subject to countless other studies for the treatment and management of diseases, such as: cataracts, stroke, rheumatism, diabetes, neural disorders, and asthma!

The Scientific Method

The scientists used twenty four Wistar rats (aged 6 months) to conduct the study, which were divided up into four distinct groups:
1.    Normal control group (Nc): feed a normal diet
2.    Ginger treated group (Gt): given a ginger extract (equiv. 200mg/kg body weight) everyday for 30 days
3.    Alcohol treated group (At): given 20% alcohol (equiv. 2g/kg body weight) everyday for 30 days
4.    Alcohol plus ginger treated group (At + Gt): alcohol and ginger in the same dosages described above, everyday for 30 days. Alcohol was given first, followed by the ginger extract 5 minutes later.

Immediately after the final dosage, the scientists measured the following parameters: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidise (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR); all powerful antioxidants enzymes used by the body to quench free radical damage and protect the kidneys.

The Results

The following is a summary of the impressive results attained:

Kidney Diet – The Best Diet for Kidney Disease Sufferers?

kidney diet

Hey Guys!

I just finished my first experiment with video! I have been meaning to do this for A-G-E-S and now I have finally done it!

I have posted my 9 minute presentation on YouTube (which discusses the best kidney diet for kidney disease), placed it on here, and now I urge you to go check it out (wanting to use a “!” so badly right now).

In this presentation I discuss the benefits of an alkaline diet in kidney disease, and how this small change can have a massive impact to your kidney health.

Please let me know what you think of it, in fact, I would be so grateful if you could watch over on YouTube itself (click here to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIapd1INkvc), place a comment on it, and then subscribe to my youtube.com channel – that way I feel the love, which keeps me posting great content, and you will receive this information directly so you never miss a beat.

I plan to produce a lot more of these over the coming months, so if you have any tips, ideas, or comments please let me know.

Again, simply click on the YouTube button directly below and leave your comments and subscribe to my youtube channel… Enjoy!

kidney diet - youtube video

Until next time, take care!

Duncan

 

 

Please note: before under taking any new kidney diet, please make sure you speak to your health care professional first. It is wise, especially with this kidney diet, that your potassium levels are assessed.

 

kidney diet

The Definitive Guide on Protein and Kidney Disease

protein and kidney disease

Hi all! Today I wanted to talk about protein. Protein as most would know is at the heart of much discussion when it comes to treating and managing kidney disease, but for many it still remains a mystery. Questions such as: Does protein cause further kidney damage? How much should I take during each stage of kidney disease? And what are the best sources of protein? Are just a few of the questions I get commonly asked about protein and kidney disease. All of which I want to clarify and answer for you today (and more).

… With any topic is important to understand the fundamentals, so before I can start saying have X amount of protein at stage 4 kidney disease, you really need to know what the heck protein is! This is important because it gives you a deeper understanding of how your body works and interacts with its environment, and because of this you have far greater chance of following and sticking to the recommendations.

This article is a result of two of my awesome followers (Steven and Mark) asking a question on my facebook fan page; I created my facebook fan page to build a community, for people to “mingle”, chat with each other, pass ideas around, learn, discover, keep up to date with all my latest articles and information, and of course, a place to interact with me and ask questions. You can find me on my facebook fan page here: http://www.facebook.com/kidneycoach
(Remember to click the “LIKE” button near the top of the page to get access to the community)

So What The Heck Is Protein?

To me proteins are simply amazing. Proteins are literally the building blocks of our body, plus they perform what seems every biological function in our body. To demonstrate this, here are just some of the most important functions performed by proteins:
•    Blood Clotting – fibrin is a protein in the blood which causes the blood to coagulate, and therefore stop bleeding.
•    Carrier Proteins – haemoglobin is a “carrier” protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.