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.
Just thought I would tell you about this really cool study I saw today. Some of you may already know that one of the key nutrients to avoid in kidney disease is potassium (from food). Now potassium is an essential nutrient, and in particular a VERY good nutrient for the heart – in fact, one of the best remedies for high blood pressure is taking a potassium supplement. However in kidney disease it is very easy for the levels of this nutrient to sky-rocket in the blood – due to the fact that the body (kidneys) can no longer maintain the ideal levels necessary for optimal health. This is not the case for everybody with kidney disease, so it is a good thing to have your levels checked at your next blood test.
One of the best ways to manage your potassium levels is to limit the amount of foods that contain high amounts of potassium. As you will see this is easier said than done! This is because most of the ‘healthy’ foods contain high amounts of potassium: fruit, vegetables, and nuts. So what to do? Well you may have heard that there is a technique called potassium leaching; potassium leaching is a simple method used to ‘leach’ out some, or the majority, of potassium.
Here is a typical method for leaching potassium from vegetables:
- Peel the vegetable, cut into small pieces and place in a very large pot of water.
- Rinse the vegetables thoroughly.
- Fill a pot of water and place the vegetables within to soak for a minimum of four hours at room temperature (or you can let them soak overnight in the refrigerator).
- After soaking, rinse the vegetables with fresh water.
- Cook vegetables as desired.
This recipe I thought I would share is great for everybody; it is vegetarian friendly, high in fibre, low GI (therefore great for kidney diabetes too), highly alkaline, and packed full of nutrients that your body, and kidneys, will thank you for. Oh yes, and very delicious!
Here’s what you do…
Cooking & preparation time: 40 minutes
- 170g (3/4 cup) dried chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans)
- 1/3 cup (firmly packed) coriander leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/3 cup (firmly packed) continental parsley leaves
- 3 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Olive oil spray
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large (about 350g) eggplant (aka aubergine), ends trimmed, cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 small onion, halved, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch rocket, ends trimmed, washed, dried, leaves torn
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 ripe egg tomatoes, each tomato cut into 6 wedges
- 130g (1/2 cup) natural plain yoghurt (reduced fat)
Lipoic acid, a sulphur based compound, would have to be one of the most intriguing and unique vitamins known to man. Since its discovery in 1951, lipoic acid (also known as thioctic acid) has been shown to treat diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, heavy metal toxicity, inflammation, insulin resistance, kidney damage, nerve damage, liver damage, heart disease, arthritis, poor memory, stroke, vision problems, renal failure, Parkinson’s disease, and more!
The secret to its staggering ability to treat pretty much “whatever ails ya”, is the ability of this vitamin to be both water soluble and fat soluble, plus, have the ability to ‘renew and recycle’ other antioxidants. You see first of all, vitamins are either water soluble (e.g. Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and C) or fat soluble (e.g. Vitamin A, D, E, and K), which limits the vitamins effectiveness in certain areas of the body – depending whether it is a water or fat environment. Lipoic acid therefore has the ability to cross over wherever the body needs it, including the blood/brain barrier! Secondly, lipoic acid has the capability turn ‘used’ antioxidants (e.g. Vitamin E and C) into ‘available’ antioxidants for the body to use again – in other words, giving them a second life.
Here are just a few of its facts:
- Only known antioxidant that that is both water and fat soluble
- Clinical studies have shown lipoic acid to be kidney protective
- Significantly reduces symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
- Improves insulin sensitivity – improves blood sugar control
- Increases immune function – by increasing T lymphocyte production
- Improves energy production – via the ATP pathways
- Supports the elimination of heavy metals – increased chelation (=binding) of heavy metals in the liver
- Supports mitochondrial function – the energy power houses found mainly within the muscles
- Food sources: broccoli, brewer’s yeast, brussels sprouts, rice bran, egg yolk, spinach, potatoes, and animal liver, heart, and kidneys (though requires supplementation for therapeutic effects)
Now before you race off to purchase some, there is just one matter to make sure you have right before you do, and that is making sure you buy the correct type. You see there are three different forms of lipoic acid, and the differences are quite dramatic.
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.