There is a saying I love: “Spirit is simple, the Mind makes things complex”, and for me it is no different with healing. Your body wants to heal, there is nothing that it wants to do more; it was designed to heal.
Improving Your Kidney Function Can Be Simple
So you see for many, improving kidney function doesn’t need to be difficult. In most cases, simply by stepping to the side and getting out of your own way, checking your thoughts, fears, and excuses at the door, you can catalyse massive changes in your health, by simply allowing the healing to take place.
Rubbing Lanterns Won’t Help Improve Your Kidney Function, But Here’s What Can…
Now stay with me… I am not saying that that you can cure all by thinking just happy thoughts, wishing, and “getting out of the way”, no definitely not. There are many practical things you can do every day, with little to no fuss that are very effective in helping increase kidney function. Very helpful indeed.
Note: thinking positive however sure won’t hurt, in fact it will go along way; your mindset is the single biggest determining factor on how quickly you heal.
… So in tune with today’s theme of simplicity, I would like to share with you 10 effortless tips that can be applied immediately to help your kidney function, no need to leave home, and no need to spend a dime.
How To Improve Kidney Function In 10 Easy Steps
OK, let’s begin shall we?
1. The Water Hydration Technique: You know how most of us generally go for long periods without water, become thirsty (and dehydrated) and scull the next available glass in about 30 seconds? Have you ever thought what this does to your body? No? I don’t blame you.
The actual fact of the matter is that every time you a drink a glass of water (or any fluid) in a hurry, you are placing pressure on kidney function. How? Well, seeing as one of the functions of the kidneys is to keep the fluid levels in the blood stream balanced, by drinking a full glass of water at once you are essentially dumping a large amount of water into the blood stream, which the kidneys now need to balance out (i.e. increase urine production). By drinking slowly, a mouthful at a time, you reduce the pressure on the kidneys and increase hydration. Sound too simple to do any good? Good. Now try it.
2. Sunshine: As you are probably aware, when sunlight touches the skin, light sensitive receptor cells are activated to produce the active form of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits in the body, the main benefits being: cancer prevention, immune system enhancement, bone health, and regulation of phosphorus and calcium levels (which is important in kidney disease).
Did you know then that one of the key functions of kidneys is to active vitamin D too? True. By spending just 15 mins a day under the light of the sun, you can let the sun and your skin do all the work. Your kidneys will be saved the extra work, and at the same time you get to enjoy the open air.
The other important thing to note is that if your kidney function has deteriorated too far, then your kidneys will not be able to produce enough active vitamin D anyway, making sunshine all the more necessary.
Low levels have been linked to diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and heart disease. People experiencing kidney disease, coupled with low vitamin D levels, have a 26 percent greater risk of dying than those with sufficient levels of vitamin D.
Have your vitamin D levels tested with your next visit at your doctors:
Optimal reference range for healthy individuals:
- US measurement: 50 to 70 ng/mL
- World measurement: 125 to 175 nmol/L
Optimal reference range for treating heart disease, cancer, and kidney disease:
- US measurement:70 to 80 ng/mL
- World measurement: 175 to 200 nmol/L
Is the sun shining where you are right now? If yes, jump outside!
I get asked a lot about creatinine; what is it, what causes high creatinine levels, and how to lower it naturally? It’s understandable, creatinine levels are looked upon as the best determining factor of the health of your kidneys, and is routinely tested for and discussed by your doctor.
But I must warn you, lowering creatinine SHOULD NOT be your ultimate goal, it is only secondary to the bigger picture… (keep reading to find out why).
So What is Creatinine?
• Creatinine is a waste product of the major energy metabolite creatine.
• Normal creatinine serum blood levels are:
- 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dl in males (53 to 106 umol/L)
- 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dl in females (44 to 97 umol/L)
• Creatinine is usually found in higher quantities (within the blood) in young adults, and lesser quantities in the elderly.
• Those with one kidney will have higher than “normal” levels of creatinine circulating in their blood (roughly 1.8 mg/dl or 160 umol/L).
• Creatinine can be tested for via a blood sample or via a urine sample. On its own a blood sample is more accurate than a urine sample, though combining them together to form what is called a creatinine clearance test (both blood and urine) is the most accurate test.
• High creatinine levels occur due to any number of diseases that cause the kidneys to shut down, including dehydration, shock, congestive heart failure, and bladder outlet obstruction.
• There are no definitive symptoms that are caused by high creatinine levels, though the following could be possibly linked: fatigued, shortness of breath, feeling dehydrated, and confusion.
Interesting stuff? Great! I hope you won’t be disappointed then when I say you let’s move on to the next section because you have learnt all these is (worth) to know about creatinine. I would like to tell you more about creatinine, but really that is all you need to know. That’s the crux of it.
What I would really like to discuss next is the substance that creatinine is a by-product of… creatine.
If you are a gym junkie, or know someone that is, you probably have come across creatine before. Creatine is touted by many body builders as the best natural substance for increasing energy reserves – especially for the explosive sports (because of its role in ATP production).
Creatine is naturally produced by the body and the majority of it is stored within the muscles (up to 95%). The body does this through the synthesis of the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine via the liver, and because the body can make its own, creatine itself is not essential in the diet. The dietary source of creatine however is any animal meat, such as beef, chicken, and fish. Providing up to 1 gram a day of creatine for the typical “meat-eater”.
As previously mentioned, creatine has a key role to play in the production of ATP. This occurs in the most important energy pathway of the body, known as the Kreb’s Cycle, or the Citric Acid Cycle. The average human body uses over 2000mg of creatinine a day to fuel this important biochemical pathway, for the purposes of producing the most vital energy source of the body.
… OK, so now that we understand a little more about creatine, and that creatine is a necessary molecule, we can now delve a little deeper into creatinine levels and how to lower them.
The Importance of Creatinine Levels
After many years study, and lengthy clinical trials, creatinine was found to be the best indicator of kidney function. Why? Well, there are a few reasons for this, and they are as follows:
We’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 following is a summary of the impressive results attained: