Kidney Disease Treatment

Treating Your Kidneys Through Natural Medicine

Drugs Used In Kidney Disease Treatment

Nature designed our bodies to function optimally when diet, exercise, mental and spiritual well-being are put in place. The kidneys are an important part of maintaining balance in the body by flushing toxins and wastes from the blood stream. When the kidneys do not function effectively and continue to decline conventional medicine resorts to drugs and eventually kidney dialysis, while natural therapies treat the cause of disease, while strengthening the kidneys and actually reversing the damage. In the practices of both conventional and natural medicine there are several drugs and supplements that are used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.

Individuals that are experiencing the symptoms of kidney disease, take heart, there are many treatment options available in conventional medicine and alternative medicine. When the kidneys are not able to function correctly it is important to support them with the correct diet, sometimes dialysis, and medicines that will help treat anemia and provide the required nutrients to improve kidney function. Your healthcare provider should be notified of all medications used to treat your kidneys to ensure there are no interactions.

In the early stages of kidney disease the patient can often control many of the symptoms with diet, exercise, proper rest and some added nutritional supplements as required. One of the major concerns when the kidneys are not able to function properly is anemia, or when the body has a low red blood cell count. The kidneys produce a hormone identified as erythropoietin that is responsible for maintaining a normal red blood cell count. In cases of advanced kidney damage your doctor may need to prescribe erythropoietin injections to treat anemia.

Kidney patients often suffer a deficit of iron due to dialysis. Oral iron is sometimes given, though this form of iron can cause its own problems. Small intravenous injections of iron during the dialysis process have been found to work much more effectively and not cause so many side-effects.

Bone disease and calcifications are particular concerns for those who suffer from kidney damage. The loss of bone minerals calcium and phosphorus cause the bones to become too soft or brittle. Active vitamin D is able to control the balance of calcium and phosphorus. Excessive amounts of phosphorus are not flushed from the system due to the failing kidneys and this causes leaching of calcium from the bones and blood stream. The treatment for this particular symptom by conventional medicines is to prescribe phosphorus binders.

Active Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Levels
Although limiting foods with phosphorus from the diet is very important, active vitamin D is essential in sustaining normal PTH levels and in bone health. High PTH levels will cause swelling of bones, muscles and tendons with a loss of bone calcium, and are thought to be the cause of severe itching experienced by some kidney patients. A class of medicines called “calcimemetics” has been created which are highly effective in lowering PTH levels. However doctors agree with natural therapists on the need to supplement with active vitamin D for many patients.

Vitamins and Minerals
Dialysis procedures leach large amounts of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B-complex vitamins from the body. In order to replace these losses, a healthy diet is essential and is often supplemented with added vitamins and nutrients. Purified water and a diet of natural, organic foods are a good starting point for a diet that supports the kidneys.

Dialysis Diet for Kidney Disease Treatment

Patients that are placed on dialysis due to renal failure often experience some drastic changes in their daily lives – and their dietary requirements will also alter. The appropriate diet changes because their bodies now have different needs than before they were on dialysis. The diets focus now is on consuming the appropriate level of fluid, the calories that are needed, and the correct amount of protein required to help keep the body in balance.

Many individuals experience a lack of appetite, yet it is vital to keep their body weight at a healthy level. Yo-yoing up and down on the scale is dangerous for a dialysis patient. The diet must also restrict sodium, potassium, phosphorus and the amount of liquid that is taken into the body. The kidneys are already functioning ineffectively, so avoiding these items that the kidneys are having difficulty removing will further reduce the burden on the kidneys.

With kidney damage, protein needs to be limited, but in the case of dialysis patients, protein requirements increase because dialysis essentially saps all the proteins or amino acids from the body, while flushing toxins and waste. Since the kidneys are no longer performing the flushing process, the dialysis is essential for life. Protein is to be included at every meal and high protein supplements such as protein drinks are also encouraged.

Potassium sources must be limited because the potassium overload in the kidneys can cause serious problems in other organs of the body, including the cardiovascular system. Processed foods are not required to list the amounts of potassium contained in the food, so educating yourself is critical if you are undergoing dialysis or have high potassium levels. Dialysis diets also limit sodium intake prior to dialysis taking place. Sodium can place extra burden on the kidneys and also increases blood pressure.

Phosphorous is limited in the dialysis diet because the body cannot flush the excess out. A condition that results from a high phosphorous count is very itchy skin. Foods that should be limited that contain high amounts of phosphorous are whole bran cereal, dried legumes, organ meats, beer, peanuts, chocolate, whole dairy products, and carbonated drinks.

As a dialysis patient, it is vital that you consult a qualified dietician before adding or subtracting any foods from your diet. The body’s pH balance must be carefully monitored to make sure that the kidneys and other vital organs are getting the support they need. Eating foods that will help keep that balance, and consuming the correct amount of fluids is essential to avoiding a kidney transplant and supporting the dialysis process.