KIDNEY DISEASE FAILURE
Several weeks ago I posted an article on, “The 10 Threats to Global Health in 2019“. I was surprised to find out that Kidney disease/failure was listed as number four. This study goes on to suggest that kidney disease/failure will just get worse in the year 2020.
So why is this, we are supposed to be getting more aware of our health and these kinds of diseases should be on the decline and not the other way around.
For reference, Chronic Kidney Disease will be referred to as CKD
Cardiovascular Disease: CVD
Diabetes Mellitus: DM
End-Stage Renal Disease: ESRD
- People with CKD are at high risk for CVD, and the presence of CKD often complicates CVD treatment and prognosis.
- The prevalence of CVD is 69.6 percent among individuals ages 66 and older who have CKD, compared to 34.7 percent among those who do not have CKD.
The overall prevalence of CKD in the general population is approximately 14 percent.
- High blood pressure and diabetes are the main causes of CKD. Almost half of the individuals with CKD also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease (CVD).
- More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
- Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. (For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease.”)
- The adjusted incidence rate of ESRD in the United States rose sharply in the 1980s and 1990s, leveled off in the early 2000s, and has declined slightly since its peak in 2006.
- Compared to Caucasians, ESRD prevalence is about 3.7 times greater in African Americans, 1.4 times greater in Native Americans, and 1.5 times greater in Asian Americans.
- Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.
This should be a wake-up call. “KIDNEY DISEASE KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN BREAST OR PROSTATE CANCER”.
Almost half of the individuals with CKD also have diabetes and self-reported CVD.
Nearly 750,000 patients per year in the United States and an estimated 2 million patients worldwide are affected by end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
- More than 100,000 patients in the United States are on the kidney transplant list, but last year there were just over 21,000 donor organs available for transplant.
- The need for donor kidneys in the United States is rising at 8% per year.
Internationally the numbers are staggering. Estimates are that 2 million people worldwide suffer from ESRD, and the number of patients diagnosed with the disease continues to increase at a rate of 5-7% per year. Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and Belgium currently have the highest prevalence of ESRD. While extensive data on worldwide mortality rates is lacking, a 2007 report shows that U.S. mortality risk was 15% higher than in Europe and 33% higher than in Japan on comparable treatment modalities.
40 million Americans are currently classified as having chronic kidney disease.
Every day 13 patients die waiting for a kidney transplant.
48% of CKD patients were unaware of their case of kidney disease. (Hence the title, “The silent killer”, the same name given to people suffering from high blood pressure).
United States, Renal Data System. National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Bethesda, MD.
KidneyX Innovation Accelerator Statistics Accessed 9/19/19
Kidney disease: Listed as # 4 on the Global Health Threats of 2019/2020
Renal failure remains one of the main global medical concerns. Kidney disease is assessed by measurement of GFR, which is the ability of kidneys to filter blood. The normal value of GFR is 125ml/min and by definition decrease in GFR is kidney failure. Causes of acute kidney injury include pre-renal causes like dehydration, blood loss, and shock; renal causes include infections of the kidney; obstruction to urine flow falls under post-renal causes. When kidneys don’t function for more than 3 months, it’s called chronic kidney disease, unlike acute kidney injury which is acute in onset.
Symptoms include reduced urine volume, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, etc. Guidelines for kidney disease prevention include reduced protein intake, salt restriction, adequate fluid intake, cessation of smoking, and maintaining normal body weight. Supplements like Forskolin really help in weight loss. Since kidney failure is mostly caused by diabetes and hypertension, treatment strategies include control of blood glucose level and blood pressure by necessary hypoglycemic and anti-hypertensive drugs. Kidney transplants are reserved for serious cases.
The kidneys, each about the size of a fist, play three major roles:
- removing waste products from the body, keeping toxins from building up in the bloodstream
- producing hormones that control other body functions, such as regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cells
- regulating the levels of minerals or electrolytes (e.g., sodium, calcium, and potassium) and fluid in the body
After the blood has circulated through the body, it passes into the kidneys. The kidneys filter waste products and excess salt and water out of the blood and pass these out of the body as urine. The kidneys also make hormones that control blood pressure, as well as maintain bone metabolism and the production of red blood cells. It’s a serious problem when the kidneys stop working. Waste products that build up in the body cause imbalances in chemicals needed to keep the body functioning smoothly.
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes can build up in your body.
In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.
Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney function, for a period of three months or more. Kidney disease can range from mild to severe and in some cases, lead to kidney failure (sometimes referred to as end-stage kidney disease or ESKD). Kidney disease often starts slowly and develops without symptoms over a number of years, so CKD may not be detected until it has progressed to the point where your kidney function is quite low. Fortunately, most people do not progress to end-stage kidney disease, especially if they are diagnosed early and are able to take steps to preserve their remaining kidney function.
End-stage” kidney disease does not mean the end of your life. End-stage means the end of your kidney function: your kidneys no longer adequately filter your blood. If your kidneys fail, there are a number of different treatment options including non-dialysis supportive care (conservative care), transplantation, or different forms of dialysis.
Sometimes kidney failure occurs rapidly and this is called acute kidney injury. This may be a result of infection, diseases that specifically attack the kidney filters or other causes. For acute kidney injury, dialysis treatment may be urgently needed for a period, but kidney function often recovers.
The following information provides an overview to help you understand CKD at different phases, including potential symptoms and treatment. The amount of kidney function (GFR) you have remaining, your symptoms, your overall health, and other factors (such as the amount of albumin in your urine) will be used to help you and your healthcare team manage your health, monitor your kidney function and determine the type of treatment that’s best for you.
Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sleep problems
- Changes in how much you urinate
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Persistent itching
- Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
- High blood pressure (hypertension) that is difficult to control
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often nonspecific, meaning they can also be caused by other illnesses. Because your kidneys are highly adaptable and able to compensate for lost function, signs and symptoms may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of kidney disease.
If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of kidney disease, your doctor is likely to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function with urine and blood tests during regular office visits. Ask your doctor whether these tests are necessary for you.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years.
Diseases and conditions that cause chronic kidney disease include:
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli)
- Interstitial nephritis is an inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract, from conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and some cancers
- Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys
- Recurrent kidney infection is also called pyelonephritis.
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
- Being African-American, Native American, or Asian-American
- Family history of kidney disease
- Abnormal kidney structure
- Older age
Chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body. Potential complications may include: A Diseased Kidney in need of a Transplant
- Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)
- A sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia), could impair your heart’s ability to function and may be life-threatening
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
- Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures
- Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or reduced fertility
- Damage to your central nervous system, which can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes, or seizures
- Decreased immune response, which makes you more vulnerable to infection
- Pericarditis is an inflammation of the saclike membrane that envelops your heart (pericardium)
- Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
- Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival
To reduce your risk of developing kidney disease:
- Follow instructions on over-the-counter medications. When using nonprescription pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), follow the instructions on the package. Taking too many pain relievers could lead to kidney damage and generally should be avoided if you have kidney disease. Ask your doctor whether these drugs are safe for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re at a healthy weight, work to maintain it by being physically active most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, talk with your doctor about strategies for healthy weight loss. Often this involves increasing daily physical activity and reducing calories.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking can damage your kidneys and make existing kidney damage worse. If you’re a smoker, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting smoking. Support groups, counseling, and medications can all help you to stop.
- Manage your medical conditions with your doctor’s help. If you have diseases or conditions that increase your risk of kidney disease, work with your doctor to control them. Ask your doctor about tests to look for signs of kidney damage.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment of kidney disease depends on the type of disease, the underlying cause, and the duration of the disease.
When treating kidney disease, your doctor will try to treat the original cause. Kidney infections can be treated with antibiotics if the infection is caused by bacteria. Inflammation due to an immune reaction is more difficult to treat. However, your doctor will try to control the immune reaction with immunosuppressant medications such as corticosteroids. These work only in some types of nephritis (inflammation of the kidney). Some people have to eat less salt and protein until the kidneys can remove these substances from the blood properly. Taking a diuretic medication (or “water pills”) to make the body excrete more water and salt can also help control the swelling associated with kidney disease.
If someone has acute kidney failure, treating the underlying cause will often return kidney function to normal. In almost all cases of kidney failure, it is very important for high blood pressure to be treated aggressively to prevent further damage from occurring and to delay the progression of the disease.
Other Precautions and Treatments. (NOT LISTED IN MEDICAL JOURNALS)
ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Herbal or Homeopathic Remedies for CKD
Homeopathic and herbal medicine works well to improve kidney function, but make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any treatment. Some of the following have proved effective against kidney diseases.
Dandelion – Usually considered a weed, dandelion has a long history in American medicine. Its roots and leaves when boiled help treat kidney diseases. Moreover, the herb also helps prevent the condition owing to its diuretic properties.
Lei Gong Teng – The herb, used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been found to be effective in treating polycystic kidney disease. Research at Yale University successfully used Lei Gong Teng to destroy PKD cysts in mice.
Apple cider vinegar – An effective remedy to help break down kidney stones, apple cider vinegar boosts kidney function. It is known to disintegrate the calculi formed by calcium in the kidneys. Besides, the antibacterial aspect of apple cider vinegar helps prevent bacterial infections.
Baking soda – According to British researchers, baking soda slows the progression of chronic kidney disease. It neutralizes the acidity in the blood, which is a major contributing factor to kidney problems.
Cornsilk – The tassels of the corn cob, cornsilk, are quite effective in boosting kidney function. It is a potent cure for urinary infections, prevents stone formation, and eliminates edema (a byproduct of kidney disease).
Other remedies – The remedies that are believed to relieve some of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease are celery (works as a diuretic to decrease uric acid), hydrangea (cleanses the urinary tract), Uva Ursi (cleanses the urinary tract), marshmallow tea (cleanses the kidneys), and goldenrod tea (an inflammatory cure).
Making slight changes in your diet can help your kidneys. The best foods to increase kidney function are sprouts, garlic, legumes, beans, potato, banana, papaya, watermelon, yogurt, green vegetables, and whole grains. Incorporate these foods into your diet to help prevent kidney disease from advancing. Drink unsweetened cranberry juice to eliminate harmful bacteria that make your urine acidic. Juniper berries, stinging nettle, and red clover help those with kidney disease.
1. Hydration is key
The adult human body is composed of almost 60 percent water. Every single organ, from the brain to the liver, requires water to function.
As the filtration system of the body, the kidneys require water to secrete urine. Urine is the primary waste product that allows the body to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary substances.
When water intake is low, urine volume is low. Low urine output may lead to kidney dysfunction, such as the creation of kidney stones.
It’s crucial to drink enough water so that the kidneys can properly flush out any excess waste materials. This is especially important during a kidney cleanse.
The recommended daily intake of fluids is roughly 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters a day for men and women, respectively, according to the Institute of Medicine.
2. Choose foods that support kidney health
Grapes, peanuts, and some berries contain a beneficial plant compound called resveratrol.
In one animal study, researchers found that treatment with resveratrol was able to lower kidney inflammation in rats with polycystic kidney disease.
A handful of red grapes makes a great afternoon snack — and they taste even better frozen!
Cranberries have often been praised for their bladder health benefits.
A clinical trial in Nutrition Journal demonstrated that women who consumed sweetened, dried cranberries daily for two weeks experienced a decrease in the incidence of urinary tract infections.
Dried cranberries are a deliciously sweet addition to trail mix, salads, or even oatmeal.
Lemon, orange, and melon juice all contain citric acid or citrate.
Citrate helps prevent kidney stone formation by binding with calcium in the urine. This inhibits the growth of calcium crystals, which can lead to kidney stones.
In addition, drinking a cup of fresh juice per day can contribute to your daily recommended fluid intake.
Brown seaweed has been studied for its beneficial effects on the pancreas, kidneys, and liver. In a 2014 study animals such as rats were fed edible seaweed for a period of 22 days showed a reduction in both kidney and liver damage from diabetes.
Try a packet of dried, seasoned seaweed the next time you’re craving a crunchy snack.
Many people believe that avoiding calcium can help to prevent kidney stones. In fact, the opposite is true.
Too much urinary oxalate can lead to kidney stones. Calcium is needed to bind with oxalate to reduce the absorption and excretion of this substance.
You can meet the recommended daily intake of 1.2 grams of calcium by consuming high-calcium foods, such as soy or almond milk, tofu, and fortified cereals.
3. Drink kidney-cleansing teas
Stinging nettle is a perennial plant that has long been used in traditional herbal medicine.
Stinging nettle leaf contains beneficial compounds that can help to reduce inflammation. It’s also high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body and organs from oxidative stress.
Try this tea: Traditional Medicinal Organic Nettle Leaf Tea
Hydrangea is a gorgeous flowering shrub, well-known for its lavender, pink, blue, and white flowers.
A recent animal study found that extracts of Hydrangea paniculate given for three days offered a protective effect against kidney damage. This is likely due to the antioxidant capabilities of the plant.
Sambong is a tropical climate shrub, common to countries such as the Philippines and India.
In one study, researchers found that a Blumea balsamifera extract added to calcium oxalate crystals decreased the size of the crystals. This could potentially prevent the formation of kidney stones.
4. Supplement with supportive nutrients
Vitamin B-6 is an important co-factor in many metabolic reactions. B-6 is required for the metabolism of glyoxylate, which can become oxalate instead of glycine if B-6 is deficient.
As mentioned above, too much oxalate may lead to kidney stones.
Supplement with a daily B-complex vitamin that provides at least 50 milligrams of B-6.
The standard American diet is often high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Other research suggests that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids may lead to kidney stone formation. An increase in omega-3s can naturally decrease the metabolism of omega-6s, with the best intake ratio being 1:1.
Supplement with a daily high-quality fish oil containing 1.2 g of both EPA and DHA.
Potassium is a necessary element of electrolyte balance and pH balance of urine.
Therapy with potassium citrate can potentially help to reduce the formation of kidney stones, especially in people who experience recurring episodes. For those with a history of other kidney problems, talk to your doctor before you take potassium supplements.
Supplement with a daily multivitamin or multi-mineral that contains potassium.
Sample two-day kidney cleanse
Once you’ve incorporated these foods, herbs, and supplements into your diet, you may want to consider taking your kidney support to the next level.
This sample two-day kidney cleanse is thought to help strengthen your kidneys and detoxify your body, but there’s no research to support a cleansing action. This plan, however, utilizes foods to support kidney health.
Images, Foods, Cleansing, and More in Pictures. Please click on the link.
I am in NO way a Doctor, nor do I claim to offer better alternatives. Prescription medications are essential for the treatment of many conditions. Always make it a point to see your doctor and follow his advice.
Thank you for reading,
Comments are welcome