By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
March has been designated the National Kidney Month to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of kidney disease. In the U.S. kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death with more than 20 million people are suffering with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Unfortunately kidney disease often causes no symptoms until it is advanced, these symptoms may include feelings of stomach sickness, fluid retention, swelling, fatigue, dizziness, back pain, bloody frothy and/or dark urine and high blood pressure.
The kidneys help filter and remove waste from the body, they help regulate blood pressure and electrolytes, supports bone health and helps produce red blood cells.
One in 3 people with Diabetes and 1 in 5 with High Blood Pressure (HBP) have developed CKD and these 2 conditions are the leading causes of CKD. Other disease risk factors are cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, lupus and a family history of CKD while other factors can be drugs, infections and environmental toxins. Kidney disease puts you more at risk for heart attacks, strokes and premature death.
CKD can cause fluid retention problems, high potassium levels (hyperkalemia), brittle bones, weakened immunity and anaemia. It is important to get screened regularly for kidney disease if you have any of the above conditions.
What you eat and drink can prevent kidney damage and reduce the further degeneration in existing cases of CKD.
A study showed that eating more fruits and vegetables may help protect the kidneys of patients with CKD, particularly who have too much acid build-up (metabolic acidosis). Excess acid build-up can occur from consuming an unhealthy diet with too many acid forming foods such as meat, processed grains, sugar and other processed foods without enough of the alkalizing foods such as fruits and vegetables, these alkalizing foods have a protective effect.
It was mentioned by the researchers that only a small group of highly motivated patients wishing to help reduce their pill burden through dietary modification may benefit from the results of this study. Many patients find it too difficult to follow a diet high in fruits and vegetables. These researchers haven’t met our Rebooters! As I’ve said before it’s so easy to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables with a glass or 2 of juice!
Also Scientists at the University of London have found a naturally occurring compound called Naringenin that is found in grapefruit and other citrus fruits which may offer protection against the formation of kidney cysts, this occurs in polycystic kidney disease which can cause symptoms such as high blood pressure and reduced kidney function.
People who suffer with kidney disease may need to be careful of high potassium and phosphate containing fruits and vegetables such as bananas, tomatoes, oranges, spinach and artichokes. Excellent choices for CKD patients are apples, cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, onions, garlic, corn, eggplant, pears, peas, zucchini, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and red grapes due to the low potassium, phosphate and sodium content versus the high nutrient and anti-oxidant content that has a kidney tissue protective effect.
It is also important for urinary health to make sure you are drinking enough water. Aim to drink enough water for your urine to be a light straw colour. Here is more on how much water do you really need.
The Reboot offers so many health benefits particularly in the prevention of disease due to its boost in phyto-nutrients consumed during and after a Reboot and the reduction in processed foods. Where conditions are mentioned above I have linked these up with many of our Reboot suggestions for that particular condition to encourage tips for disease prevention which in-turn will also protect you against kidney disease.