How To Improve Kidney Function: Can Natural Remedies Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 47,625 times.
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins out of your body, so youll want to keep them healthy and in working order for as long as possible. Luckily, there are many ways to support your kidney health. In general, if you dont have any kidney diseases, then following a healthy dietary and lifestyle routine should maintain your kidney function. If you do have kidney issues, then you should see a doctor before trying any home treatments. The doctor may want you to take some medications or undergo a procedure to support your kidneys. After this, you can try some lifestyle management methods to improve your kidney function on your own.
Tips To Naturally Improve Kidney Function
30 November, 2018
The kidneys are delicate organs vulnerable to factors like poor diet, stress, and negative emotions. Its important to take care of them to prevent serious conditions, especially if you have a personal or family history of kidney problems. In this article, well share 8 tips for improving kidney function through diet, natural remedies, and simple tricks.
Food Choices Can Affect Kidney Health
- Avoid processed foods and choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
- Follow a low-salt diet. Salt should be limited especially if you have high blood pressure, protein in your urine, or swelling, or difficulty breathing. Eating less than 2000 mg a day of sodium is recommended.
- Limit protein if you have moderate-to-advanced kidney disease . A high-protein diet, which is popular for losing weight, maybe safe for people with normal kidneys but can put a strain on poorly functioning kidneys to rid the bodys protein waste. However, a diet too low in protein can cause loss of muscle and make you frail.
Many healthcare professionals recommend the Dash Diet, however, it is important to discuss your individual nutrition needs with your healthcare professional or dietitian before starting a diet.
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How To Improve Kidney Function With The Right Food
At least two liters of water a day is known to be the best medicine for how to help your kidney. The fluid flushes the organs properly and thus ensures healthy function. 100 milliliters of freshly squeezed lemon juice not only go one better in terms of freshness, the citrates it contains are also proven to prevent kidney stones. According to a scientific publication by the Korean Urological Association, said citrates bind excess calcium, which in turn prevents painful crystal formation in the kidneys. A pleasant side effect for the immune system: the extra portion of vitamin C.
The all-rounder fruit apple also turned out to be a real kidney stone shock in numerous studies. So effectively that the American Society of Nephrology published one of their specialist articles with An apple a day keeps the kidney stones away.
The authors refer to an 18-year study that revealed that those participants who consumed fresh fruit and vegetables every day developed kidney stones up to 45 percent less often than the junk food-loving comparison group. The pectin contained in apples proved to be particularly effective as a amethod for how to strengthen the kidney. The valuable plant fiber keeps the kidney function busy, especially through its cholesterol-lowering and blood sugar-regulating effect.
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How To Improve Kidney Function: Tips And Strategies
Keeping your kidneys healthy is one of the utmost important things someone can do for their health, especially considering 1 in 7 adults in the United States have kidney disease. Of those 77 million Americans, itâs estimated that 90% of people donât even know itKidney Disease Statistics for the United States | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. . Retrieved 7 December 2021, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/kidney-disease. So, while you may be thinking that thereâs no way you have to worry about your kidney health, think again. Now, thatâs not to say that you should panic. While kidney disease is a serious illness, there are many things you can do to reverse, repair and improve your kidney function.
Diagnosis Of Kidney Disease
Early diagnosis and optimal management can often prevent kidney damage from becoming worse and reduce the risk of kidney failure.
Chronic kidney disease often has very few symptoms, or only general symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and feeling sick. The doctor may begin by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination.
The diagnostic tests for kidney disease chosen by your doctor depend on factors including your symptoms, age, medical history, lifestyle and general health. Tests for kidney disease include:
- urine tests
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Fruits And Vegetables In The Diet
An overall healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is a smart choice for keeping your kidneys in topnotch shape. Fresh produce is not only high in water content, but it also contains powerful nutrients like vitamin C and flavonoids that support the health of all your organs, including the kidneys. If your doctor advises a low-potassium diet for your kidney health, focus on fruits and veggies that are significantly lower in this mineral. Your best veggie options include:
Avoid seasoning your vegetable dishes with salt and salt substitutes, and opt instead for dried or fresh herbs, chopped garlic or onion and a splash of olive oil.
Among fresh fruits, you have a lot of delicious low-potassium options, including:
- Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
Stick to recommended serving sizes, though, because too much of any low-potassium food can end up having a lot of potassium.
Managing Risk Factors For Ckd
- Among people with diabetes and high blood pressure, blood sugar and blood pressure control have been shown to lower the risk of developing kidney disease.
- Several studies have shown the possibility for preventing or delaying the start of diabetic kidney disease by treating patients who have diabetes with blood pressure-lowering drugs. In addition to lowering blood pressure, these medications reduce protein in the urine, a risk factor for developing kidney disease.
- Managing blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels is very important because these are all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- Because having kidney disease increases the chances of also having heart disease and stroke, early detection and treatment of kidney disease is important for people with diabetes to help prevent or delay cardiovascular death and kidney failure.
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Dietary Changes For Increasing Kidney Function
A dietitian may propose other modifications to your diet to increase your kidneys function, like reducing your overall protein intake from meats and other animal foods. Because kidney disease is often related to high blood pressure, you may also need to monitor your sodium intake, eschewing canned or frozen foods in favor of fresh, and avoiding processed meats like bacon and sausage.
Suggested dietary changes for kidney disease may involve limiting foods high in the mineral phosphorus, like cheese, milk and yogurt and protein foods like oysters, sardines and liver. Consult your health-care provider for a kidney-smart dietary plan that works for you.
How Is It Tested
As part of standard blood tests, your doctor can check the creatinine level to assess kidney function. Creatinine is released from muscle cells into the blood stream.
Creatinine is one of the things that the kidneys filter from the blood. If the kidneys start to lose some function, blood creatinine level rises. The creatinine level is used to calculate an estimate of the GFR and provide an estimate of your kidney function.
Most people who have a minor reduction in kidney function can take steps to not keep the kidneys from getting worse. If the function is somewhat low but stable, you may need to see your doctor only once per year. If the GFR is declining or it is already under 50, it’s best to see a kidney doctor, if for no other reason than to become educated.
How high blood pressure damages the kidneys
High blood pressure can cause tiny cracks in the lining of arteries, which provide a breeding ground for fatty deposits that hamper blood flow. As the arteries that feed blood to the kidneys narrow, the body produces renin, a hormone that makes small arteries narrow further. This worsens high blood pressure, causing even more kidney damage. Over time, restricted blood flow can damage or destroy the nephrons, the tiny filtering units inside your kidneys.
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The Water Hydration Technique
You know how most of us generally go for long periods without water, become thirsty and scull the next available glass in about 30 seconds? Have you ever thought what this does to your body? No? I dont blame you.
The actual fact of the matter is that every time you a drink a glass of water 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 . 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.
Reduce Your Dairy Intake
Salt isnt the only food thats harmful to your kidneys. Milk and dairy products increase the amount of calcium removed from your body via urine. This can increase the risk of kidney stones, especially if you dont drink much water and have a genetic predisposition.
- People who consume dairy products for the calcium should remember that calcium in dairy is not digested properly. It can damage your kidneys in the long term.
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How High Blood Pressure Damages Your Kidneys
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that feed blood to the kidneys to become narrow. When this happens the body produces a hormone called renin, which makes the arteries even narrower. Narrowing the arteries in this way makes for even higher blood pressure, causing more kidney damage and eventually destroying the nephrons, the tiny filtering units inside your kidneys. 3
How Can You Prevent Kidney Failure
In order to prevent kidney weakness, it is particularly important to exercise caution when handling medication. Even supposedly harmless headache pills can damage the kidneys if used continuously. It is important to avoid foods such as sugar, unhealthy fats, salt and alcohol as much as possible.
Protein, which is so popular among athletes, can also irritate the kidneys but more protein has no effect on muscle building , as a study found. The Nutrition Society therefore recommends not to exceed a daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Warning: These recommendations only relate to prevention. For dialysis patients, the guidelines can sometimes even be reversed.
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Kidney Enemy #: Excess Creatinine
A principal measure of kidney health is the blood level of a substance called creatinine. The creatinine level is used to calculate the GFR. Although the ideal GFR is 90, you can reach a reduced kidney function with a level as low as 50, be stable and never slide down to the next stage of kidney disfunction. However, if you are experiencing some of the symptoms that appear in the next paragraph, it is recommended that you have a lab test to check your GFR because, according to Dr. Melanie Hoenig, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center, Most people dont start feeling really ill until kidney function is under 10%.1 After age 30, attention to your GFR is vital because GFR declines 1% per year for every year of life after the third decade.2
Diet And Kidney Disease
Dietary restrictions vary depending on the level of kidney damage.
For example, people in the early stages of kidney disease have different restrictions than those with kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease .
If you have kidney disease, your health care provider will determine the best diet for your needs.
For most people with advanced kidney disease, its important to follow a kidney-friendly diet that helps decrease the amount of waste in the blood.
This diet is often referred to as a renal diet.
It helps boost kidney function while preventing further damage .
While dietary restrictions vary, its commonly recommended that all people with kidney disease restrict the following nutrients:
- Sodium.Sodium is found in many foods and a major component of table salt. Damaged kidneys cant filter out excess sodium, causing its blood levels to rise. Its often recommended to limit sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day (
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What Foods Help Repair Kidneys
If you have chronic kidney disease, it is crucial to track food and fluid intake because diseased kidneys cant remove waste products from the body like healthy kidneys can. Here are kidney-friendly foods that can help repair your kidneys and help you stay healthier longer
Other food items that you can have include
Practical Tips To Improve Kidney Lab Results
Chronic Kidney Disease, as you may well know, means that your kidneys are not working as well as they once did. It is often a progressive disease which means it can get worse over time.
One way to combat this is to start undergoing a renal diet. By choosing the right foods to eat, you can greatly help lessen the burden on your kidneys. You could go with these kidney-boosting food items for starters.
However, you also need to learn to keep tabs of your kidney disease lab results to make sure you are in the right track and are keeping your kidneys in the safe zone.
If you are still starting to do something that can improve your numbers, here are some guides that nephrologists and health professionals follow, which can work for you, too!
Glomerular filtration rate
GFR tells you how well your kidneys are filtering blood. The goal is to keep your GFR from going down to delay kidney failure. A GFR level below 60 is indicative of kidney disease, while a value of 15 or less signifies kidney failure.
How to improve GFR values?
This is where renal dieting comes in. And this renal diet education for patients is not just limited to improving your GFR, but your other numbers as well .
1. Limit your sodium intake.
2. Manage your blood sugar levels.
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Supplements And Herbal Medication:
Nowadays, sine both health and medicine are budding markets, both are filled with plenty of quacks. In certain cases, the doctor might end up suggesting you something that could be detrimental for your kidney health. So, you have to be very cautious and talk to the doctor if you are on vitamin supplements and herbal medicines., as indiscriminate use may damage your kidneys.
Limit Saturated Fats And Avoid Trans Fat
Diets that are high in saturated and trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and whats bad for your heart is bad for your kidneys. Heart health and kidney health are interconnected, as the heart constantly pumps blood throughout the body and the kidneys continuously filter the blood in order to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, Maruschak says.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fats to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories. Main sources include meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, says Maruschak. And try to avoid trans fats, found in baked goods and fried foods. Instead, fill up on heart-healthy unsaturated fats, found in fatty fish, avocados, olives, walnuts, and many types of vegetable oils.
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The 5 Stages Of Renal Failure
Stage 1 and Stage 2 :In the early stages, chronic kidney failure usually does not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, there are some warnings. For example, affected people should be suspicious of discolored or foamy urine. The latter is caused by increased protein excretion.
Water retention can also indicate the onset of the disease. If there is any suspicion, it is advisable to see a doctor as early as possible. As a rule, no changes can be detected directly in the blood during the first and second stages, but creatinine clearance or an ultrasound can already provide information. If the kidney failure is treated quickly, this increases the chances of slowing its progression.
Stage 3 : In the third stage, kidney performance is only half that of a healthy person. Symptoms such as fatigue, high blood pressure and a decrease in physical performance are now expressed. An American study2 showed that at this stage the risk of acute kidney failure also increases. In addition to the kidney failure itself, any accompanying complications must be treated. It is also essential to adjust the dose of certain medications.
Stage 4 : In the fourth stage, chronic kidney failure is already well advanced. Many patients now complain of loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Bone pain or itching on the skin are also characteristic. Existing water retention increases even more.