Chronic Kidney Disease by Dr. Graeme Shaw
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is seen as the result of abnormalities in the kidney and spleen energies, from an Eastern Medicine perspective. Those concerned with CKD, high creatinine or proteinuria (elevated urinary serum protein), all signs of kidney dysfunction, can get many healthy food recommendations from a licensed dietitian. Along with good lifestyle and nutrition recommendations I provide the Eastern Medicine perspective in this article.
Eastern Medicine & Organ Energy
The way your kidneys function and overall kidney health can be related to kidney and spleen energy in the following ways:
1. Kidney energy is believed to control the kidney, fluid balance, heart function, cellular energy, cellular detoxification and elimination of toxins. Cellular vitality, cellular uptake of nutrients, immune defense, cellular detoxification, and elimination of toxins through the kidney, rely on kidney energy. Abnormal kidney energy is also implicated in changes of blood pressure and diabetes, which are two important causes of CKD.
2. Nutrition, absorption, allergies, autoimmunity and detoxification are controlled by spleen energy. It is often negatively affected by chemicals and pollution, so it’s not surprising that there is an ever increasing incidence of allergies, autoimmune disease and nutritional deficiencies in our population. Spleen energy is also involved in Phase I liver detoxification – the initial processing of toxins by the liver. Spleen energy can be weakened by emotions, particularly anxiety and worry.
Though kidney disease can be caused by toxicity, autoimmune disease and viral infections, kidney disease is most often the result of hypertension and diabetes. “Millions of Americans are at risk of developing CKD because they have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both” according to the National Institute of Health. The growing occurrence of these conditions in our society makes it even more important for those concerned with kidney dysfunctions such as high createinine, proteinuria, CKD, kidney disease, glomerulonephritis or diabetic nephropathy to naturally support and balance kidney and spleen energies.
Nutrition’s Role in Kidney Health
No doubt, we truly are what we eat. Better nutrition can be very helpful to support your body’s ability to reverse disease. The more natural and fresher the food, the more nutritional value it has. Processed and packaged food loses more nutritional value through cooking and contains potentially harmful preservatives and added chemicals.
You can prevent or delay health problems from chronic kidney disease (CKD) by eating the right foods and avoiding foods high in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium according to the National Institute of Health. Healthy sources of protein like chicken, turkey, small fish, tofu, etc. and fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables, I always recommend for my patients dealing with energy or health issues. However, eating too much protein can also burden the kidneys and speed up the progression of chronic kidney disease, leading to problems such as proteinuria. The importance of moderation cannot be overstated. Generally, the three worst categories I caution my patients about consuming, are foods that contain refined sugars, grains and dairy, all of which can increase inflammation, sugar imbalances and autoimmune disease.
Lifestyle Affects Organ Energy
Lifestyle changes can affect spleen energy. Drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, a healthy diet and adequate sleep make a big difference, as does stress management, especially decreasing how much you worry. If you think about it logically, worrying never really resolves anything and can actually add to your stress level. It’s a habit that many of us have sorry to say.
As for kidney energy, there are several foods that are particularly good, such as seafood and fish. However, considering the increasing levels of mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals in seafood, I advocate my patients moderate their consumption of larger fish such as tuna, swordfish, etc. As for salt, I usually recommend using only natural sources of salt (like sea salt) in moderation to stimulate kidney energy. The recommended quantity of salt varies according to diet, sex, and health factors.
Controlling the emotions of fear and insecurity, something we’re all subject to these days, is the biggest factor for maintaining healthy kidney energy.
There are myriad ways to benefit from stress reduction techniques. Both relaxation and energizing can be derived from excersize. Decreased function of organs like the kidneys is the result of imbalances and deficiencies of energy, whether they are related to diet, lack of exercise or negative emotions.
Enhancing Organ Energy Naturally
Attempting to improve the energy in cells and organs is much of what we do in natural medicine. There are many combinations of herbs and nutrients I use to enhance both kidney and spleen energy as well as kidney function, such as the herbs contained in Get Well Natural’s Kidney Well II, Phyto Antioxidant, Cardio Well and Metabo Well products. Probiotics, enzymes, antioxidants, minerals, CoEnzyme Q10, essential fatty acids, and other kidney and spleen herbal tonics are also suportive of healthy function.
In Western Medicine, we often examine and treat organ disorders without an interest or awareness of all the organs and factors that may interact with the diseased organ.For example, the digestive function is rarely considered by Western doctors when evaluating kidney disease.
Being particularly good at identifying and treating the underlying cause of chronic disease is one of the things I appreciate most about Eastern Medicine. This is done by looking at a person’s organ imbalance or balance, environment, diet, lifestyle, etc.
For ultimate kidney health, I implement this integrative philosophy by advising my patients to look at factors such as stress levels, exercise, diet, digestion and detoxification as a means to enhance their kidney function.
If you have any questions regarding the use of dietary herbal supplements to support your health call Get Well Natural at 1-888-522-HERB (4372)
*Statements in this article have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
© 2009 Get Well Natural, LLC
2.http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/NutritionLateCKD, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases