Chronic Kidney Disease by Dr. Graeme Shaw MD
Abnormalities in a person’s kidney and spleen energy can be the cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) according to Eastern Medicine philosophies. The signs of kidney dysfunction can include CKD, high creatinine levels or proteinuria (urinary levels of excess serum protein) and those concerned about this will find many healthy food recommendations that a licensed dietition can recommend from a nutritional perspective. In this article, along with recommendations for good nutrition and lifestyle changes, I provide the Eastern Medicine perspective.
Organ Energy & Eastern Medicine
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 command the kidney, heart function, fluid balance, 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. Two important causes of CKD, changes in blood pressure and diabetes, also implicate abnormal kidney energy.
2. Spleen energy controls nutrition, absorption, allergies, autoimmunity and detoxification. 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. The initial processing of toxins by the liver, Phase I detoxification by the liver, also involves spleen energy. Emotions, particularly anxiety and worry, can also weaken spleen energy.
Kidney disease is most often the result of hypertension and diabetes, but can also be caused by viral infections, autoimmune disease and toxicity. “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. Since these conditions are so prevalent in our society, it becomes even more important for those concerned with kidney dysfunctions such as kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, high createinine, proteinuria, CKD or diabetic nephropathy to naturally support and balance kidney and spleen energies.
Nutrition’s Role in Kidney Health
No doubt, we genuinely are what we eat. Putting better nutrients into your system can be very helpful to support your body’s ability to reverse disorders. The more natural and fresher the food, the more nutritional value it has. Containing potentially harmful preservatives and added chemicals, processed and packaged food also loses more nutritional value through cooking.
By eating the right foods and avoiding foods high in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, according to the National Institute of Health, you can prevent or delay health problems from chronic kidney disease (CKD). For my patients dealing with energy or health issues, I always recommend fresh food, especially fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of protein like chicken, turkey, small fish, tofu, etc. Speeding up the progression of chronic kidney disease, leading to problems such as proteinuria, can be the result of over burdened kidneys from eating too much protein however. 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.
Organ Energy is Affected by Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes can affect spleen energy. Drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, a healthy diet and adequate sleep make a big difference along with stress management, especially decreasing how much you worry. If you think about it logically, worrying never really resolves anything and really just adds to your stress level. It’s a habit that many of us have sadly.
There are several foods that are particularly good, such as seafood and fish, for kidney energy. Considering the increasing levels of mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals in seafood, I recommend that 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. Diet, sex, and health factors vary the recommended quantity of salt to use.
Fear and insecurity are things we’re all subject to these days, the controlling of which is the biggest factor for maintaining healthy kidney energy.
Stress reduction techniques are beneficial in myriad ways. Exercise both relaxes and energizes. 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
Much of what we do in natural medicine attempts to improve the energy in cells and organs. The herbs contained in Get Well Natural’s Kidney Well II, Phyto Antioxidant, Cardio Well and Metabo Well products, and many other combinations of herbs and nutrients are used to enhance kidney function and both kidney and spleen energy. Probiotics, enzymes, antioxidants, minerals, CoEnzyme Q10, essential fatty acids, and other kidney and spleen herbal tonics are also suportive of healthy function.
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, in Western Medicine.For example, Western doctors rarely pay much interest to the digestive function when evaluating kidney disease.
Eastern Medicine is particularly good at identifying and treating the underlying cause of chronic disease which is one of the things I appreciate most about Eastern Medicine. Eastern Medicine does this by looking at a person’s organ balance or imbalance, lifestyle, environment, diet, etc.
I implement this integrative philosophy by advising my patients to look at factors such as stress levels, exercise, diet, digestion and detoxification, for ultimate kidney health and 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