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Preventing End Stage Kidney Failure Part 6

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), will help in any stage of kidney dysfunction, whether early on or in the latest stages, including dialysis.

Recent research on animals have proved to postively alter gene expression in obstructed kidneys using two common Chinese herbs, namely, Astragalus and Dong Quai.

Taken together, these herbs have demonstrated to have profound kidney protective effects, including anti-fibrotic effects, which means to prevent scarring.

The function of these herbs were found to fight fibrosis, inhibit excess clotting, decrease free radicals, and regulate calcium-phosphate metabolism.

In addition, Astragalus and Dong Quai improve microvascular lesions that obstruct proper kidney filtration by increasing blood flow to oxygen starved tissues, augmenting the recovery of blood flow and glomerular filtration rate after oxygen starvation (reperfusion injury).

These herbs can improve the balance of vaso-activators such as nitric oxide and angiotensin, which act to dilate and constrict as needed. Further, to encourage the growth of new blood vessels while inhibiting the release of intracellular calcium ions.

Why use ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers when these two herbs are hundreds of times safer?

In one case, a 77-year-old woman with nephrotic syndrome, a condition in which the kidneys are damaged, causing them to leak large amounts of protein was treated with the following medication: ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors), angiotensin receptor blockers, both of which prevent a major kidney artery from clenching, cyclosporine A and mycophenolate mofetil, both of which are immunosuppressant drugs, all without response.

After more than 2 years of treatment without improvement, she began therapy with Astragalus. She took a dose of fifteen grams per day, finding a significant reduction of protein wasting in the urine, called proteinuria.

Her nephrotic syndrome recurred after temporary cessation of astragalus, with a complete remission of nephrosis observed after its reintroduction.

Another valuable "herb" is a mushroom, called Cordyceps. The patented form called Cordyceps Mycelia CS-4, has been well studied on animals and is a potent kidney protectant. Cordyceps has been used for the kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Integrative physicians have found real benefits in terms of lab numbers with kidney function in patients, such as better creatinine, albumin, and Glomerular filtration rates (GFR).

If the kidneys are beginning to degenerate, this is when to get aggressive, because if this condition is allowed to get much worse, the basic diet and many nutrient supplementation becomes far more complicated than most would imagine.

Using forms of Vitamin B6, including the active forms pyridoxal-5-phosphate and pyridoxamine should only be used in early kidney disease, as they can become dangerous in the later stages.

The mineral, magnesium is crucial for proper kidney function and its deficiency often leads or exacerbates diabetes, which helps further along kidney degeneration. Yet if the kidneys are failing, they may not adequately clear out magnesium and can create a toxic overload.

It is a well known fact that kidney patients are urged to adopt a low protein diet in order to reduce strain on the kidneys. However, one superfood is the exception to this. Spirulina is a very protein rich, microscopic blue-green algae, which is an excellent source of nutrients.

Numerous studies have shown spirulina to provide kidney protective effects in experimental animals, despite its high protein content. Besides spirulina's impressive nutrient profile, it protects against heavy metal poisoning such as lead, which affects the kidney.

Clinically, it has observed that spirulina also helps real human patients. However a problem study to demonstrate this may not occur for decades.

In conclusion, kidney disease is a very complex degenerative process, involving multiple systems and stages of development. Please be sure to review any of the previous information with a physician or nephrologist, knowledgeable and capable of integrating such methodologies with a patient's individual biochemistry and stage of kidney disease.

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