Western medicine does not understand the kidneys like Chinese doctors do. Western doctors knew that the kidneys are responsible for fluid balance, waste elimination, regulation of blood pH and mineral balance. They also play an important role in red blood cell production, blood pressure regulation and converting vitamin D to its active form, calcitriol. Our kidneys are essential for life.
The worst part about living with kidney disease is that it is a silent killer. However, what makes it more dangerous is the fact that it usually is only recognized at extremely late stages when it is extremely difficult to treat.
Signs and Symptoms
The first symptom of kidney disease is a change in the amount and frequency of the urine you pass. There may be increase or decrease in the amount of urine you pass and dark colored urine (darker than usual). According to Dr. Avinash Ignatius, senior consultant nephrologist DaVita, Pune Region, “Frequent urination at night is one of the most common and early symptom of chronic kidney disease and it should not be ignored even though it appears to be harmless. Other symptoms of the disease usually develop at later stage when the kidneys have lost approximately 80% of its function.’
Other symptoms include difficulty or pain while urinating, blood in the urine, foamy urine, swelling or edema, extreme fatigue, anemia and generalized weakness, dizziness and inability to concentrate. Feeling cold all the time, cold back, cold hands, and feet are also common and primary symptom of kidney disease.
Shortness of breath is another common symptom because kidney disease. When severe enough a build-up of fluid in the lungs, or because of anemia (a common side effect of kidney disease), starves your body of oxygen making you suffer from breathlessness. Another explanation and cause of kidney disease is fast shallow breathing (as opposed to abdominal breathing), which does not allow the energy and oxygen reach down to touch the kidneys.
A major sign of kidney disease is severe pain in the back or sides. This is a common indicator of kidney disease but is not seen in everyone who suffers from the condition. The pain is characteristic and you may feel a severe cramping pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin.
Inherent kidney energy may be low from birth is progressively depleted with age. It is particularly vulnerable to exhaustion due to factors such as overwork, a hard-driven lifestyle, insufficient fluid intake, multiple pregnancies and chronic illness or stress.
For most people by the age of 40, declining Kidney energy is beginning to impact on their health. Unchecked, it can manifest as infertility, sexual dysfunction, menopause, andropause, prostate problems, impaired immunity, chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, heart irregularities, anxiety, loss of physical drive and poor concentration.
Other signs and symptoms that your Kidneys are depleted include a sore or weak low back, knees, or ankles; bone or tooth problems; dark circles under your eyes; hearing problems; and premature graying or thinning of your hair. Thyroid problems or extreme reactions to the climate—feeling really cold or having lots of hot flashes—are also indications that your Kidney is out of balance. Edema, kidney stones, and getting up several times each night to urinate suggest a problem with the water metabolism function of the Kidney and Urinary Bladder.
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Functionality of the Kidneys
Western physiology and anatomy limits its description of the kidney to the actual organ itself, whereas Chinese medicine sees and defines the kidneys not just as an organ but a group of functions, as well as being the root of energy for the entire body. The emphasis of Chinese physiological theory is more in terms of function rather than form.
In Chinese medicine the Kidney (with a capital ‘K’ to denote the organ-meridian system) is important as it is the source of the body’s constitutional or inherited energy and is regarded as the organ-meridian system that governs the structural integrity and function not only of the kidneys themselves but also the adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, brain, spinal cord, skeletal structure (especially the lumbar region), teeth, anus, urethra and inner ear. The Kidney system also governs hormones and other substances produced by the kidneys, adrenals and sex glands, as well as reproduction, growth and the faculty of will power.
Dehydration and Kidney Disease
Thus under normal circumstances, many of us flirt with mild dehydration over sustained periods. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of dehydration and so is low energy. When someone is dehydrated and experiencing these symptoms one merely has to drink several glasses of water to feel the body’s almost instant response to hydration. Add some sodium bicarbonate and the response is even greater.
Courtesy of Brian D. Foltz
It makes perfect sense that chronic dehydration would be a problem for the kidneys. The element in nature associated with the Kidney is water, which is appropriate and symbolic in that water is the source of all life. The organ paired with the Kidney is the Urinary Bladder, and together both organs govern water metabolism in the body.
Sexuality and creativity are emotional components of the Kidney system. As the organ that governs survival through reproduction, the Kidney system is responsible for libido and strength of sexual attraction.
The emotions associated with kidneys are fear and fright. Fear has the ability to shake you to your core, and chronic fright translates into something very much like unrelenting stress, which is extremely damaging to the Kidney. In Western medicine, your adrenal glands pump out adrenaline (stress hormones) and are located right next to your Kidneys.
Natural Remedies for Kidney Disease
Remembering that our kidneys are damaged by stress, it behooves us to get our stress under control. Whatever you choose, whether it is Yoga, Tai Qi, meditation, or fishing, any stress relief measures will benefit your Kidney. It is vital for kidney patients to be able to measure their stress. In addition, slowing and deepening the breathing is a powerful way of bringing stress under control.
Foods that are particularly nourishing to your Kidney include those that are very dark in color. These would include dark fruits and vegetables, and foods like black beans, black sesame seeds, and black walnuts. The water element comes into play when choosing foods for your Kidney. Foods from the sea, such as fish, shellfish, seaweed, kelp, and sushi are all excellent Kidney tonics.
Your acupuncturist has a number of tools to help you strengthen your Kidney organ system. They can combine acupuncture with moxibustion (heat treatments) and herbal formulas specifically designed to nourish your Kidneys.
Keeping the kidneys warm is one of the best treatments for them. Infrared therapy using a Biomat, which one uses all night long while sleeping is perfect for treating cold conditions. Everyone with cold hands and feet, lower back pain and advanced kidney disease will enjoy treating their low body temperature. Weak kidneys will get wonderful support with infrared therapy. FIR heat expands capillaries, stimulating increased blood flow, aids in regeneration, improved circulation, and oxygenation.
Magnesium and Kidney Disease
I wrote a lot about the kidneys in my book Transdermal Magnesium Therapy. As we age, our kidneys lose their efficiency in the regulation of magnesium. Magnesium absorption decreases with age. Around the age of 70, it becomes two-thirds of what it usually is at around the age of 30.
The kidneys are dumping from the blood excess nutrients that the body does not need or cannot process in the moment. Magnesium-deficiency studies on the kidneys have shown intraluminal calcareous deposits in the corticomedullary area and damage to the tubular epithelium. Damage to the kidneys from magnesium deficiency creates a negative feedback loop that intensifies magnesium deficits.
Micropuncture studies have shown that most active renal tubular reabsorption of magnesium occurs at sites that are potentially damaged by magnesium deficiencies, meaning these conditions can cause renal tubular magnesium wasting.
When you introduce magnesium into a human body calcium dissolves; it becomes more water-soluble. The same thing happens in your bloodstream, heart, brain, kidneys, and all the tissues in your body. If you do not have enough magnesium to help keep calcium dissolved, you may end up with calcium-excess muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, hardening of the arteries, and even dental cavities. Another scenario plays out in the kidneys. If there is too much calcium in the kidneys and not enough magnesium to dissolve it, you can get kidney stones.
It is magnesium that controls the fate of calcium in the body. If magnesium is insufficient, calcium will be deposited in the soft tissues (kidneys, arteries, joints, brain, etc.). Calcium intakes above 2.6 grams per day may reduce the uptake and utilization of magnesium by the body, and excessive calcium intakes increase magnesium requirements.
Dr. Norman Shealy says, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.” The benefits of drinking water are amplified greatly when water contains high amounts of magnesium and bicarbonates.
Baking Soda and Kidney disease
Sodium Bicarbonate is one of the most basic medicines we have for kidney disease. New research by British scientists at the Royal London Hospital shows that sodium bicarbonate can dramatically slow the progress of chronic kidney disease.
Dr. SK Hariachar, a nephrologist who oversees the Renal Hypertension Unit in Tampa Florida stated, upon seeing the research on bicarbonate and kidney disease, “I am glad to see confirmation of what we have known for so long. I have been treating my patients with bicarbonate for many years in attempts to delay the need for dialysis, and now we finally have a legitimate study to back us up. Not only that, we have the added information that some people already on dialysis can reverse their condition with the use of sodium bicarbonate”.
Military manuals suggest doses or infusions of sodium bicarbonate to help alkalinize the urine if uranium contaminates the kidneys. This makes the uranyl ion less kidney-toxic and promotes excretion of the nontoxic uranium carbonate complex. The oral administration of sodium bicarbonate diminishes the severity of the changes produced by uranium in the kidneys.
Medical marijuana, like sodium bicarbonate, is one of the few medicines that helps when there is radiation contamination, which the kidneys are especially sensitive to.
Medical marijuana is effective with chronic kidney diseases. Hemp oil kidney disease treatment works on two fronts: curing the underlying causes of kidney failure like HIV and saving the kidney from damaging blood cleansing after pharmaceutical treatment.
Studies have shown that marijuana is effective in reducing the effects and symptoms of HIV, Hepatitis B, and prostate cancer. All of these conditions are major contributors to kidney diseases. Therefore, when they respond to hemp oil treatment the kidneys are preserved.
Hemp oil treatment protects patients from kidney failure by giving them an option beyond the chemical medicines used as painkillers and treatment of other conditions. Chemical consumption in whatever form is harmful to the kidneys. For instance, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation contain a high amount of substances that are toxic to the kidneys.
Rich Simpson says, “From my experience with hemp medicine, I have found that most pharmaceutical medications are no longer needed once a person starts using hemp oil. Hemp oil seems to mix well with most natural medications but I have had a few reports from people trying to take hemp oil and pharmaceuticals who experienced stomach pain etc. All problems ceased when they stopped taking the prescription drugs.”
CBD, a special form of medical marijuana, is legal everywhere can also be used instead of hemp oil with THC.
Reprinted with permission from DrSircus.com.