Kidney Failure: A SILENT KILLER - How to Prevent and Reverse?
Since no pain is sensed, the symptoms do not appear until many years have gone Little by little, many people reach end-stage kidney failure. Before you develop symptoms of chronic kidney disease, 90% of your kidney function will be declined. Even more alarming, 96% of people with mild chronic kidney disease (CKD) do not know they have it, and 48% of people with severe CKD are unaware. That’s because kidney disease is a “silent killer;” it usually develops over time, and many people do not know they have it until it is very far along.
If kidney failure is in an early stage, it can be easily reversed. A healthy diet and lifestyle can make a difference in preventing and reverse kidney disease. When people are diagnosed, they can make diet and lifestyle changes to help maintain their kidney function and possibly avoid the life-threatening diagnosis of end-stage kidney failure.
In our Xulon Zoe Lifestyle Health Retreat (www.XulonZoe.org), we provide a specialized simple diet and protocol that doubles the kidney function for those who got kidney failure diagnosis. We provide regularly workshop for helping people suffering from kidney failure with diet and lifestyle which are proven evidence-based clinically and scientifically.
Who are all Prone to Kidney Failure:
The two most common causes of kidney disease are Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. If one or more of the following apply to you, you’re also at higher risk:
- Obese (BMI > 30)
- Aged 60+
- Family history of kidney failure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- History of acute kidney injury.
Hence, those who are prone to Kidney failure, should get regular blood screenings for kidney disease.
Your kidney blood test includes 2 tests: ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). GFR is a measure of kidney function and is performed through a blood test. Your GFR will determine what stage of kidney disease you have – there are 5 stages. Creatinine is an end product of protein metabolism in skeletal muscle. Creatinine is excreted by the kidneys and represents a good marker for the progression of kidney disease.
About Kidney and How it works:
In Comparing with all the organs, the Kidney is the only organ that contains the highest number of microscopic blood vessels. The microscopic structural and functional unit of the kidney is nephron. A healthy adult has 0.8 to 1.5 million nephrons in each kidney. Blood is filtered as it passes through the nephron. Urine is about 95% water and 5% waste products. Nitrogenous wastes excreted in urine include urea, creatinine, ammonia, and uric acid.
Blood is filtered as it passes through the nephron. Urine is about 95% water and 5% waste products. Nitrogenous wastes excreted in urine include urea, creatinine, ammonia, and uric acid.
The high glucose level in the blood will cause damage to many parts of your body, especially the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, eyes, feet, nerves. The filtering units of the kidney are filled with tiny blood vessels. Over time, high sugar levels in the blood can cause these vessels to become narrow and clogged. You can slow down kidney damage, keep it from getting worse and improve the function by Special diet and lifestyle.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading cause of kidney disease and kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). Hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney, making removal of waste from the body difficult.
Is there Hope?
Normally we can survive on about one-fourth of our total kidney mass, or one half of one kidney, although overuse damage to the remaining glomeruli is evidenced by increasing protein in the urine. If a patient who has lost three-fourths of his renal mass is given a protein-restricted diet, the subsequent progression of glomerular sclerosis will be reduced significantly.
The recent study found that those with at least stage 3 (out of 5) chronic kidney disease who consumed more plant-based diets had a reduced risk of death. Those with the highest ratio of plant to animal protein intake compared to the lowest had a 33% reduced risk of dying over the next 8 and a half years.
Patients with failing kidneys would be very interested in a low-protein diet that would reduce the progression of their kidney disease and death on average by 33% to 50%.1 In many cases this is a diet that will keep them from ever having to be on dialysis(6).
Role of Diet :
Excess proteins are not stored in the body in a way those excess calories are stored as body fat; Excess proteins have to be eliminated quickly. The proteins not used for body repair and growth float around in the bloodstream until they are metabolized by the liver and their remnants are removed by the kidneys. The major kidney societies of the world still recommend less protein intake for kidney disease. Further, there is now evidence that there is a difference between plant and animal protein in kidney health: plant proteins may be more protective and animal proteins may be more damaging (4,5). It has been suggested that plant proteins may exert beneficial effects on blood pressure, proteinuria, and glomerular filtration rate, as well as results in milder renal tissue damage when compared to animal proteins. (7)
Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods. It keeps the heart beating regularly, helps to maintain fluid balance, and allows the nerves and muscles to work properly. The kidneys are the main organ that controls the correct level of potassium in the blood. Towards the end of kidney disease, caution must be taken to avoid the buildup of potassium in the body, which can be fatal. Some of the effects of high potassium are nausea, weakness, numbness and slow pulse. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and contribute to this problem, especially when less than 10% of the kidney function remains. Careful monitoring and changes in diet to include lower potassium fruits and grain products (avoiding green and yellow vegetables and potatoes, for example) will be necessary. Under the direction of their clinician, limit the amount of potassium in their diet to keep their potassium level close to normal.
Foods with high levels of potassium — Foods that have the highest concentrations of potassium include cantaloupe, watermelons, grapefruit, all dried fruit and fruit juices, avocadoes, tomatoes, potatoes (plain and sweet), Brussels sprouts, milk, yogurt, lentils, and most nuts. The foods in the table have greater than 200 mg of potassium per serving and should be avoided or eaten in very small portions.
Reducing potassium levels in vegetables — It is possible to remove some of the potassium in certain vegetables with high potassium levels. Leaching is a process of soaking raw or frozen vegetables in water for at least two hours before cooking to "pull" some of the potassium out of the food and into the water. You should not eat these vegetables frequently because there is still a lot of potassium in the food after leaching.
● Wash and then cut the raw vegetable into thin slices. Vegetables with a skin (eg, potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabagas) should be peeled before slicing.
● Rinse the cut vegetables in warm water.
● Soak the vegetables for at least two hours or overnight. Use a large amount of unsalted warm water (approximately 10 parts water to 1 part vegetables). If possible, change the water every four hours. Drain the soaking water.
● Rinse the vegetables again with warm water.
● Cook vegetables as desired, using a large amount of unsalted water (approximately 5 parts water to 1 part vegetables). Drain the cooking water.
Yes, phosphorus is a concern, it's best to avoid foods high in inorganic phosphate, such as highly processed foods. Dairy foods are the main source of phosphorus in a typical diet. Dairy products can be replaced with unenriched rice or soy alternatives. Many nondairy plant-based milk and yogurt are now available, but make sure not enriched with phosphorus-containing additives. Read ingredient lists carefully.
If you need to limit sodium, cut back on the salt you add during cooking and at the table. Also, be sure to check food labels. Use low sodium salts like Himalayan salt judiciously.
Fat and Cholesterol
You must pay attention to those you can control. Fats and cholesterol in the diet promote atherosclerosis in the kidney arteries, which is one of the leading causes of failing kidneys. Low fat, Oil-free diet helps a lot.
Milk and Dairy Products
Twelve children (aged 4-16) were studied, who suffered from nephrotic syndrome due to glomerulonephritis (the condition where the kidneys become inflamed, pass large amounts of proteins and blood into the urine, while the body’s tissues swell with accumulating fluid). All of the children had failed to respond to treatment with powerful anti-inflammatory drugs called steroids, and many also failed on anti-cancer drugs called cyclophosphamides. During the study, they were started on a diet that excluded common causes of food allergies – dairy products, eggs, pork products, tomatoes, etc. In four of the children, the nephrotic syndrome improved in less than a month. Within 4 to 6 months remission was seen in six children. Then three were challenged with a dairy product, milk, and all three had an immediate recurrence of glomerulonephritis. Thus a debilitating, often fatal, kidney disease, was cured in half the patients by simply excluding from their diet
Evidence-based research shows that a low-carbohydrate diet tends to be high in dietary components that are known to be nephrotoxic, including saturated fat, choline, and carnitine, while also being low in components that are necessary for healthy kidney function, such as vitamin c, polyphenols, and antioxidants.
Foods high in choline and/or carnitine, such as eggs, fish, meat, dairy, and poultry, cause the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract to produce a metabolic byproduct called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).
TMAO is a dangerous metabolite that has long been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis, and more current research now shows that it plays a leading role in the development of chronic kidney disease and renal failure (2).
Research also demonstrates that high circulating levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol – which tend to result from eating a diet high in animal protein, saturated fat, and cholesterol – leads to chronic inflammation in your kidneys, which causes glomerulosclerosis, a form of kidney atherosclerosis (3).
As expected, cholesterol-lowering therapies (either through medications or lifestyle changes) have been demonstrated to improve renal function.
The best way to lower your cholesterol and improve renal function, as well as overall health, is to minimize or eliminate animal protein and animal fat and consume a high-fiber, low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet.
Whether you have kidney disease, risk factors or you just want to preserve your kidney health for years to come, whole foods, plant-based diet is a reasonable, effective way to achieve and maintain long-term kidney health. At all stages of kidney health, from perfectly normal to end-stage, the diet should be a fundamental part of the program. In reality, you are going to have to take the lead in order to incorporate this lifesaving therapy. The Secret lies in Low Fat, Low Vegetarian Protein, Low Potassium Fruits and Vegetables,
For many decades the low protein diet has been promoted as a method of causing the majority of patients to ”show no further progression of the disease or a much slower rate.” Sixty-one percent will achieve stabilization of kidney function regardless of age, sex, or general health of the patient. Early intervention is the key, preferably when serum creatinine levels are still down around 2-2.5 mg/dL. If the creatinine reaches 4-5 mg/dL, it is much more difficult to get the disease under control. At 2 mg/dL the renal patient has already lost roughly 70 percent of renal function. It is at this point that protein and phosphate restrictive diets are the most useful. The amazing good news is that this dietary therapy helps to reverse also Diabetes and Hypertension.
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1. Chen X, Wei G, Jalili T, et al. The Associations of Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause Mortality in CKD. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Article In Press. 2015.
2. Tang W.H. Wilson, Wang Zeneng, Kennedy David J., Wu Yuping, Buffa Jennifer A., Agatisa-Boyle Brendan, et al. Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease. Circulation Research. 2015 Jan 30;116(3):448–55.
3. Gyebi L, Soltani Z, Reisin E. Lipid Nephrotoxicity: New Concept for an Old Disease. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2012 Apr 1;14(2):177–81.4. Williams AJ, Baker F, Walls J. Effect of varying quantity and quality of dietary protein intake in experimental renal disease in rats. Nephron 1987;46:83-90.
5. Bernstein AM, Treyzon L, Li Z. Are high-protein, vegetable-based diets safe for kidney function? A review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2007;107:644-50.
6. Maroni BJ, Mitch WE. Role of nutrition in the prevention of the progression of renal disease. Annu Rev Nutr. 1997;17:435-55