4 Ways To Prevent Kidney Problems
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ~ Benjamin Franklin (Tweet this)
Kidney disease is becoming increasingly popular today. It’s of no surprise however, considering that today’s modern world is full of stress, which greatly diminishes the kidney energy. Not to mention, the fact that the major taste preference in today’s modern palate is sweet. And sugar happens to be one of the major coping mechanics for handling stress today.
As far as modern medicine goes, prevention is not highly advocated. Even the solutions provided are futile. The real cure is always in the cause; however, not many people get much help when it comes to managing stress. And surely, the modern world has no problem with the mass production of sugar-laden foods, making it all too easy to become ill.
Therefore, prevention and health become our responsibility. Otherwise, if the kidneys begin to degenerate there isn’t much we can do to regenerate them with the help of western medicine—their solution is often medications, drugs or dialysis.
Good thing there is plenty we can do to avoid kidney problems and the solutions happen to be very simple!
Catching it early
In western medicine, disease is often not caught until it is too late. The markers they have for disease are faulty. For example, a common blood test for Urea and Creatinine do not display any marks of kidney disease until it’s almost too late (usually around the second stage of kidney disease).
While there are some doctors that use 24-hour urinary protein tests that can detect imbalances in the kidneys earlier, prevention is the ultimate medicine. You can only gain by living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Ayurvedic insights on kidney health
If you aren’t familiar with Ayurveda, is it an ancient practice of medicine, developed in India some 5,000+ years ago. It works within a holistic paradigm, meaning it sees the body as a whole, dynamic and living entity—no separation. A holistic approach to healing is the best because it is the best rounded, taking into consideration the effects of the spirit and mind on the physical body.
According to Ayurveda, the kidneys are greatly affected by the digestive system. In fact, urea and creatinine—components of urine—are a product of protein metabolism in the digestive system.
In Ayurveda, the agni or digestive fire governs the digestive system. When it is working properly, protein is efficiently broken down and the waste byproducts are sent to the kidneys for filtration.
Tracing back our footsteps, an issue arises when we have a weak digestive fire. This leads to poor digestion, which leads to undigested food that essentially becomes toxic debris in the body. Undigested or partially-digested food in the body becomes food for pathogenic bacteria, which causes more toxicity in the body for the kidneys to manage.
If toxicity accumulates, the kidneys become overworked and fail to filtrate and eliminate toxics properly. If digestion isn’t corrected and toxicity in the body isn’t cleared, the kidneys become overburdened and can become diseased.
Ayurvedic wisdom for preventing kidney problems
Truly, anyone is at risk of developing kidney problems, as anyone can lead an unhealthy lifestyle that causes digestive trouble and eventually problems with the internal organs. The best prevention for kidney disease is therefore eating a diet that optimizes digestive function. This includes a nutritious, whole-foods diet with emphasis on digestion and this includes keeping stress levels low and eating for your unique body type.
Here are a few tips from Ayurveda to optimize digestive function and therefore, prevent kidney problems:
1. Remove the cause
The kidneys manage our stress hormones, and therefore, stress can greatly affect the kidneys. Too much stress puts a demand on the kidneys to produce a lot of cortisol. If stress is persistent, the kidneys and adrenals can become fatigued.
Therefore, the foundation for preventing kidney disease is to remove excess stress from the life. Start by removing any stimulates such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated beverages from the diet. This will give the kidneys a break and allow them to regenerate from excessive work. This will also help lower stress hormones in the body, helping you to relax mentally and emotionally as well.
2. Calm the mind
Once we’ve removed any external stimulants, it will be helpful to actively promote relaxation. Typically, people with kidney problems never give themselves time to wind down and relax. I find nothing more relaxing than nature. I suggest finding a natural, serene area close to home and take long walks there a few times a week, daily would be even better!
3. The diet
On both sides of the diet there are foods that are particularly damaging to the kidneys and foods that are exceptionally healing. First start by removing the harmful ones; processed foods, refined flours, commercial meats, sugar, and pasteurized/homogenized dairy in particular. These are all highly difficult to digest, toxic and damage internal organs. Instead, stick with a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, particularly cucumber, seaweeds, parsley, nettle, celery and pumpkin seeds.
4. The 80/20 Rule
When making a meal, keep vegetables the mainstay of your plate. Roughly 80% should be vegetables, while the other 20% protein and fats. These ratios are subject to fluctuations depending on your level of activity, body type and other lifestyle choices. However, the general rule of them is to moderate protein intake. Too many protein rich foods can tax the kidneys and cause inflammation.
Detoxification is recommended twice a year, with the seasons, to maintain optimal health.