Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

How to Prevent Kidney Problems with Food

thekidneys

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems With Food

 

Your kidneys — two bean-shaped organs — are located just below your rib cage one on either side of your spine. Positioned on top of each kidney are your adrenal glands. Each day, your kidneys filter up to 150 quarts of blood and flush out waste products through your urine.

 

One of the reasons why you need to drink enough water is to ensure healthy kidney function. In fact, chronic low-grade dehydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones.

 

Poor kidney function is also associated with a number of other serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Common signs of kidney problems include:

 

Frequent urination

Problems urinating

Pain or burning sensation during urination

Constant thirst

Good kidney function1 is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body, starting with the composition of your blood. For example, your kidneys are responsible for maintaining proper pH level and electrolyte balance (the ratios of sodium, potassium and phosphates).

 

They also produce hormones that make red blood cells, and those that help regulate your blood pressure.

 

Dietary Factors That Threaten Kidney Health

Waste products removed by your kidneys and eliminated through your urine include urea and uric acid, produced from the breakdown of proteins and nucleic acids respectively.

 

Excessive protein intake increases urea, while uric acid is a byproduct of both protein and fructose metabolism. Fructose typically increases uric acid within minutes of ingestion.

 

I became fully aware of the dramatic and devastating impact fructose has on your uric acid levels when I interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson on this topic.

 

Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need, and two to four times (or more) fructose than is considered safe. These two dietary factors, alone and especially in combination, places significant stress on your kidneys and promote kidney disease and kidney stones.

 

Kidney stones are particularly linked to a diet high in processed fructose and other sugars, as sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. The phosphorus acid in soda also acidifies your urine, which promotes stone formation.

 

Analgesic drugs are also known to damage your kidneys when taken in excess, and/or over long periods of time. This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen — especially when taken in combination with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

 

Research2,3 shows that combining alcohol with acetaminophen raises your risk of kidney damage by 123 percent, compared to taking either of them individually. Long term alcohol consumption and smoking also take their toll on kidney function.

 

3 Dietary Keys to Protect Kidney Function

To protect your kidney function, keep the following three basic factors in mind:

 

  • Restrict protein to just what your body needs. An ideal protein intake is likely around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which for most is 40 to 70 grams a day.

 

The American Kidney Fund recommends restricting protein to a maximum of 50 grams if you have kidney disease4

 

  • Restrict fructose to 25 grams per day (about 6 teaspoons), or less (especially if you’re insulin/leptin resistant)

 

  • Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your kidney function and overall health.

 

The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).

 

How to Calculate Your Protein Requirement

Considering the fact that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese, I recommend calculating your individual protein requirement based on lean bodyweight (your total weight minus your fat) only.

 

For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

 

In this formula, you must first determine your lean body mass. To do that, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass.

 

Then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. As an example, if you weigh 170 pounds; 0.7 multiplied by 170 equals 119 pounds of lean body mass.

 

Using the “0.5 gram of protein” rule, you would need 59.5 or just under 60 grams of protein per day.

 

100 – % of body fat = % of lean mass X actual weight X 0.5 gm protein = total grams of protein recommended

 

Example: A 170 lb individual with 30% fat mass

 

100% total weight – 30% fat mass = 70 % lean mass

 

0.70 X 170 = 119 X 0.5 = 60 grams of protein recommended

 

Requirements Into Foods Translating Ideal Protein

To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.

 

Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly.

 

The chart below can give you a general idea of the protein content of many foods. I personally use Cronometer.com to enter everything I eat and carefully calculate my protein requirement to the gram.

 

Just be sure to enter the correct foods and amounts into the program, as the results will be inaccurate if you don’t enter the correct details.

 

Red meat, pork, and poultry average 6 to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

 

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18 to 27 grams of protein

 

Eggs contain about 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg.

 

So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12 to 16 grams of protein.

 

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)

 

Seeds and nuts contain on average 4 to 8 grams of protein per quarter cup

 

Cooked beans average about 7 to 8 grams per half cup

 

Cooked grains average about 5 to 7 grams per cup

 

Most vegetables contain about 1 to 2 grams of protein per ounce

 

Interestingly, while fish is typically considered a good source of protein, most fish contain only HALF of the protein found in beef and chicken. The reduced protein content in fish may actually be one reason why the Mediterranean diet is linked to life extension and reduced risk for chronic disease.5 In essence, those who eat more fish than red meat are automatically getting far less protein.

 

Other Dietary Dos and Don’ts If You Have Kidney Disease and/or Stones

 

If you have kidney disease, you also need to reduce consumption of foods rich in phosphorous, as they may promote the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, if you have problems urinating but don’t yet have kidney disease, try adding more potassium-rich foods (primarily vegetables and seeds) to your diet. Depending on the type of kidney stone you have, you may also need to modify your diet in other ways:

 

  • Struvite stones: Found more often in women, these are almost always the result of urinary tract infections

 

  • Cystine stones: Represent a very small percentage of kidney stones. These are the result of a hereditary disorder that causes your kidneys to excrete massive amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria)

 

  • Uric acid stones: These are a byproduct of protein and fructose metabolism, and are commonly seen with gout. Cutting your protein and fructose consumption is essential for preventing and treating these types of stones. Taking potassium citrate (which lowers urine acidity and reduces urine excretion of calcium) may also help prevent uric acid stones6

 

  • Calcium oxalate stones:7 These are the most common. About 80 percent of kidney stones are calcium based, and about 80 percent of those are calcium oxalate stones. Typically, they are the result of insufficient water intake and dietary factors, including excessive oxalate, protein, and processed salt consumption

 

Oxalate is found in some fruits and vegetables, but your liver produces most of your oxalate. If you are found to have oxalate stones, your physician may recommend avoiding oxalate-rich foods. Also, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, as magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate to form stones8

 

If you have calcium oxalate stones, rather than reducing your calcium intake you’ll want to minimize the amount of oxalates in your body. Soy and beer are two primary culprits that should be avoided. For reasons that are unclear, grapefruit juice has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones9 and is therefore best avoided. Other foods that contain high levels of oxalate10 that you’ll want to avoid if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones include:

 

Spinach

 

Rhubarb

 

Chocolate

 

Parsley

 

Beetroot

 

Most legumes,11 including green beans

 

Wheat and other grain-based flours12

 

Pepper

 

Nuts13

 

Potassium and Kidney Health

Potassium is a nutrient that receives a great deal of attention when you have kidney disease. On the one hand, potassium (a mineral and electrolyte) is essential for your cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive, and muscular function, bone health, and more.

 

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines, and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 milligrams (mg).

 

This can be problematic because potassium needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat many processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium. Others who are at particular risk of low potassium (hypokalemia) are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics).

 

However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels.

 

All of that said, if you have severe kidney impairment, you typically need to restrict your intake of high-potassium foods.14 Why? Because your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper amount of potassium in your body, and when they’re not working well, your levels could become excessively elevated.

 

Potassium helps maintain a regular heart rhythm and plays a role in muscle function, and when your potassium level gets too high, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and/or a heart attack.

 

Recommended Potassium Intake Varies Depending on the Health of Your Kidneys

If your kidneys are working well, the recommended amount of potassium is about 4,700 mg per day,15 which also needs to be balanced with sodium. As a general rule, your potassium to sodium ratio should be around 5:1. The easiest way to achieve this ratio is to eat REAL food (lots of fresh vegetables), ideally organically and locally grown to ensure optimal nutrient content.

 

This type of whole food diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium, whereas a processed food diet is virtually guaranteed to provide you with an upside-down ratio. Juicing your vegetables is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium.

 

If you have kidney disease, you need to pay careful attention to your potassium level and dietary intake. Most who are being treated for kidney disease will monitor their potassium level by measuring it monthly, and potassium- restricted diets typically recommend keeping potassium intake to about 2,000 mg per day.

 

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

Besides monitoring your protein and sugar/fructose intake and drinking plenty of water, adding the following foods to your diet can also help promote optimal kidney function.16,17,18,19,20

 

Red bell peppers: low in potassium, rich in vitamins A, B6, C, folic acid and fiber

 

Cherries: rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals

 

Cabbage: low in potassium, rich in vitamins C and K, and fiber, and phytochemicals that protect against free radical damage

 

Red and purple grapes: rich in antioxidants; the skin is particularly rich in resveratrol

 

Cauliflower: high in vitamin C, folate and fiber

 

Watermelon: rich in water, with diuretic properties, allowing you to produce more urine to flush out toxins

 

Garlic: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties

 

Lemon juice: helps reduce kidney stone formation

 

Onion: low in potassium, rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has natural antihistamine properties

 

Pumpkin seeds: rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of kidney stones

 

Apples: high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti- inflammatory compounds. Raw organic apple cider vinegar is helpful for the prevention of kidney stones

 

Kale: lower in potassium, good source of vitamins A and C, rich in iron — the latter of which is important for kidney health. Many with kidney disease are also iron deficient21

 

Berries,22 including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

 

Sweet potatoes: rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, and a good source of B6 and potassium

 

Herbal Kidney Cleansers

A number of herbs also have kidney-cleansing properties, including the following:

 

Ginger: purifies the blood and kidneys of toxins

 

Red clover: diuretic that stimulates waste removal from the kidneys

 

Turmeric: has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent and treat kidney infections and inflammation

 

Chanca Piedra: Used in South America to break up kidney stones (its Spanish name actually means “stone breaker”)

 

Dandelion: a natural diuretic that helps strengthen the kidneys and soothe urinary tract problems

 

Hydrangea root: Native American remedy for kidney stones

 

Nettle: natural diuretic that helps purify blood and treat urinary tract infections; also high in iron, making it beneficial for building blood

 

Uva ursi root: helps treat urinary and bladder problems

 

Marshmallow root: natural diuretic that helps treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder infections

 

Gravel root (Joe-Pye weed): Indian remedy for urinary tract and kidney health

 

Juniper: improves kidney function and helps treat urinary tract infections and kidney and/or bladder stones.

 

Avoid juniper berry if you have a kidney infection and/or are pregnant. Also don’t take continuously for more than four weeks

 

Goldenrod root: Native American remedy traditionally used to support urinary tract and kidney health

 

Yarrow root: a natural diuretic with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; helpful for urinary tract infections

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355 ( well)

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

nexium

Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

 

In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from John Hopkins University found that the drugs that treat acid reflux and heartburn (like Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium) may not be as safe as once thought. While most considered the drugs effective and relatively free from side effects, this new study shows two things: a large number of people taking the meds don’t actually need them and proton pump inhibitors (PPI) raise the risk of kidney disease from 20 to 50 percent. And those facts come on the heels of another study from last June done by Stanford University which found those medications contributed to a higher chance of heart attacks.

 

Researchers looked at the records of more than 10,000 people and found that the, “risk of the onset of chronic kidney disease was 20 to 50 percent higher in those who took the PPIs. No increased risk was seen in people who took a different class of heartburn drugs like Pepcid and Zantac, which work by blocking histamine production in the cells lining the stomach”(PPIs block the secretion of acid into the stomach).

More from the article:

“JUST AS IT IS A FALLACY THAT PPIS ARE SAFE TO TAKE EVERY DAY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, SO IT IS ALSO A FALLACY THAT HEARTBURN IS CAUSED BY TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID, ACCORDING TO NOTED NATURAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER DR. JOSEPH MERCOLA. CONTRARY TO WHAT IS WIDELY BELIEVED, REFLUX IS CAUSED BY TOO LITTLE ACID. FURTHERMORE, TAKING DRUGS THAT SUPPRESS STOMACH ACID MERELY TREATS THE SYMPTOMS RATHER THAN ATTACKS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. IN FACT, THE MEDICATIONS ACTUALLY WORSEN THE CONDITION THAT PRODUCES THE SYMPTOMS, A RESULT THAT PERPETUATES THE PROBLEM. HE RECOMMENDS THAT PEOPLE WHO TAKE PPIS SHOULD GRADUALLY WEAN THEMSELVES OFF OF THEM INSTEAD OF STOPPING COLD TURKEY. AFTERWARDS, MERCOLA ADVISES TAKING NATURAL REMEDIES AND ADOPTING LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS.”

What many health practitioners have known for a long time is that it’s possible to treat heartburn naturally- and therefore- safely; some people use yellow mustard, many take apple cider vinegar (from the Mother is always best and either straight or in water), and still others have found success using a different type of salt, like a pink himalayan (if you use added salt in your food).

Some of those lifestyle modifications would be eating foods that help, rather than hurt and stress, your gut biome; fermented vegetables (kimchee/sauerkraut), kefir, and for those non-vegans, yogurt made from raw milk, are all great. And don’t be afraid to move your body! Exercise is good for you and will help. Then there are the more obvious things like smoking, caffeine and excessive alcohol.

Sadly, some kidney problems are irreversible and chronic kidney disease can result in kidney failure (which necessitates either dialysis or a transplant). Now, the research doesn’t prove PPIs cause chronic kidney disease but their findings should be considered serious enough to at least pay attention to and unless you really, really need them, you shouldn’t take them. In fact, it almost makes more sense to try alternative therapies first and use the PPIs as a last resort. Once you start to look at the issue, you really only have two options- treat your body better or take PPIs (and maybe play russian roulette with the outcome).

 

Please share with family and loved ones and call with all your healthcare concerns and for your personalized healthcare plan.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr A Sullivan

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems

kidney

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems With Food

 

Your kidneys — two bean-shaped organs — are located just below your rib cage one on either side of your spine. Positioned on top of each kidney are your adrenal glands. Each day, your kidneys filter up to 150 quarts of blood and flush out waste products through your urine.

 

One of the reasons why you need to drink enough water is to ensure healthy kidney function. In fact, chronic low-grade dehydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones.

 

Poor kidney function is also associated with a number of other serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Common signs of kidney problems include:

 

Frequent urination

Problems urinating

Pain or burning sensation during urination

Constant thirst

Good kidney function1 is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body, starting with the composition of your blood. For example, your kidneys are responsible for maintaining proper pH level and electrolyte balance (the ratios of sodium, potassium and phosphates).

 

They also produce hormones that make red blood cells, and those that help regulate your blood pressure.

 

Dietary Factors That Threaten Kidney Health

 

Waste products removed by your kidneys and eliminated through your urine include urea and uric acid, produced from the breakdown of proteins and nucleic acids respectively.

 

Excessive protein intake increases urea, while uric acid is a byproduct of both protein and fructose metabolism. Fructose typically increases uric acid within minutes of ingestion.

 

I became fully aware of the dramatic and devastating impact fructose has on your uric acid levels when I interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson on this topic.

 

Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need, and two to four times (or more) fructose than is considered safe. These two dietary factors, alone and especially in combination, places significant stress on your kidneys and promote kidney disease and kidney stones.

 

Kidney stones are particularly linked to a diet high in processed fructose and other sugars, as sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. The phosphorus acid in soda also acidifies your urine, which promotes stone formation.

 

Analgesic drugs are also known to damage your kidneys when taken in excess, and/or over long periods of time. This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen — especially when taken in combination with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

 

Research2,3 shows that combining alcohol with acetaminophen raises your risk of kidney damage by 123 percent, compared to taking either of them individually. Long term alcohol consumption and smoking also take their toll on kidney function.

 

3 Dietary Keys to Protect Kidney Function

 

To protect your kidney function, keep the following three basic factors in mind:

 

  • Restrict protein to just what your body needs. An ideal protein intake is likely around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which for most is 40 to 70 grams a day.

 

The American Kidney Fund recommends restricting protein to a maximum of 50 grams if you have kidney disease4

 

  • Restrict fructose to 25 grams per day (about 6 teaspoons), or less (especially if you’re insulin/leptin resistant)

 

  • Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your kidney function and overall health.

 

The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).

 

How to Calculate Your Protein Requirement

 

Considering the fact that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese, I recommend calculating your individual protein requirement based on lean bodyweight (your total weight minus your fat) only.

 

For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

 

In this formula, you must first determine your lean body mass. To do that, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass.

 

Then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. As an example, if you weigh 170 pounds; 0.7 multiplied by 170 equals 119 pounds of lean body mass.

 

Using the “0.5 gram of protein” rule, you would need 59.5 or just under 60 grams of protein per day.

 

100 – % of body fat = % of lean mass X actual weight X 0.5 gm protein = total grams of protein recommended

 

Example: A 170 lb individual with 30% fat mass

 

100% total weight – 30% fat mass = 70 % lean mass

 

0.70 X 170 = 119 X 0.5 = 60 grams of protein recommended

 

Translating Ideal Protein Requirements Into Foods

 

To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.

 

Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly.

 

The chart below can give you a general idea of the protein content of many foods. I personally use Cronometer.com to enter everything I eat and carefully calculate my protein requirement to the gram.

 

Just be sure to enter the correct foods and amounts into the program, as the results will be inaccurate if you don’t enter the correct details.

 

Red meat, pork, and poultry average 6 to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

 

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18 to 27 grams of protein

Eggs contain about 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg.

 

So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12 to 16 grams of protein.

 

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)

Seeds and nuts contain on average 4 to 8 grams of protein per quarter cup

Cooked beans average about 7 to 8 grams per half cup

Cooked grains average about 5 to 7 grams per cup

Most vegetables contain about 1 to 2 grams of protein per ounce

Interestingly, while fish is typically considered a good source of protein, most fish contain only HALF of the protein found in beef and chicken. The reduced protein content in fish may actually be one reason why the Mediterranean diet is linked to life extension and reduced risk for chronic disease.5 In essence, those who eat more fish than red meat are automatically getting far less protein.

 

Other Dietary Dos and Don’ts If You Have Kidney Disease and/or Stones

 

 

If you have kidney disease, you also need to reduce consumption of foods rich in phosphorous, as they may promote the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, if you have problems urinating but don’t yet have kidney disease, try adding more potassium-rich foods (primarily vegetables and seeds) to your diet. Depending on the type of kidney stone you have, you may also need to modify your diet in other ways:

 

  • Struvite stones: Found more often in women, these are almost always the result of urinary tract infections

 

  • Cystine stones: Represent a very small percentage of kidney stones. These are the result of a hereditary disorder that causes your kidneys to excrete massive amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria)

 

  • Uric acid stones: These are a byproduct of protein and fructose metabolism, and are commonly seen with gout. Cutting your protein and fructose consumption is essential for preventing and treating these types of stones. Taking potassium citrate (which lowers urine acidity and reduces urine excretion of calcium) may also help prevent uric acid stones6

 

  • Calcium oxalate stones:7 These are the most common. About 80 percent of kidney stones are calcium based, and about 80 percent of those are calcium oxalate stones. Typically, they are the result of insufficient water intake and dietary factors, including excessive oxalate, protein, and processed salt consumption

 

Oxalate is found in some fruits and vegetables, but your liver produces most of your oxalate. If you are found to have oxalate stones, your physician may recommend avoiding oxalate-rich foods. Also, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, as magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate to form stones8

 

If you have calcium oxalate stones, rather than reducing your calcium intake you’ll want to minimize the amount of oxalates in your body. Soy and beer are two primary culprits that should be avoided. For reasons that are unclear, grapefruit juice has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones9 and is therefore best avoided. Other foods that contain high levels of oxalate10 that you’ll want to avoid if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones include:

 

Spinach

Rhubarb

Chocolate

Parsley

Beetroot

Most legumes,11 including green beans

Wheat and other grain-based flours12

Pepper

Nuts13

Potassium and Kidney Health

 

Potassium is a nutrient that receives a great deal of attention when you have kidney disease. On the one hand, potassium (a mineral and electrolyte) is essential for your cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive, and muscular function, bone health, and more.

 

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines, and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 milligrams (mg).

 

This can be problematic because potassium needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat many processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium. Others who are at particular risk of low potassium (hypokalemia) are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics).

 

However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels.

 

All of that said, if you have severe kidney impairment, you typically need to restrict your intake of high-potassium foods.14 Why? Because your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper amount of potassium in your body, and when they’re not working well, your levels could become excessively elevated.

 

Potassium helps maintain a regular heart rhythm and plays a role in muscle function, and when your potassium level gets too high, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and/or a heart attack.

 

Recommended Potassium Intake Varies Depending on the Health of Your Kidneys

 

If your kidneys are working well, the recommended amount of potassium is about 4,700 mg per day,15 which also needs to be balanced with sodium. As a general rule, your potassium to sodium ratio should be around 5:1. The easiest way to achieve this ratio is to eat REAL food (lots of fresh vegetables), ideally organically and locally grown to ensure optimal nutrient content.

 

This type of whole food diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium, whereas a processed food diet is virtually guaranteed to provide you with an upside-down ratio. Juicing your vegetables is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium.

 

If you have kidney disease, you need to pay careful attention to your potassium level and dietary intake. Most who are being treated for kidney disease will monitor their potassium level by measuring it monthly, and potassium- restricted diets typically recommend keeping potassium intake to about 2,000 mg per day.

 

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

 

Besides monitoring your protein and sugar/fructose intake and drinking plenty of water, adding the following foods to your diet can also help promote optimal kidney function.16,17,18,19,20

 

Red bell peppers: low in potassium, rich in vitamins A, B6, C, folic acid and fiber

Cherries: rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals

Cabbage: low in potassium, rich in vitamins C and K, and fiber, and phytochemicals that protect against free radical damage

Red and purple grapes: rich in antioxidants; the skin is particularly rich in resveratrol

Cauliflower: high in vitamin C, folate and fiber

Watermelon: rich in water, with diuretic properties, allowing you to produce more urine to flush out toxins

Garlic: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties

Lemon juice: helps reduce kidney stone formation

Onion: low in potassium, rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has natural antihistamine properties

Pumpkin seeds: rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of kidney stones

Apples: high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti- inflammatory compounds. Raw organic apple cider vinegar is helpful for the prevention of kidney stones

Kale: lower in potassium, good source of vitamins A and C, rich in iron — the latter of which is important for kidney health. Many with kidney disease are also iron deficient21

Berries,22 including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

Sweet potatoes: rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, and a good source of B6 and potassium

Herbal Kidney Cleansers

 

A number of herbs also have kidney-cleansing properties, including the following:

 

Ginger: purifies the blood and kidneys of toxins

Red clover: diuretic that stimulates waste removal from the kidneys

Turmeric: has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent and treat kidney infections and inflammation

Chanca Piedra: Used in South America to break up kidney stones (its Spanish name actually means “stone breaker”)

Dandelion: a natural diuretic that helps strengthen the kidneys and soothe urinary tract problems

Hydrangea root: Native American remedy for kidney stones

Nettle: natural diuretic that helps purify blood and treat urinary tract infections; also high in iron, making it beneficial for building blood

Uva ursi root: helps treat urinary and bladder problems

Marshmallow root: natural diuretic that helps treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder infections

Gravel root (Joe-Pye weed): Indian remedy for urinary tract and kidney health

Juniper: improves kidney function and helps treat urinary tract infections and kidney and/or bladder stones.

 

Avoid juniper berry if you have a kidney infection and/or are pregnant. Also don’t take continuously for more than four weeks

Goldenrod root: Native American remedy traditionally used to support urinary tract and kidney health

Yarrow root: a natural diuretic with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; helpful for urinary tract infections

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have any questions or what a personalized healthcare plan

Please give us a call.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems

kidney stones

 

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems With Food

 

Your kidneys — two bean-shaped organs — are located just below your rib cage one on either side of your spine. Positioned on top of each kidney are your adrenal glands. Each day, your kidneys filter up to 150 quarts of blood and flush out waste products through your urine.

One of the reasons why you need to drink enough water is to ensure healthy kidney function. In fact, chronic low-grade dehydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones.

Poor kidney function is also associated with a number of other serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Common signs of kidney problems include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Problems urinating
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Constant thirst

Good kidney function1 is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body, starting with the composition of your blood. For example, your kidneys are responsible for maintaining proper pH level and electrolyte balance (the ratios of sodium, potassium and phosphates).

They also produce hormones that make red blood cells, and those that help regulate your blood pressure.

Dietary Factors That Threaten Kidney Health

Waste products removed by your kidneys and eliminated through your urine include urea and uric acid, produced from the breakdown of proteins and nucleic acids respectively.

Excessive protein intake increases urea, while uric acid is a byproduct of both protein and fructose metabolism. Fructose typically increases uric acid within minutes of ingestion.

I became fully aware of the dramatic and devastating impact fructose has on your uric acid levels when I interviewed Dr.Richard Johnson on this topic

.

Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need, and two to four times (or more) fructose than is considered safe. These two dietary factors, alone and especially in combination, places significant stress on your kidneys and promote kidney disease and kidney stones.

Kidney stones are particularly linked to a diet high in processed fructose and other sugars, as sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. The phosphorus acid in soda also acidifies your urine, which promotes stone formation.

Analgesic drugs are also known to damage your kidneys when taken in excess, and/or over long periods of time. This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS), ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen – especially when taken in combination with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

Research2,3 shows that combining alcohol with acetaminophen raises your risk of kidney damage by 123 percent, compared to taking either of them individually. Long term alcohol consumption and smoking,  also take their toll on kidney function.

3 Dietary Keys to Protect Kidney Function

To protect your kidney function, keep the following three basic factors in mind:

  • Restrict protein to just what your body needs. An ideal protein intake is likely around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which for most is 40 to 70 grams a day.

The American Kidney Fund recommends restricting protein to a maximum of 50 grams if you have kidney disease4

  • Restrict fructose to 25 grams per day (about 6 teaspoons), or less (especially if you’re insulin/leptin resistant)
  • Drink pure, clean water.Simply swapping out sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your kidney function and overall health.

The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).

How to Calculate Your Protein Requirement

Considering the fact that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese, I recommend calculating your individual protein requirement based on leanbodyweight (your total weight minus your fat) only.

For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

In this formula, you must first determine your lean body mass. To do that, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass.

Then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. As an example, if you weigh 170 pounds; 0.7 multiplied by 170 equals 119 pounds of lean body mass.

Using the “0.5 gram of protein” rule, you would need 59.5 or just under 60 grams of protein per day.

100 – % of body fat = % of lean mass X actual weight X 0.5 gm protein = total grams of protein recommended

Example: A 170 lb individual with 30% fat mass

100% total weight – 30% fat mass = 70 % lean mass

0.70 X 170 = 119 X 0.5 = 60 grams of protein recommended

Translating Ideal Protein Requirements Into Foods

To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.

Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly.

The chart below can give you a general idea of the protein content of many foods. I personally use Cronometer.com to enter everything I eat and carefully calculate my protein requirement to the gram.

Just be sure to enter the correct foods and amounts into the program, as the results will be inaccurate if you don’t enter the correct details.

Red meat, pork, and poultry average 6 to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18 to 27 grams of protein

Eggs contain about 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg.

So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12 to 16 grams of protein.

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)

Seeds and nuts contain on average 4 to 8 grams of protein per quarter cup Cooked beans average about 7 to 8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average about 5 to 7 grams per cup Most vegetables contain about 1 to 2 grams of protein per ounce

Interestingly, while fish is typically considered a good source of protein, most fish contain only HALF of the protein found in beef and chicken. The reduced protein content in fish may actually be one reason why the Mediterranean diet is linked to life extension and reduced risk for chronic disease.5 In essence, those who eat more fish than red meat are automatically getting far less protein.

Other Dietary Dos and Don’ts If You Have Kidney Disease and/or Stones

 

If you have kidney disease, you also need to reduce consumption of foods rich in phosphorous, as they may promote the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, if you have problems urinating but don’t yet have kidney disease, try adding more potassium-rich foods (primarily vegetables and seeds) to your diet. Depending on the type of kidney stone you have, you may also need to modify your diet in other ways:

  • Struvite stones:Found more often in women, these are almost always the result of urinary tract infections
  • Cystine stones:Represent a very small percentage of kidney stones. These are the result of a hereditary disorder that causes your kidneys to excrete massive amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria)
  • Uric acid stones:These are a byproduct of protein and fructose metabolism, and are commonly seen with gout. Cutting your protein and fructose consumption is essential for preventing and treating these types of stones. Taking potassium citrate (which lowers urine acidity and reduces urine excretion of calcium) may also help prevent uric acid stones6
  • Calcium oxalate stones:7These are the most common. About 80 percent of kidney stones are calcium based, and about 80 percent of those are calcium oxalate stones. Typically, they are the result of insufficient water intake and dietary factors, including excessive oxalate, protein, and processed salt consumption

Oxalate is found in some fruits and vegetables, but your liver produces most of your oxalate. If you are found to have oxalate stones, your physician may recommend avoiding oxalate-rich foods. Also, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, as magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate to form stones8

If you have calcium oxalate stones,  rather than reducing your calcium intake you’ll want to minimize the amount of oxalates in your body. Soy and beer are two primary culprits that should be avoided. For reasons that are unclear, grapefruit juice has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones9 and is therefore best avoided. Other foods that contain high levels of oxalate10 that you’ll want to avoid if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones include:

Spinach Rhubarb Chocolate
Parsley Beetroot Most legumes,11 including green beans
Wheat and other grain-based flours12 Pepper Nuts13

Potassium and Kidney Health

Potassium is a nutrient that receives a great deal of attention when you have kidney disease. On the one hand, potassium (a mineral and electrolyte) is essential for your cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive, and muscular function,bone health,  and more.

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines, and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 milligrams (mg).

This can be problematic because potassium needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat many processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium. Others who are at particular risk of low potassium (hypokalemia) are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics).

However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels.

All of that said, if you have severe kidney impairment, you typically need to restrict your intake of high-potassium foods.14Why? Because your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper amount of potassium in your body, and when they’re not working well, your levels could become excessively elevated.

Potassium helps maintain a regular heart rhythm and plays a role in muscle function, and when your potassium level gets too high, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and/or a heart attack.

Recommended Potassium Intake Varies Depending on the Health of Your Kidneys

If your kidneys are working well, the recommended amount of potassium is about 4,700 mg per day,15 which also needs to be balanced with sodium. As a general rule, your potassium to sodium ratio should be around 5:1. The easiest way to achieve this ratio is to eat REAL food (lots of fresh vegetables), ideally organically and locally grown to ensure optimal nutrient content.

This type of whole food diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium, whereas a processed food diet is virtually guaranteed to provide you with an upside-down ratio. Juicing your vegetables is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium.

If you have kidney disease, you need to pay careful attention to your potassium level and dietary intake. Most who are being treated for kidney disease will monitor their potassium level by measuring it monthly, and potassium-restricted diets typically recommend keeping potassium intake to about 2,000 mg per day.

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

Besides monitoring your protein and sugar/fructose intake and drinking plenty of water, adding the following foods to your diet can also help promote optimal kidney function.16,17,18,19,20

Red bell peppers: low in potassium, rich in vitamins A, B6, C, folic acid and fiber Cherries: rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals
Cabbage: low in potassium, rich in vitamins C and K, and fiber, and phytochemicals that protect against free radical damage Red and purple grapes: rich in antioxidants; the skin is particularly rich in resveratrol
Cauliflower: high in vitamin C, folate and fiber Watermelon: rich in water, with diuretic properties, allowing you to produce more urine to flush out toxins
Garlic :antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties Lemon juice: helps reduce kidney stone formation
Onion: low in potassium, rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has natural antihistamine properties Pumpkin seeds: rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of kidney stones
Apples: high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Raw organic apple cider vinegar is helpful for the prevention of kidney stones Kale: lower in potassium, good source of vitamins A and C, rich in iron — the latter of which is important for kidney health. Many with kidney disease are also iron deficient21
Berries,22 including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries Sweet Potatoes: rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, and a good source of B6 and potassium

Herbal Kidney Cleansers

A number of herbs also have kidney-cleansing properties, including the following:

Ginger: purifies the blood and kidneys of toxins Red clover: diuretic that stimulates waste removal from the kidneys
Turmeric: has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent and treat kidney infections and inflammation Chanca Piedra: Used in South America to break up kidney stones (its Spanish name actually means “stone breaker”)
Dandelion: a natural diuretic that helps strengthen the kidneys and soothe urinary tract problems Hydrangea root: Native American remedy for kidney stones
Nettle: natural diuretic that helps purify blood and treat urinary tract infections; also high in iron, making it beneficial for building blood Uva ursi root: helps treat urinary and bladder problems
Marshmallow root: natural diuretic that helps treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder infections Gravel root (Joe-Pye weed): Indian remedy for urinary tract and kidney health
Juniper: improves kidney function and helps treat urinary tract infections and kidney and/or bladder stones.

Avoid juniper berry if you have a kidney infection and/or are pregnant. Also don’t take continuously for more than four weeks

Goldenrod root: Native American remedy traditionally used to support urinary tract and kidney health
Yarrow root: a natural diuretic with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; helpful for urinary tract infections  

 

 

Please always take this information and talk to a healthcare provider or give us a call.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived – JM

312-972-Well

 

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

nexium

Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from John Hopkins University found that the drugs that treat acid reflux and heartburn (like Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium) may not be as safe as once thought. While most considered the drugs effective and relatively free from side effects, this new study shows two things: a large number of people taking the meds don’t actually need them and proton pump inhibitors (PPI) raise the risk of kidney disease from 20 to 50 percent. And those facts come on the heels of another study from last June done by Stanford University which found those medications contributed to a higher chance of heart attacks.

 

Researchers looked at the records of more than 10,000 people and found that the, “risk of the onset of chronic kidney disease was 20 to 50 percent higher in those who took the PPIs. No increased risk was seen in people who took a different class of heartburn drugs like Pepcid and Zantac, which work by blocking histamine production in the cells lining the stomach”(PPIs block the secretion of acid into the stomach).

 

More from the article:

 

“JUST AS IT IS A FALLACY THAT PPIS ARE SAFE TO TAKE EVERY DAY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, SO IT IS ALSO A FALLACY THAT HEARTBURN IS CAUSED BY TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID, ACCORDING TO NOTED NATURAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER DR. JOSEPH MERCOLA. CONTRARY TO WHAT IS WIDELY BELIEVED, REFLUX IS CAUSED BY TOO LITTLE ACID. FURTHERMORE, TAKING DRUGS THAT SUPPRESS STOMACH ACID MERELY TREATS THE SYMPTOMS RATHER THAN ATTACKS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. IN FACT, THE MEDICATIONS ACTUALLY WORSEN THE CONDITION THAT PRODUCES THE SYMPTOMS, A RESULT THAT PERPETUATES THE PROBLEM. HE RECOMMENDS THAT PEOPLE WHO TAKE PPIS SHOULD GRADUALLY WEAN THEMSELVES OFF OF THEM INSTEAD OF STOPPING COLD TURKEY. AFTERWARDS, MERCOLA ADVISES TAKING NATURAL REMEDIES AND ADOPTING LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS.”

 

What many health practitioners have known for a long time is that it’s possible to treat heartburn naturally- and therefore- safely; some people use yellow mustard, many take apple cider vinegar (from the Mother is always best and either straight or in water), and still others have found success using a different type of salt, like a pink himalayan (if you use added salt in your food).

 

Some of those lifestyle modifications would be eating foods that help, rather than hurt and stress, your gut biome; fermented vegetables (kimchee/sauerkraut), kefir, and for those non-vegans, yogurt made from raw milk, are all great. And don’t be afraid to move your body! Exercise is good for you and will help. Then there are the more obvious things like smoking, caffeine and excessive alcohol.

 

Sadly, some kidney problems are irreversible and chronic kidney disease can result in kidney failure (which necessitates either dialysis or a transplant). Now, the research doesn’t prove PPIs cause chronic kidney disease but their findings should be considered serious enough to at least pay attention to and unless you really, really need them, you shouldn’t take them. In fact, it almost makes more sense to try alternative therapies first and use the PPIs as a last resort. Once you start to look at the issue, you really only have two options- treat your body better or take PPIs (and maybe play russian roulette with the outcome).

 

Please share with family and loved ones and call with all your healthcare concerns and for your personalized healthcare plan.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL