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Kidney health

part 1 Deborah Miller.  15/09/18


Kidney disease is known as the silent killer as generally there are no obvious symptoms until a person reaches end stage kidney disease.  It is highly prevalent in Australia and most Western countries.  


In Australia 1 in 10 people over the age of 18 years have some form of chronic kidney disease!!  We are just unaware of it. 


Less than 10% of people with Chronic Kidney Disease know they have it and the reason for this is we can have reduced kidney function but have no obvious symptoms.  It is known as the silent killer, due to the incredible capacity the kidneys have to compensate when their function is diminished. 


There are obvious warning signs that something is wrong but not until the disease reaches its final stage. 



 The risks are similar for Cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes:

  •  Obesity, overweight

  •  No/minimal exercise

  •  High blood pressure

  •  Poor diet - contributes largely to weight and hypertension

  •  Cigarette smoking

  •  Injuries to kidneys

  •  Kidney stones

  •  Kidney infections

  •  Chronic dehydration - which is a huge issue

  •  If people are overweight and dehydrated in their 20's they are in a high risk group for developing   chronic kidney disease later in life as it takes decades to develop. 

To reduce the risks of ending up with kidney disease we can implement harm minimisation from an early age.  Drink lots of water, put some lemon slices in your water to help absorption and/or a squeeze of lemon juice, use a straw if you put lemon juice in your water to protect your teeth.  In the prevention and minimisation of chronic kidney disease it is the excretion of urine that is important.   In adults the output needs to be about 1 litre a day, if you have kidney stones urine excretion should be about 2 litres a day.  Try to stay at a healthy weight, reduce or take out alcohol from your diet, reduce high blood pressure as high blood pressure damages the kidneys and kidney function.

Research shows that nutrition is a key intervention in chronic kidney disease.  To prevent ongoing problems or prevention, alkalising is the key, reducing the net acidic load in the diet.  When the diet is high in acid producing foods it creates a big load on the kidney's as the kidney's excrete the acid.  The more damaged and impaired the kidneys become the more acidic the body becomes.  If this high dietary acid load goes unchecked it leads to low grade acidosis that contributes to bone and muscle loss, even in people with even mild renal impairment.

In the next article I will discuss:

  • What foods and other things create the greatest acid load on the body.

  • What foods reduce the acid load on the kidneys.

  • What to look out for in your blood tests that may indicate acid/kidney issues.

  • Lifestyle, nutrition and supplements to support healthy kidneys.


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