Abnormalities in a person’s kidney and spleen energy can be the cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) according to Eastern Medicine philosophies. The signs of kidney dysfunction can include CKD, high creatinine levels or proteinuria (urinary levels of excess serum protein) and those concerned about this will find many healthy food recommendations that a licensed dietition can recommend from a nutritional perspective. In this article, along with recommendations for good nutrition and lifestyle changes, I provide the Eastern Medicine perspective.
Organ Energy & Eastern Medicine
Kidney and spleen energy can relate to the way your kidneys function and your overall kidney health in the following ways:
1. The kidney, heart function, fluid balance, cellular energy, cellular detoxification and elimination of toxins is believed to be controlled by Kidney energy. Kidney energy is vital to cellular elimination, detoxification of toxins through the kidney, and to cellular uptake of nutrients, immune defense and cellular vitality. Abnormal kidney energy is also implicated in diabetes and changes in blood pressure, two important causes of CKD.
2. Spleen energy controls nutrition, absorption, allergies, autoimmunity and detoxification. Chemicals and pollution often adversely affect Spleen Energy, so it’s not surprising that there is an ever increasing incidence of allergies, autoimmune disease and nutritional deficiencies in our population. Spleen energy is also involved in Phase I liver detoxification – the initial processing of toxins by the liver. Emotions can also weaken spleen energy, particularly anxiety and worry.
When we look at kidney disease, it is most often the result of hypertension and diabetes, but can also be caused by viral infections, autoimmune disease and toxicity. “Millions of Americans are at risk of developing CKD because they have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both” according to the National Institute of Health. Since these conditions are so prevalent in our society, it becomes even more important for those concerned with kidney dysfunctions such as kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, high createinine, proteinuria, CKD or diabetic nephropathy to naturally support and balance kidney and spleen energies.
The Role of Nutrition in Kidney Health
No doubt, we really are what we eat. Better nutrition can be very helpful to support your body’s ability to reverse disease. Fresher and more natural food has more nutritional value. Processed and packaged food contains potentially harmful preservatives, added chemicals, and loses more nutritional value through cooking.
You can prevent or delay health problems from chronic kidney disease (CKD) by eating the right foods and avoiding foods high in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium according to the National Institute of Health. I always recommend fresh food, especially fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of protein like chicken, turkey, small fish, tofu, etc. for my patients dealing with energy or health issues. Speeding up the progression of chronic kidney disease, leading to problems such as proteinuria, can be the result of over burdened kidneys from eating too much protein however. The importance of moderation cannot be overstated. The three worst food categories I caution my patients about consuming, are foods that contain refined sugars, dairy and grains, all of which can increase inflammation, sugar imbalances and autoimmune disease.
Organ Energy is Affected by Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes can dramatically affect spleen energy. Drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, a healthy diet and adequate sleep make a big difference, as does stress management, especially decreasing how much you worry. When you think about it logically, worrying never really resolves anything and can actually add to your stress level. This habit is, sorry to say, one that too many of us have.
Seafood and fish among several others are particularly good foods for kidney energy. I advocate my patients moderate their consumption of larger fish such as tuna, swordfish, etc. considering the increasing levels of mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals in seafood. As for salt, I usually recommend using only natural sources of salt (like sea salt) in moderation to stimulate kidney energy. The recommended quantity of salt varies depending on diet, sex, and health factors.
The biggest factor for maintaining healthy kidney energy is to control the emotions of fear and insecurity, something we’re all subject to these days.
In many ways stress reduction techniques are beneficial. Exercise both relaxes and energizes. Whether they are related to diet, lack of exercise or negative emotions, the problem with imbalances and deficiencies of energy is that they result in decreased function of organs like the kidneys.
Naturally Enhancing Organ Energy
Attempting to improve the energy in cells and organs is much of what we do in natural medicine. The herbs contained in Get Well Natural’s Kidney Well II, Phyto Antioxidant, Cardio Well and Metabo Well products, and many other combinations of herbs and nutrients are used to enhance kidney function and both kidney and spleen energy. Other kidney and spleen herbal tonics are also suportive of healthy function as are enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, CoEnzyme Q10, minerals and essential fatty acids.
In Western Medicine, we often examine and treat organ disorders without an interest or awareness of all the organs and factors that may interact with the diseased organ.For example, Western doctors rarely pay much interest to the digestive function when evaluating kidney disease.
Eastern Medicine is particularly good at identifying and treating the underlying cause of chronic disease which is one of the things I appreciate most about Eastern Medicine. This is done by looking at a person’s organ imbalance or balance, environment, diet, lifestyle, etc.
For ultimate kidney health, I implement this integrative philosophy by advising my patients to look at factors such as stress levels, exercise, diet, digestion and detoxification as a means to enhance their kidney function.
If you have any questions regarding the use of dietary herbal supplements to support your health call Get Well Natural at 1-888-522-HERB (4372)
*Statements in this article have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
© 2009 Get Well Natural, LLC
2.http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/NutritionLateCKD, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases