This is obviously an area in which you will need to rule out serious pathology. Infections should be found and treated appropriately. A routine urinalysis will show if there is infection, sugar or protein in the urine. Occasionally the individual treated for repeated kidney infections will have a large kidney stone creating the symptoms of infection. An x-ray or intravenous pyelogram is often necessary. Even when traditional medicine is necessary, nutritional support can be of benefit.
A Model for Holistic Health Care
The term “alternative health care” is not really appropriate. What “alternative” practitioners do is address the health of the individual and not merely try to manipulate symptoms. They work to improve the health of the patient, enabling the body to heal itself.
Rather than thinking of disease as something that just randomly invades a healthy body, they think of disease as evolving when all of the components for good health are not present. For a body to be healthy there must be good genetics, good structural balance, good nutrition, biorhythmic integrity and good emotional health. When these base components are not present, it sets the stage for disease.
Traditional Western medicine deals with symptoms. It is a great approach when the symptoms are severe or dangerous. If you get hit by a car, you may want the trauma team to work on you rather than have someone give you calcium to help you bones to heal.
Chronic health problems, however, respond better to holistic care. Gastric reflux, for example can be controlled with a drug—complete with side effects. The holistic practitioner will look at the problem as the digestive system telling you that something is wrong and try to come up with a therapy that addresses the cause of the problem. The holistic care will not have side effects and it will ultimately help more serious problems from developing.
Sometime both approaches are needed. An asthmatic, for instance, can die if the attack is severe enough. Drugs can save his or her life. At the same time, addressing nutritional and other core health issues can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Clearly both approaches are needed. Below is a model for health created by Dr. Emanual Cheraskin in his book, Predictive Medicine. In his book, Dr. Cheraskin talked about nutrition being at the center of the circle in the model below; but there are other factors.
An Example of the Development of Poor Health
The issues that are at the core of good health include proper diet, proper structural alignment, emotional well-being, biorhythmic integrity and good genetics. If the core issues for good health are interfered with, a decline begins. For instance, if you eat a lot of refined white sugar and refined (white) noodles and bread, a decline in health begins.
If the assault on health continues, the function of the enzymes are affected. The sugar and carbohydrate is a burden on the digestive system—often there is not enough enzyme production to fully digest the carbohydrates. The undigested food irritates the lining of the small intestine, further damaging digestion. This results in a reduction of absorption of vitamins and minerals, an overgrowth of yeast (that release toxins) and a burden to the pancreas and insulin production.
As this situation continues the adrenal glands are stressed and their function is adversely affected. Also, because the sugar consumption forces the body to make insulin—the body begins to become insensitive to its own insulin.
As the adrenal and pancreas function, loss of nutrients, and the toxicity from the yeast overgrowth continue, many aspects of the body’s biochemistry go into decline. Formation of neurotransmitters, production of cellular energy, efficiency of the cells of the immune system, and other aspects of the body’s biochemistry go into decline. Cholesterol and triglyceride production increases. Until now there have been no definite symtoms
As the decline continues, physiologic performance is affected. The patient will not “feel right” but still nothing that can be diagnosed.
As the decline continues, signs and symptoms develop: fatigue, insomnia, depression, frequent colds, PMS, ADD, joint pains, muscle aches or other symptoms. There may also be adult onset diabetes.
The point is, no matter what the health problem, whether it’s the heart, liver, immune system or kidneys, addressing the core issues of health is of benefit. Natural health care is not as much about fighting disease—kidney or otherwise—as it is about promoting health.
Dietary / Lifestyle Guidelines:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other liquids that act as diuretics: These stress the kidney.
- A diet that is high in antioxidants will help protect the urinary tract. Foods like green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants.
- Adequate vitamin A in the diet will help protect the mucus membranes. Vitamin A can be found in organ meats and in yellow vegetables. Vitamin A is also good for support of the immune system.
- Get adequate essential fatty acids and strictly avoid hydrogenated oils: Avoiding hydrogenated oils will help to ensure health of the cell membranes.
- Avoid chemical additives in commercially prepared foods: Some additives and food colorings have been shown to damage kidneys in animal studies. Consuming chemicals make the body work to eliminate them.
- Pineapple and cranberry juice are high in mannose which prevents invading bacteria from binding to the membranes of the urinary tract.