Over the last eight years, my primary focus with clients has been helping people improve their thyroid diseases and autoimmune diseases with nutrition and mind-body work. However, I have certainly had clients with kidney disease come to me seeking nutritional supports in order to improve their health and quality of life. We’ve seen big changes in their symptoms and blood work by adopting some simple, strategic diet changes.
Please know I don’t share these ideas to tell you that kidney disease can be reversed or 100% healed. But it can be improved with food. I know there are some who have been able to put kidney disease into remission, but this is not a promise I make to anyone. There is always the possibility for improvement and putting research-backed nutrition to use for you is the best first step. You don’t have to do all of these things at once as it can lead to a restrictive diet but try to keep these things in mind going forward. As always, speak with your health care provider before making any changes and ask them for direction on your specific situation.
Nutritional healing for kidney disease:
Lower and limit your intake of all animal proteins (this includes eggs, dairy, seafood, and meats) as proteins are especially hard on the kidneys and can lead to dehydration.
Lower your sodium intake (your doctor can direct you on how much you should be using daily). When you do have salt, use an unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Reduce the phosphorous level in your diet. Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and root vegetables are commonly high. While standard nutrition practices tell us that whole grains are healthier, the truth is that it depends on how your health is at the moment. For example, choose white rice over brown because the phosphorus level will be lower.
Avoid carbonated drinks, even water. The phosphoric acid can contribute to high phosphorus levels which wreaks havoc on kidney health.
Add in as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. Not only are they alkalizing (which is difficult when kidney disease is present, due to imbalanced minerals) but they provide enzymes If you are someone who needs to watch their potassium levels so they don’t get too high, then rely on low-potassium fruit and veg. Juices and smoothies are a great option because they will allow you to intake a high volume of alkalizing minerals in one shot.
Determine if dietary oxalates are a problem for you. If so, work with a practitioner to slowly (very very slowly) reduce the oxalate content of your diet. Oxalates are notorious for damaging the kidneys.
Use binders to reduce your phosphorous level. Activated charcoal and chitosan are two options. Speak with your practitioner before adding in any supplements, however.
Eat foods low in Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL). Sugar, alcohol, tomatoes, and white flour products are notoriously high. Raw fruits and vegetables are typically the lowest.
Drink alkaline water. Your body has a hard time keeping itself alkaline so taking in liquids that are alkaline is a way to help your body do what it is unable to do for itself at the moment.
Keep your blood sugar balanced. Keep snacks on hand and eat meals at appropriate times. Rely on high-good-fat snacks to keep you going between meals.
Avoid heavy metals. They are very damaging to the kidneys and hide in foods, beauty products, and even supplements.
Eliminate food sensitivities.
Use herbs that are helpful for kidney function.
De-stress. When we talk about stress, the adrenal glands typically get all of the attention. However, your kidneys are also extremely sensitive to stress. Energetically, kidney malfunction is a result of fear. Kidney patients have often undergone extreme life stressors (often still relegated to the recesses of the subconscious mind so you may not be consciously aware of it). You can be an abuse victim in which you were constantly walking on eggshells around others for fear of punishment that comes with abuse. Go back to the time the abuse first started and begin to see how it has affected your feelings and choices in the present, then stop the cycle once and for all by accessing your personal power. Tell abusers to f*ck off because you deserve better.