Dialysis? Your kidneys need this hero
Q: Is there a way to replace the nutrients that my husband loses through dialysis?
GR: The two bean-shaped organs in the middle of your back are so incredibly critical to your daily life and well-being, but not many people pay a lot of attention to them.
At least, not until it's way too late.
In fact, if you've got kidney disease -- which is usually considered a "death sentence" -- even a kidney specialist can't stop the damage that's already started.
There are no prescription medications out there to treat kidney disease. In fact, there aren't many supplements made directly for the kidney, either!
In fact, the ONLY reason for your annual visits is so he can determine when you're going to have to start dialysis.
He's just WAITING for your kidneys to fail!
But according to a new meta-analysis of some old studies, there may actually be something that can help.
Recently, a group of Italian doctors finally spent the time to review all of the old data on treatments for kidney disease in diabetics, all of which centered on the use of antioxidants.
Maybe these studies didn't make a splash when they were initially done because the supplements weren't -- and aren't -- instantaneous miracles. The antioxidants were taken over long periods of time, and any progress would be shown over a long period of time as well.
But one of the most interesting findings was from one of the studies from 2012. It turns out that antioxidants seem to help the patients who need it the most: those on dialysis.
Why would anyone with even the slightest hint of kidney disease NOT take an antioxidant? Antioxidants won't just target your kidneys the way that prescription medications notoriously treat just one issue at a time.
Because if oxidation is damaging the kidneys, then it also must be damaging ALL of the major essential organs. And antioxidants can help the rest of your body, too.
The antioxidants used in the study -- sometimes in combination with each other -- were vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, zinc, methionine, and CoQ10, so those are a good place to start.
A doctor well-versed in integrative medicine may suggest other antioxidants to add to the supplement mix, especially those that are safe for anyone who's currently on dialysis.
I also included a list of some of the most potent food sources of antioxidants in the September issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter.
As any doctor will tell you, though, the main thing to do to protect the kidneys is line up your defenses as much as possible. For example, limit the amount of NSAID pain relievers (like ibuprofen and naproxen) you take, because the kidneys have to process them.
And since high pressures in the arteries "wear down" the kidneys, keeping blood pressure within normal limits will also help.
Have a question for me? Drop me a line at email@example.com and keep an eye on your inbox for the answer right here in eTips.