A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
A pair of complex organs undertakes the complicated detoxification of the blood in the human body and they also act as liquid waste filters; these vital organs are the kidneys. The regulation of the very important function of maintaining the volume of blood, the osmoregulative role or the maintenance of the levels of electrolytes in the blood is another essential role that the kidneys play within the human body. Needless to say the function that the renal system plays in the human body is vast and necessary for normal health and life.
A permanent damage is not inflicted on the body by a majority of the infections that may come in the course of a lifetime. Infections of the kidneys can come in at any age, and adults as well as children are equally susceptible. Some of the symptoms that can arise from an infection of the kidneys include lower-back pain and fever as signs of renal distress. If left unattended and undiagnosed these infections can spread and assume more severe forms, which is a very likely state of affairs as the symptoms are typically mild and do not cause much discomfort to the person.
The typical type of inflammation of the kidneys is known as pyelonephritis, and it is a very common condition in people with renal distress. A bladder infection is usually suspected as it has the same symptoms, such as fever, and the development of a pain in the lower back. The infection can usually be identified by the presence of pain while urinating, and the need to urinate again and again. The coloration of the urine produced is a light red and looks cloudy. Other signs of physical distress such as nausea, a tendency to retch and vomiting and headaches can come on if the infection is of a serious nature.
Both kidneys can be infected at the same time in a condition called glomerulonephritis. The same bacterium that causes strep throat may be responsible for this condition, which leads to the infection of the filter system of both kidneys. An inflammation in the kidneys can usually be diagnosed by the presence of physical sings such as fatigue and the appearance of a high blood pressure in the afflicted person. Another typical symptom is a raised temperature or fever. Further afflictions and problems include the accumulation of water most noticeable around the eyes and the kidneys, also known as edema or water logging. The urine seems cloudy or red.
The identification of kidney trouble is often problematic and hard, and persistent and chronic infection of the kidneys can be present for months on end without proper diagnosis. The failure of the kidneys to perform its functions and the condition of uremia, and other conditions like nephrotic syndrome or nephrosis are considered the most severe forms of distress to the kidneys. The inability of the kidneys to excrete proper amounts of urea leads to the condition called uremia; urea is a by-product formed when proteins are broken down in the metabolic processes of the body, since this substance can be dangerous and toxic if retained, uremia is considered a serious condition. The smell of urine can become prevalent and noticeable in the breath and the skin of the person if sufficient quantities of the substance have accumulated in him or her. This toxic substance is usually eliminated by medical treatment using dialysis machines performing the role of filtration and detoxification in the person. Changes in urinary habits, the presence of recurring headaches and persistent pain in the lower back signal possible problems in the kidneys and the person should seek the diagnosis and advise of a medical specialist.
The invasion of the kidneys by bacteria can cause acute pyelonephritis in a person. The kidneys in such cases are on the whole most probably infected from a neglected bladder infection spreading out into the renal region. The vulnerability of a person to infection can also be increased by cold temperatures in the region of the lower back and the pelvic region. The chances of infections are increased appreciably by the presence of factors such as kidney stones and other disorders; they can act as factors to infection by their ability to hamper the flow of urine and consequent processes of detoxification. The intake of adequate amounts of liquids during the day thus becomes important, as this may become a factor in the formation of stones and a stimulus to infection. The prolonged and regular use of analgesics and medications that are broken down and filtered through the kidneys can bring about the occurrence of chronic complications of the kidneys, and must be avoided. Hormonal imbalances in pregnant woman create greater chances of infection arising in the kidneys and it is also generally believed that women compared to men show a greater vulnerability to infections of the kidneys and the urinary tract.
Streptococci bacteria can bring about disorders in the immune system leading to the condition known as glomerulonephritis. Emotional and physical problems and trauma can lead to the dysfunction of the kidneys, according to the Chinese medicine system, since here it is believed that the body's vitality and resilience are stored in the kidneys. Thus anxiety, fear and insecurity and the development of stress due to overwork, can all bring about disorders in the renal system.
Supplements and herbs
Deficiencies in the level of essential nutrients in the body can aggravate the disorders of the kidneys. It is important to minimize or avoid diuretics in any form, as the nutrient lost through the urine is immense and can bring about all sorts of problems for the kidneys. The ideal role that supplements play in the body is to restore these nutrients especially if they have undergone significant depletion in the body. The restoration and renewal of damaged tissue, and the maintenance of a healthy mucous membrane in the body is an important function that the vitamin A can perform as a supplement. A supplement using the vitamin C acts as a mild diuretic and can help in the stabilization of the walls of blood vessels. Infections in the body are another area that this vitamin can work in, especially used with the plant-based substances called the bioflavonoid, for maximum effect. Bleeding in the urinary tract is also alleviated using a combination of these two substances. Urinary output and volume can also be increased by supplements of the vitamin E, especially with regard to the development of scarring and scar tissue in the body, which might disturb the normal functioning of the kidneys, this vitamin also speeds up the healing process. The vitamin B6 can be used in cases of uremia, which is a physical condition or disorder in which insufficient amounts of urea are excreted through the urine, the vitamin can increase the volume of urea excreted and prevent its dangerous accumulation in the body. To retain a normal complement of the B vitamins in the body, supplements using capsules of multivitamin content such as the vitamin B complex can be utilized.
The stimulation of the urinary tract to excrete sufficient volumes of water should be the aim of the therapy utilizing herbs or herbal-based products.
The juice of the horsetail herb is a very efficient treatment option and can be drunk daily. To prepare this juice take 1 to 2 tbsp. of the herb or some of the herbal extract and dilute it in a glass of water, this can be drunk thrice a day before your meals, using boiling water; a herbal tea can also be brewed from the herb by simply adding a tsp. of herbs to a cup of the boiling water, dosage is as before with the juice. The probability of full and complete recovery form the disorder is increased if the treatment using the herb is begun at once and without delay.
Kidney function can also be strengthened using the juice of the birch; the juice has many minerals essential to health besides other beneficial effects. This birch juice can be made into a tea and can be drunk throughout the course of a day, in small cups as a treatment method. The juice acts on the kidneys reducing the albumen content of the urine to an appreciable extent, increasing the volume and output of urine while gently soothing any existing inflammation that may have developed in them. The beneficial actions and properties of the juices of the horsetail and birch are supported in their effects by the tea made from the leaf of the bearberry, and this tea can be used to dilute those juices instead of water during treatment. The inflammation that may develop can also be minimized using herbs like the Echinacea family, the goldenrod herb, the roots of the ginger plant, the dandelion, the husks of beans and fennel, the catnip plant and alfalfa grass may also be used in this role. As an additional benefit these herbs also stimulate the kidneys, helping it carry its normal functions out. A combination of these herbs can be used to make an herbal tea by adding a tsp. of the herbs to a cup of boiling water, this tea may be drunk twice a day, for optimal and beneficial effects on the kidneys.
One may also resort to external and topical methods, by alternately using an oil compress made from the oil of flax seed with a compress made of hot hayseeds. For topical application, warm some of the flax seed oil in a pan, and soak a cotton cloth into this warmed oil. Apply gently to the painful area covering the application with a dry cotton towel at first and replacing it with a woolen cloth later on.
Bathing daily for about twenty minutes using hot horsetail herbal extract in the bath water or an oat straw sitz solution will appreciably relieve pain in the afflicted person, and boost the rate of recuperation. The bath can be made by steeping 3 and a half pounds of dried horsetail herbs in five qt. of cold water for about twelve hours. The herbs diffuses into the water, and this liquid can then be strained and warmed, and mixed in the bath water of the patient. Make sure to lie down in the bath water for at least twenty minutes for optimal effects. After having taken this immersion in the herbal infused water, the body must not be dried immediately, the patient can wear a warm cotton-terry robe and must be allowed to sweat for at least an hours time, while lying in bed.
Additional things you may do
It is very important to spend time resting and recuperating by lying down for long periods of time. Further topical massages can be applied onto the external area where the kidneys are, utilizing hot packs for this purpose. At least three times a day, hot packs can be applied and rubbed on the area for twenty minutes, per session, the packs must always be hot or comfortably warm. Regularly moving the bowels at set times and practicing breathing exercises can help stimulate excretion through the intestines and the lungs. While symptoms persist, daily fifteen-minute hot baths can be tried out at least for the initial few days. Detoxification through the skin must then be allowed to run its course by letting the patient sweat for at least an hour after such hot baths.
Other beneficial herbs