Complementary therapies are being researched and used in combination with Western Medicine more and more each day. I don't like the term complementary because it implies that this treatment is separate and should be treated as such. Many physicians are using the term "integrated" instead, which I think is much better word. An integrated approach that uses all forms of available and relevant therapies is the best approach. If you decide to utilize any of the therapies described below, it should be done under the close supervision of both your kidney doctor and qualified health practitioner.
|Homeopathic Remedies For Kidney Disease|
Osteopathy and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)
There is no better example of an integrated approach to medicine than osteopathy. It is a practice of medicine that focuses on treating the whole person, not just a particular illness. I am one of many osteopathic physicians. We are trained not only in "Western" medicine, but also in using the healing power of touch to treat illness-osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, recognized the important role of a "hands-on" approach in treating people. Therefore, all osteopathic physicians are trained in the basics of OMM in medical school; some even undergo further specialized training to become practitioners solely in OMM.
Through the use of different types of manipulative techniques, including myofascial (my-o-fash-el) techniques - a type of muscle massage - OMM is used in the treatment of many illnesses, including hypertension. There are other techniques that are utilized specifically for the treatments of edema as well. I believe that touch is an essential component of the healing process and OMM is a great example of this.
This is a great form of hands-on medicine that focuses on the spine and spinal mechanics as a cause and contribution to health and disease. There is an overlap with chiropractic care and OMM, as many people benefit from their expertise with an improvement in overall health and well-being. With regards to high blood pressure and kidney disease, if the spine is not in line, it can alter the character of the nerves that affect blood pressure and the kidneys. This increased "sympathetic tone" of the nerves can increase the blood pressure and affect kidney blood flow. Both chiropractic medicine and OMM can restore the body to its natural balance through different, but complementary forms of therapy.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice that, like OMM, has a beneficial effect on the whole body. More specifically, it may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and may be beneficial in kidney disease. More studies are certainly needed, but I think some preliminary evidence suggests acupuncture may have an effect on lowering blood pressure as well.
In contrast to Western medicine, the approach of homeopathy is that less is more. In other words, very small quantities of medicine can have significant effects on healing. The risk of experiencing toxic effects to any medication in homeopathy is slim to none. More study is needed in the use of homeopathy for the treatment of kidney disease.
Chelation (kee-lay-shun) is a treatment for purifying the blood that effectively removes toxins and other pollutants, including heavy metals, from the body. It has also been used in treating clogged blood vessels, diabetes, and heart disease - research is ongoing regarding chelation and heart disease.
As discussed in prior posts, lead and other heavy metals that we are exposed to can worsen kidney disease. The effect of heavy metals on kidney disease is a lot more common than we think. In an important study, chelation improved kidney function in people with a long-term, low-level exposure to lead.
Chelation treatment involves administering a "chelating agent" called EDTA (chemical name: ethylenedinitrilo-tetraacetic acid) through a vein (intravenously). This agent can also be given in a pill form. There are natural forms of chelation, as well. Medications in pill form used for chelation can include EDTA, vitamin C, garlic, and other natural agents. Watch the dose and type of agent you decide to use. Some of the oral forms may have high potassium and magnesium levels. Talk with your doctor if you are deciding on this form of therapy, as blood work needs to be monitored closely. There are many potential benefits of chelation therapy that need to be further studied.
We talked at length about the importance of meditation and stress reduction. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is, not only to reduce anxiety, but also to lower stress, improve blood pressure, and improve one's well-being.
For many of the conditions we discussed in the preceding posts, a combination approach to treatment is the best approach. In diabetic nephropathy, for example, in addition to using ACE inhibitors/ ARBS, the use of vitamins, antioxidants, and certain herbal supplements can be beneficial. More research is needed, however, to establish what the optimal dosage is. To find out more, you can check out Homeopathic Remedies For Kidney Disease.