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Reversing Chronic Kidney Disease

The Effect of Detoxification on Kidney Function 

Under Supervision by a qualified practitioner, detoxification is an excellent way to bring your body into balance if you have normal kidney function. There are several reasons I emphasize this. With CKD, especially in the advanced stages, the excessive urination and risk of dehydration associated with detoxification can affect kidney function. Such forced urination may increase the workload of the kidney. Additionally, your kidneys are receiving the combined effects of all the herbs in the cleansing formula at one time, many of which contain potassium, like juniper and dandelion root. With diabetes and advanced CKD, the kidneys can have difficulty getting rid of this often harmful extra potassium load.

Reversing Chronic Kidney Disease

Another concern about detoxification and kidney function is the required time. The time commitment to various detoxification programs is different. Some are short, lasting only one to three days; others can be as long as thirty days. In CKD, doing a rapid detoxification may actually worsen kidney function. The kidneys are very sensitive to rapid fluid changes in the body. With the "kidney flushing" properties of many of these rapid formulas, the risks of dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and worsening kidney function are significant. I would avoid doing any type of rapid detoxification if CKD is present. If you have stage 1 or stage 2 kidney disease and you choose to do a rapid detoxification, I would do so under the close supervision of your nephrologist or complementary health care provider.
A slower detoxification process - one that is more kidney friendly - may be an acceptable alternative. If your doctor does not have you on any type of fluid restriction, I would recommend drinking a lot of purified, alkalinized water. In addition, the use of certain teas, such as green tea, can be helpful because it is a natural diuretic.
By doing a more gradual detox, you have a much lower risk of developing dehydration and worsening kidney function. This approach is less traumatic to the kidneys and it will improve how you feel over time. In addition, add a glass of freshly juiced vegetables daily. Equally as important is eating fruits and vegetables that are abundant in antioxidants. It doesn't make any sense to detoxify if you are not going to change your eating habits.
Consider Liver Cleanses
Many of the available liver cleanses contain ingredients that are either kidney protective or kidney beneficial, including the vitamins B1, B6, B12, E, folic acid, N-acetylcysteine, and milk thistle - the last two of which are currently being studied for their kidney protective benefits. I would look for a cleanse that contained all or most of these, although a better option would be to take the ingredients separately. Before attempting any type of cleansing program, however, first consult with your doctor.
Your intestines are filled with "good bacteria" whose job is to help in the digestion of food and maintain balance by preventing the growth of "bad bacteria." When we take antibiotics, we disrupt the normal balance in the intestines, because the medicine can wipe out both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are good bacteria that we put back into our bodies to restore and maintain balance in the intestines. A common way to take this is via a dietary supplement, and there are many of them out there.

In addition to maintaining balance, probiotics may have a role in kidney disease. The intestines and the kidneys both have a role in processing the toxins that can build up in kidney disease. In advanced CKD, the use of probiotics may improve the processing and removal of toxins. One example is a probiotic supplement from Kibow Biotech. More research is needed in this area, but it represents a new area of treatment for CKD. Again, talk with your doctor and other health providers before trying any new medication or dietary supplement. To find out more, you can check out Reversing Chronic Kidney Disease.