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Kidney Disease Series - 5-Kidney Healing Myths... Demystified

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If you have decided to use natural therapies to treat kidney disease, or any illness for that matter, you will undoubtedly have snuck a look on the internet to see what sort of information is available. In a way we are blessed to be living during the "information age", but on the downside, anyone can put information on the internet - and not everyone should!

Unfortunately most health information that is available to the public for free is not reliable or accurate. This is can be demonstrated by the fact that many pieces of advice or 'evidence' are conflicting. Of course there are reliable sources around, but if you have the attitude that what you read should be taken with a grain of salt unless it is clearly written by a professional whom you trust, you will be much safer.

Today we will be looking at some of the common myths related to kidney health and why they should not be trusted. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you mention you have an illness, someone knows someone else who had that, and swears by an unusual remedy that was a miracle cure?
 

Just like these self-confessed experts, the internet can lead you astray, and some information can be downright dangerous. 

If you think about it, there is no reason why some of these crazy remedies would work, and although intentions may be good, there is no reason you should listen to someone who swears by another's cure when there are so many highly trained professionals who can guide you in the right direction when it comes to natural therapies.

Myth Number 1:

- Coca-cola is a good method to dissolve kidney stones

The first one is perhaps the most dangerous of all, and it is quite a popular! That is using coca-cola to dissolve kidney stones. Now I have to say that this can actually work in some cases, but why would you? In the off chance that is does work what other conditions have you just caused by drinking litre (quart), after litre (quart) of sugary, health decaying soda.
 

It highly encourages diabetes (a major cause of kidney damage), as a can of soft drink contains approximately 8 teaspoons of sugar, and as we know most people drink 4-5 times that much when they get a large bottle or super sized serve at McDonalds. Not to mention the caffeine content. 

The best kidney diet requires that you remove all caffeine and limit sugar as much as possible as they place an unnecessary burden on the kidneys, and cause huge amounts of acidity. Soft drinks also contain high levels of phosphoric acid, and among other problems, phosphates can lead to high blood pressure, which has shown to damage kidneys. So don't even consider trying this one please!

Myth Number 2:

- You should drink very high amounts of water to provide the best health for your kidneys

Some people advise that to treat both kidney stones, and for general kidney health that you should drink as much water as possible. It is true that for general health you should drink plenty of water (8 glasses a day), but this does not mean the more the better. In the case of advanced kidney damage this is simply not true and is actually extremely unsafe.

If you do have advanced kidney damage your doctor will most likely have out you on a 'water allowance' and you should not ignore this, as drinking too much water will place extra burden on your kidneys.

One of the main functions of the kidneys is to balance fluid in the body, and in the case of kidney failure, the kidneys are unable to get rid of excess water. Excess water in the body can cause high blood pressure, which as we know is very dangerous and is often already an issue in kidney disease. This is turn places extra burden on the kidneys, so you can see how adding a large amount of fluid to the equation gives your kidneys even more work to do.

Calculating your water intake is not as simple as measuring how much water you drink from a bottle each day. You need to take into account, herbal teas, juices and foods that are water based such as soups. Also fruit and some vegetables have high water content.

Basically anything that melts at room temperature also needs to be considered part of your water allowance. That includes foods such as ice cream (which you should be avoiding any way!) So drinking lots of water is not a complete myth, but you need to take your level of health into account and get professional advice. 

Myth Number 3:

- Beer and wine prevent kidney stones, and beer dissolves kidney stones.

This sounds like a ridiculous statement, but it is all over the internet, with some people even claiming that their doctors told them to drink regularly. Alcohol is THE worst thing you can put into your body if your kidneys are damaged. In fact heavy drinking encourages the production of uric acid, which some kidney stones are formed from. Beer also contains phosphates, which increases blood pressure and therefore encourages kidney damage.
 

Alcohol in general contains purines, which encourages gout and development of uric acid stones. Alcohol is also considered acidic, and acidic drinks, if taken regularly can have a negative impact on kidney function. Plus drinking puts your kidneys under a lot of strain to filter out the alcohol. That should be enough to put you off, but on top of that, there is no clear evidence that alcohol prevents any type of kidney stones. So this one's complete, and very dangerous myth. 

Myth Number 4:

- Eating large amounts of kidney beans will help treat kidney disease and dissolve kidney stones.

Centuries ago the English thought that if swallowed, kidney beans would turn into kidney stones. That belief may be a bit extreme, but they were right to be cautious. While eating these beans every now and then will not do you harm, they should certainly not be consumed in heroic amounts.

Kidney beans are acid forming, and for the best kidney health, your diet needs to be predominantly alkaline. Consuming any acidic food in high quantities is going to throw out the balance. Also, kidney beans contain phosphates, which as we have seen can be unsafe in high amounts if you have kidney damage.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, kidney beans are recommended to balance kidney energy, but this is not in regard to improving kidney damage, but rather as preventative health. In Western nutrition they are considered a good vegetarian source of protein and complex carbohydrates. 

As you can see there is a lot of mis-information available when you are looking for help for kidney disease. This is a little disappointing, as the truth is that you can beat kidney disease simply with natural remedies. But you do need to take advice from natural health professionals. There is unfortunately no quick fix and there is no miracle cure that works instantly.
 

Yes, sometimes it seems that herbs and nutrients can cause miracles and work wonders for your kidneys, but this is all based on scientific evidence and thousands of years of traditional use. But getting better does take work on your behalf. You need to make some dietary and lifestyle changes while taking the specific kidney remedies, and if you stick with them, improvement will come over time.

For more details on how to safely treat kidney disease using natural remedies please check this link: 

For now, while you are starting your journey to better kidney health, please do not listen to anything that sounds outrageous, and do not listen to anyone who is not qualified.

Happy healing,
Duncan 

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