Now that you have started educating yourself on exactly how kidney disease occurs and the natural therapies you can use to improve your kidney function, you should be feeling much better equipped to face the challenges that may arise. Today I am going to give you another key to unlocking the health you desire…The Environmental Factor.
You may be aware that there are many environmental triggers that are associated with the cause or exacerbation of many illnesses, and kidney damage is no exception.
But when referring to environmental triggers we are not just talking about what is out there in Mother Nature. We mean ‘your’ environment, whether that is city living or the quiet country lifestyle. You may be surrounded by clean fresh air and eating the best diet conceivable, but if your home or work environment is full of toxins or dangers then your kidneys will still be placed under a lot of pressure.
The kidneys have been shown to be sensitive to toxins in foods, household products, heavy metals and electromagnetic radiation. Sounds pretty hard to escape in this day and age, right? But there are lots of steps you can take to minimize the damage. Let’s keep it simple – if detoxifying your entire lifestyle is a little overwhelming, the easiest place to start is your living surroundings.
Number 1: The Bedroom
Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) has been associated with widespread negative health effects. Electromagnetic radiation has been established to cause fatigue, immune system disturbances and stress upon the entire body. EMR is emitted by many commonly used devices, including mobile phones and computers, which most of us use daily. The bedroom should be a place for sleep and relaxation – electrical devices should be kept to a minimum, and should certainly not be at your bedside. Electromagnetic radiation in the bedroom can be caused by stereos, electric blankets, phone chargers, and in fact any electrical devices. Mobile phones emit radiation even when not being used, so they should never be left by your bedside overnight or carried upon your body.
If you feel that you do have high exposure to EMR’s that can’t be avoided, taking natural remedies such as zinc and Siberian ginseng can help to minimise the damage over time.
Number 2: The Bathroom
Detoxification has become very popular in the media lately, as a necessary result of our often-toxic lifestyles and diet. But it doesn’t make sense to put the best produce into your body while you breathe or absorb toxins in through your skin. Did you also know that toxins are absorbed through your skin?
Take a look at the labels of any products you spray on, or rub into your skin. The more numbers and chemical names you see, the more pressure you are putting on your body to detoxify these components.
When detoxifying your bathroom, the aim is to replace any chemicals with natural products wherever possible. This includes cleaning products, personal hygiene products and cosmetics.
There are so many natural products available on the market these days, at competitive prices, so there is really no excuse for not making the change. In fact the cost of using chemical products is much higher in regard to the health implications.
Number 3: The Kitchen
We will take a look later into detail of the foods that you need to introduce into your diet to improve kidney health, but for now let’s take a look at how to eliminate any dangers from your kitchen. One facet of our humanity is that we are susceptible to giving into temptation.
The best way to avoid this is prevention. We may need to trick ourselves during those moments of weakness. So making sure that you do not have anything in your kitchen that is bad for your kidneys is a great place to start.
When the cravings for bad food do come on, usually they are short lived and if we don’t have what we desire at hand, it may be enough to ride the temptation out. That means removing the following products from the home: Caffeine, lollies (or any sugary/ junk/ processed foods), caked/ baked goods, alcohol, soft drinks and dairy foods.
You should also get rid of anything containing food colourings and artificial sweeteners. Where possible eat organic food to avoid intake of chemicals and pesticides.
If you live with others who consume these foods regularly you might find it easiest to get them onboard and support you, while you follow your new dietary plan. By explaining how important it is for you and the health of your kidneys, you may just make an ally to help your cause. Plus you are doing them a favour in the long-run!
Also as you did in the bathroom, ensure that all cleaning products are natural and chemical free. Plus you should also get rid of any aluminium based cooking utensils, pots and pans, as they are associated with heavy metal absorption/poisoning.
Number 4: Lifestyle (heavy metals)
Heavy metals: Heavy metals are dangerous for many systems of the body, especially the kidneys. They can accumulate in the body in several ways; via skin, inhalation or ingestion.
Heavy metals can be found in foods, cigarettes, pharmaceutical drugs, and cooking equipment such as aluminium pots. The exposure is especially high in certain workplaces, such as industrial sites. Lead and mercury for example are linked to the development of nephropathy and acute renal failure.
It can be difficult to recognise the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning, as they can be quite vague or generalised. Initially the most common symptoms include digestive disturbances, headaches, fatigue, skin irritation and muscle and joint pain. If you suspect you may have been exposed to acute or long term heavy metal exposure, it is worth talking to your primary health care provider and looking into natural therapies to detoxify your body.
There are many remedies available to assist you including strong antioxidants such as vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, or the natural algae, chlorella.
Take a look around your workplace, as it is not only industrial sites that are at risk of chemical exposure. You should encourage your work place to use natural cleaners if you work in an office. Many industries have high levels of exposure to toxins – do you work with paints, dyes, solvents or chemicals?
Lastly, if you do handle heavy metals please be sure to use the correct safety equipment to minimise exposure – even if it is not “cool” to wear them by your fellow workers.
Number 5: Pharmaceutical Medication
Legal drugs, both over the counter and prescription can cause kidney damage. The most dangerous in this regard would be painkillers, anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics.
Long-term use of many over the counter medications is dangerous because they are excreted by the kidneys, making their workload much more intense, consequently resulting in kidney deterioration.
For those who feel that they need anti-inflammatories, anti-biotics, or painkillers, there are many other options, for example fish oil and vitamin C both act as strong anti-inflammatories while having positive effects upon the body, including kidney function.
The need for anti-biotics can be minimised by improving immunity with the use of remedies such as Echinacea, Olive leaf, and Andrographis, which all have strong antibacterial and immune stimulating properties. And Corydalis, Californian Poppy, and Passionflower are all fantastic pain-relievers in their own right.
So for the sake of your kidneys it is highly recommended to think twice about taking any pharmaceutical medication, as even in prescribed doses they can be dangerous.
Remember that more often than not there will be an alternative. It is scary to think of the potential damage from legal drugs, not to mention the dangers for the kidneys in regard to illegal drugs, which should never be taken under any circumstances.
A lot can be done with your surroundings to minimise any further dangers to your kidney health and your general health. A lot of this work is preventative, but it is never too late to detoxify your environment. The less toxins you are exposed to, the less work your kidneys have to do, and this means they have a better opportunity to heal.
Yours in health,
Duncan Capicchiano N.D.