With the aging population, the numbers of chronic kidney disease cases are growing by the day. Chronic kidney disease is more likely to be seen in patients who have several cardiovascular risk factors, as many of these also affect the kidneys.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys begin to lose their function. The main role of the kidneys is to filter out waste. When they’re incapable of filtering the waste to expel it through urine, this waste accumulates within the body, leading to further health complications.
The good news is, many lifestyle changes and natural remedies can work to help improve kidney function all the while boosting the heart as well.
Natural remedies for chronic kidney disease in older adults
A study has found that adding fruits and vegetables into your diet may help protect the kidneys in chronic kidney disease patients. A typical Western diet is mainly based on animal and grain foods –which are very acidic. In kidney disease, the kidneys are unable to remove the excess acid from the body, so it accumulates and builds up (metabolic acidosis).
Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables has been found to reduce acidity and alkalize the body, this way helping to preserve kidney function.
The researchers looked at 71 patients with hypertensive stage four kidney disease who received fruits and vegetables or an oral alkaline medication for one year.
Here’s what the study uncovered:
- After a year, kidney function was similar in both groups.
- One-year plasma total carbon dioxide (PTCO2) increased in both groups, signifying a decrease in metabolic acidosis. PTCO2 levels were lower in thoseeating more fruits and vegetables.
- Urine measurements of kidney injury were lower in both groups.
- Potassium levels did not increase.
An alternative recent study also suggested taking the necessary steps to care for your heart can positively affect your kidneys as well. The researchers looked at over 14,800 adults aged 45 to 64 who were grouped based on how closely they followed the guidelines set out by the American Heart Association. The seven ideals include healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, diet, and body weight, getting sufficient exercise, and not smoking.
Cholesterol and diet were not found to be associated with a higher risk of kidney disease, but body fat, blood pressure, lack of physical activity, and smoking did.
Study author Casey Rebholz said, “This study was the first to show that for people who are generally healthy, a higher number of ideal Life’s Simple 7 health factors is associated with a reduced risk of new-onset kidney disease. Attaining ideal cardiovascular health as defined by the AHA Life’s Simple 7 metric may have substantial benefit for preventing the development of kidney disease. Recommending these ideal health factors may be effective as a population-wide strategy for kidney disease prevention.”
As you can see, adhering to a healthy lifestyle can help improve kidney function in chronic kidney disease patients, and this just further stresses the importance of eating well and exercising regularly.