Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects approximately one in every eight individuals, or about 31 million individuals. This number is likely an underestimate as I believe many more remain underdiagnosed. With the increasing number of our younger generation being diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, and the obesity epidemic affecting one in every three individuals, those with kidney disease being diagnosed at a younger age. These numbers scare me, especially for the youth of America. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension remain the most common causes of kidney disease in North America.
Reducing inflammation is key to improving your kidney health.
In addition to controlling blood glucose levels and normalizing blood pressure, what else can we do to help prevent worsening or even improve your kidney
health? The key is to reduce inflammation. I believe that kidney disease is a process of inflammation and one of the keys to reduce the inflammation
is to improve the health of the intestine.
What does the intestine have to do with kidney health? A lot, actually! In a recent article from Kidney International (published June 2013), the authors
discussed how the buildup of uremic toxins in the body can change not only the structural integrity of the intestine, but also promote systemic inflammation.
Be aware that the formation of these “uremic toxins” can occur in moderate stage kidney disease. Picture the cells of the intestine like a picket fence, with each of the posts rooted in the ground and attached to one another. The toxins in the intestine can not only cause many of the posts to separate from one another, but also may even cause some of them to uproot from the ground. This is likely an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
The intestinal cells are like a picket fence. Build up of uremic toxins may lead to the separation of these cells.
The functions of the small intestine are absorption and protection. With the separation of these fence posts (intestinal cells) from one another,a significant aspect of the protective barrier of the intestine is lost. The uremic toxins are able to “escape” into the blood stream and trigger an inflammatory response. For patients with kidney disease, this happens on a sustained basis causing a continued inflammatory response. Add into the mix other things that can affect intestinal health: the overuse of antibiotics, the nutrient poor pro-inflammatory Western diet, psychological and physical stress, Candida overgrowth of the intestine… All are promoters of a “leaky gut” and systemic inflammation. This is I why believe that using probiotics like Renadyl™ will give hope for many kidney disease patients and why improving intestinal health is going to be key lowering systemic inflammation and improving our total body health.
About Dr. Snyder: Dr Rich Snyder is a board certified osteopathic physician in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, the study of kidney disease.He is the author of What You Must Know About Kidney Disease: A Practical guide for Using Conventional and Complementary Treatments, What You Must Know About Dialysis: The Secrets to Surviving and Thriving on Dialysis, and the upcoming Adrenal Fatigue for Dummies.
References: Anders, H.-J. (2013, July ). The intestinal microflora, a leaky gut, and abnormal immunity in kidney disease. Kidney International, 1-7.
Editor’s Note: Our intestine is a vital organ in digestion and absorption. However, not many people know that they play an important role in maintain healthy kidneys too. In this post, our guest blogger Dr.Rich Snyder explains the relationship between your kidneys and intestines, and explains how the use of probiotics such as Renadyl™ enter the picture to help maintain healthy kidneys in chronic kidney disease.