Chronic Kidney Disease does not just affect the kidneys. It ends up affecting the whole body which can lead to other problems. In addition, Chronic Kidney Disease can start because of other problems in the human body; it does not necessarily start because of the kidneys themselves.
The two main origins of Chronic Kidney Disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes occurs when the body’s blood sugar is too high. This will damage the organs in your body, as well as the kidneys. Diabetes causes problems with metabolism and is causing great deal of diabetic kidney disease. If the development of this is not stopped, it will result in end stage kidney disease. Half of end stage kidney disease came after a diabetes diagnosis. Worse, end stage kidney disease can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and require hospitalization. But, this can be much worse if the person is on dialysis.
In addition, a patient can expect damage to the heart, blood vessels, nerves and eyes. Known as hypertension, high blood is a condition where the pressure of the blood is too much for the blood vessels it travels in . This can result in heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Additionally, patients with chronic kidney disease can develop high blood pressure.
There are other conditions in the body which can end up causing chronic kidney disease as well. Repeated urinary infections, birth defects and inherited diseases can all cause damage and destruction of the kidneys. The point is everything in us is connected and something major in one part of us can and will affect the rest of us. And anyone can, in theory get chronic kidney disease, but others are more likely to develop it. Risk factors include if a person is diabetic, has high blood pressure, family history of kidney failure, age, and certain ethic groups. Ethnic groups such as African American, Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, Asians, and American Indians have higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes.
The bottom line is damage or conditions in one part of the body can and will have effects on the rest of the body, even damaging or destroying it such as in the case of chronic kidney disease. But, just as damage to the body or kidneys can occur this way, repairs and healing can work much of the same way as well!
Antioxidants are such a key to this affect in a positive manner.
Antioxidants are molecules which flow through your blood stream stop the damage of free radicals which have a detrimental effect on a person.
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules which are produced as the human body’s metabolism works and creates energy. In addition, they are a reaction to cigarette smoke, sunlight, chemicals, cosmic and man-made radiation and are even part of pharmaceutical drugs. They can also be produced during exercise and when you are suffering from inflammation. They are molecules which are missing electrons which they just gave up in the production of energy for the body. These are essentially waste products and very hungry ones at that; they float about trying to regain that lost molecule by taking it from another molecule.
After the free radical takes the electron the molecule which lost the electron must now gain an electron from elsewhere. In doing so, it causes its victim to pull from another resulting in a chain reaction. As a result cells and DNA are damaged. DNA cannot replicate as well as it could, the process disrupted and this can cause damage and even disease. This process has been linked to numerous diseases including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cataracts and Alzheimer’s.
The counter for damage are antioxidants.
Antioxidants are electron donors flowing through your blood stream which stop the free radicals from carrying out their destructive raids and causing the chain reaction. They give their own electrons to the free radicals, but do not turn into free radicals themselves. Generally speaking, there are a number of benefits to antioxidants. They allow the human body to resist aging caused by natural pollutants, repair damaged molecules, block metal radical production, stimulate gene expression, shield DNA and cause cancerous cells to stop growing and even die.
Antioxidants supplements can be used to help retard chronic kidney disease. Studies have shown a serious reduction in albuminuria in the urine and albuminuria is one of the signs of diabetic kidney disease. For those suffering from chronic kidney disease and on dialysis, some of these antioxidents can prove to be harmful. But they may be able to gain the benefits through renal vitiman supplements.
There are many types of antioxidants as well, but it is important to remember two things: the human body produced antioxidants on its own and supplemental antioxidants can be found in food. Antioxidants such as glutathione and alpha lipoic acid are formed in the human body. But, as a person ages, it becomes harder and harder to produce these antioxidants and so a person must look elsewhere.
There are many foods which can be found in your local grocery store which contain antioxidants. These include:
- Red Leaf Lettuce
- Red cabbage
- Red Bell Peppers Garlic
- Herbs and spices
- Organic green tea
The colors of the foods are actually a very good indicator of which antioxidants are contained in each food:
- Red/Purple = Anthocyanins, polyphenols, resveratrol
- Red = Lycopene
- Orange = Beta-carotene
- Orange/Yellow = Cryptoxanthin, flavonoids
- Yellow/Green = Lutein, zeaxanthin
- Green = Indoles, sulforaphanes, lutein
- White/Green = Allyl sulphides, quercetin
But it is not enough to simply consume antioxidants to gain the benefits. In order to gain, a person must lose habits of a life style which creates the free radicals and the problems associated with them. Someone suffering chronic kidney disease will have already made life style changes according to the recommendations of their doctor. Other people may be making them on their own and this can be a little harder.
These changes include:
- Reduction or complete illumination of sugar especially fructose corn syrup
- Reduce or illuminate grains from the diet
- Exercise, for while this will create free radicals, certain amounts will create antioxidants
- Manage stress
- Avoid smoking
- Get enough sleep