Western medicine do not understand the kidneys like Chinese doctors do. Western doctors known that the kidneys are responsible for fluid balance, waste elimination, regulation of blood pH and mineral balance. They also play an important role in red blood cell production, blood pressure regulation and converting vitamin D to its active form, calcitriol. Our kidneys are essential for life.
The worst part about living with kidney disease is that it is a silent killer. However, what makes it more dangerous is the fact that it usually is only recognized at extremely late stages when it is extremely difficult to treat.
Signs and Symptoms
The first symptom of kidney disease is a change in the amount and frequency of the urine you pass. There may be increase or decrease in amount of urine you pass and dark colored urine (darker than usual). According to Dr Avinash Ignatius, senior consultant nephrologist DaVita, Pune Region, “Frequent urination at night is one of the most common and early symptom of chronic kidney disease and it should not be ignored even though it appears to be harmless. Other symptoms of the disease usually develop at later stage when the kidneys have lost approximately 80% of its function.’
Other symptoms include difficulty or pain while urinating, blood in the urine, foamy urine, swelling or edema, extreme fatigue, anemia and generalized weakness, dizziness, and inability to concentrate. Feeling cold all the time, cold back, cold hands and feet are also a common and primary symptom of kidney disease.
Shortness of breath is another common symptom because of kidney disease. When severe enough a build-up of fluid in the lungs, or because of anemia (a common side effect of kidney disease), starves your body of oxygen making you suffer from breathlessness. Another explanation and cause of kidney disease is fast shallow breathing (as opposed to abdominal breathing), which does not allow the energy and oxygen to reach down to touch the kidneys.
A major sign of kidney disease is severe pain in the back or sides. This is a common indicator of kidney disease but is not seen in everyone who suffers from the condition. The pain is characteristic and you may feel a severe cramping pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin.
Inherent kidney energy may be low from birth is progressively depleted with age. It is particularly vulnerable to exhaustion due to factors such as overwork, a hard-driven lifestyle, insufficient fluid intake, multiple pregnancies, and chronic illness or stress.
For most people by the age of 40, declining Kidney energy is beginning to impact on their health. Unchecked, it can manifest as infertility, sexual dysfunction, menopause, andropause, prostate problems, impaired immunity, chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, heart irregularities, anxiety, loss of physical drive and poor concentration.
Other signs and symptoms that your Kidneys are depleted include a sore or weak low back, knees, or ankles; bone or tooth problems; dark circles under your eyes; hearing problems; and premature graying or thinning of your hair. Thyroid problems or extreme reactions to the climate—feeling really cold or having lots of hot flashes—are also indications that your Kidney is out of balance. Edema, kidney stones, and getting up several times each night to urinate suggest a problem with the water metabolism function of the Kidney and Urinary Bladder.
Functionality of the Kidneys
Western physiology and anatomy limits its description of the kidney to the actual organ itself, whereas Chinese medicine sees and defines the kidneys not just as an organ but a group of functions, as well as being the root of energy for the entire body. The emphasis of Chinese physiological theory is more in terms of function rather than form.
In Chinese medicine the Kidney (with a capital ‘K’ to denote the organ-meridian system) is important as it is the source of the body’s constitutional or inherited energy and is regarded as the organ-meridian system that governs the structural integrity and function not only of the kidneys themselves but also the adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, brain, spinal cord, skeletal structure (especially the lumbar region), teeth, anus, urethra and inner ear. The Kidney system also governs hormones and other substances produced by the kidneys, adrenals and sex glands, as well as reproduction, growth and the faculty of will power.
Dehydration and Kidney Disease
Thus under normal circumstances, many of us flirt with mild dehydration over sustained periods. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of dehydration and so is low energy. When someone is dehydrated and experiencing these symptoms one merely has to drink several glasses of water to feel the body’s an almost instant response to hydration. Add some sodium bicarbonate and the response is even greater.
Courtesy of Brian D. Foltz
It makes perfect sense that chronic dehydration would be a problem for the kidneys. The element in nature associated with the Kidney is water, which is appropriate and symbolic in that water is the source of all life. The organ paired with the Kidney is the Urinary Bladder, and together both organs govern water metabolism in the body.
Sexuality and creativity are emotional components of the Kidney system. As the organ that governs survival through reproduction, the Kidney system is responsible for libido and strength of sexual attraction.
The emotions associated with kidneys are fear and fright. Fear has the ability to shake you to your core, and chronic fright translates into something very much like unrelenting stress, which is extremely damaging to the Kidney. In Western medicine, your adrenal glands pump out adrenaline (stress hormones) and are located right next to your Kidneys.
Natural Remedies for Kidney Disease
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One woman’s fight for her father’s kidneys:
These components found here in galangal:
Galangal is a low calorie, low-fat rhizome that is extremely good for your health. A serving of this herb is found to contain about 2 g of dietary fiber and 45 calories. It also contains vitamins A, vitamin C and minerals like sodium and iron. It is also a good source of phytochemicals including galangin, alpinin, emodin, kaemperol, kaempferide, quercetin, and beta-Sitosterol. These flavonoids constitute to most of the medicinal properties of galangal.
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