Managing diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease with natural medicine can preserve kidney function while improving one’s overall health. However, not all natural remedies or supplements are safe, or effective. There exists a lot of information and misinformation about natural medicine. Patients are often overwhelmed or confused about the choices that are best for them, as are many healthcare specialists.
Below are some of the most frequently asked FAQs for patients with kidney disease regarding holistic care:
Can I consult with Dr. Henderson and
still see my nephrologist?
Yes, we want you to continue to see your kidney specialist and your primary care physician.
Will I be asked to stop
No, your body has adjusted to taking them. We would like to lessen the need for medications. Some medications like prednisone or blood pressure medications you would definitely not want to stop abruptly.
What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a broad term that encompasses many natural healing techniques including nutrition, herbal medicine and hydrotherapy. The ultimate goal of naturopathy is to promote optimal health in an individual by finding and addressing the underlying cause of their condition, rather than focusing on the symptoms of the disease. Patient education and partnering with the patient to achieve their health goals is very important.
Yes, naturopathic doctors have 4 years of graduate training at an accredited naturopathic medical school after their bachelor’s degree. Naturopathic doctors are trained in all the same basic sciences as an MD. They also study holistic and non-toxic approaches to wellness with an emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. They must pass rigorous board exams and are licensed by the state.
If natural medicines work – why doesn’t my doctor know about them?
Medical Doctors receive very little training in nutrition and no training at all in botanical medicine.
Will insurance cover
Some private insurance plans cover naturopathic medicine. You should check with your provider to see if you are covered for office visits. Medicare does not cover naturopathic medicine. Telephone consults/ Skype are never covered by insurance.
Why doesn’t Medicare
Medicare is a federal program. Naturopathic doctors are licensed by the state. The laws vary from state to state.
Can I preserve my
Often we can. We need to consider why damage to your kidney is taking place and tailor the plan accordingly to help you live a kidney-friendly lifestyle.
Can I control my blood
Sometimes we can reduce the need for blood pressure medications or use a more natural approach. However, with advanced kidney disease, regulating blood pressure is more difficult.
Can I have more energy to
make it through the day?
Absolutely! No matter what stage of kidney disease you are dealing with, you can have improved quality of life.
Is it possible to prevent or reverse the loss of bone density from kidney disease?
This is a major problem for many kidney patients. Proteinuria causes a loss of calcium. Many of the medications used to treat kidney disease weaken the bones. Advanced kidney disease will cause an elevation of phosphorus and parathyroid hormone—all of which contribute to weak bones. But we can address this naturally.
Can I keep my heart healthy and avoid the cardiovascular disease that often accompanies kidney issues?
The biggest cause of mortality for kidney patients is not kidney failure but secondary heart disease. Long term cardiovascular health is something we consider with every patient.
Can I be more comfortable during dialysis treatments and not have so much nausea and cramping?
Often we can push back the need for dialysis, but sometimes the damage is too great. Even though we’re grateful for this lifesaving technology, the process can be hard. We can address the cramping, weakness and discomfort of getting through your dialysis session.
Is there something I can do to help my fistula not burst, clot or break down over time?
Dr. Henderson has had the same working fistula since 1999. It is not the case that a new dialysis fistula needs to be surgically created every few years.
Can I minimize side effects from
Very few practitioners of alternative medicine are well versed in the specific needs of transplant patients. What is safe for the general population, is NOT safe for transplant patients. Dr. Henderson can safely guide you through the issues that come from living with immune suppressing medications: cancer prevention, post-transplant diabetes, infections, and gastro-intestinal distress.
Can I improve my libido?
Kidney disease and many of the medications used to treat it are associated with a loss of libido. We can talk about ways to help you feel like your old self again.
Are there natural treatments
to help renal anemia?
Simply taking iron isn’t enough. Your kidneys secrete a hormone that tells your bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Renal anemia will cause your red blood cell count to fall. But there are natural ways to address this problem.
Can kidney disease get better
with natural remedies?
Most of the time we can. Supporting the kidneys with supplements and an optimal diet and lifestyle may be able to reverse some of the damage to the kidneys. But even just stopping further damage to the kidneys is an important first step.
As the questions and answers reveal, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing kidney disease with natural medicine. A plan that is tailored to the individual needs of each patient is important for many reasons.
Dr. Henderson is the authority on holistic alternatives. She applies an integrative approach to managed kidney health to achieve the best outcome for her patients. She will take the time to consider every aspect of your health and prepare a results-based strategy to help you attain maximum wellness. With properly managed care, you can have more energy and vitality throughout the day and enjoy more of the life you used to have before kidney problems became an issue.
Please contact the Holistic Kidney office to schedule
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