Can kidney damage be reversed?

There is hope for patients with renal disease

The number of patients with renal disease are growing worldwide and a significant part of these patients have a higher chance of progressing to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) if early intervention isn’t taken. If your kidneys cannot do its job well enough, you might need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant to help.

Be that as it may, sometimes kidney damage can be reversed but it all depends on the condition of your kidneys. It’s more difficult to prevent the progression of kidney damage if patients are already in stage 4 or 5. Which is why it is extremely important for kidney diseases to be diagnosed and treated early to prevent serious health conditions. 

To know more on kidney damage reversal, we spoke to a Medical Consultant from Iswanah Wellness and Klinik Dr. Aziz Al-Safi, Professor Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Safi Ismail.

1Twenty80: Can kidney damage be repaired or reversed?

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Safi Ismail: Believe it or not, Yes! Kidney damage can be reversed but it takes some time for it to be reversed. In order for kidney damage to be repaired or reversed, it mainly depends on which stage of kidney damage the patient is at.

Nonetheless, it usually takes a few months or up to two years for kidneys to be repaired or reversed. Furthermore, the key to reversing kidney damage is early detection.

1Twenty80: How are kidneys usually damaged?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: There are many reasons why kidney damage happens. It can be from a progression of diabetes, prolonged intake of antidiabetic drugs or even due to hypertension. Apart from that, toxic effects of medications and chemicals cause rapid deterioration in kidney functioning. This is defined as Nephrotoxicity. There are various forms and drugs that may affect renal function in more than one way.

Some of the most common causes includes:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis (kidney damage)
  • High blood sugar (diabetes) 
  • Polycystic kidney disease 
  • Blocked urinary tract 
  • Kidney infection 
  • Nephrotoxic medication 
  • Drugs Associated with Nephrotoxicity

1Twenty80: Does kidney damage reversal apply to everyone with kidney damage?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: As a matter of fact, no! Each patient has to be assessed individually.

1Twenty80: How is kidney damage treated?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: Kidney damage can be treated by following strict diets and it has to be persistent. Plus Wet Cupping (bekam) and these two are the basic essentials to which other supportive treatment modalities can be added, like:

  • Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)
  •  Infrared Sauna (FIR) therapy 
  • Stem cells and more

Wet cupping involves puncturing the skin before starting the suction, which removes some of the person’s blood during the procedure. Cupping typically leaves round bruises on a person’s skin, where their blood vessels burst after exposure to the procedure’s suction effects.

1Twenty80: What can be done to reverse kidney damage naturally?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: Observing the special diets as a new norm of lifestyle. Some of

the foods that patient should cut down on includes:

  • Animal-based protein such as chicken, mutton, fish, beef and seafood. Instead, patients can opt for protein from vegetables. 
  • Change simple carbohydrates to complex carbohydrates such as peas, beans, whole grains and vegetables.

1Twenty80: How does diet play a role in reversing kidney damage?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: Diet is the anchor for reclaiming kidney function as metabolites of the diet are the main load on the kidneys, so what food we eat finally impacts on the kidneys whether normal or declining. This includes the contents of food, toxins from agriculture, heavy metals, double bonds of meat proteins can compare to single bonds of vegetables. All these must be removed from the load on the ailing kidneys, then only can the function of the kidneys improve.

Quote: Diet is the anchor for reclaiming kidney function as metabolites of the diet are the main load on the kidneys, so what food we eat finally impacts on the kidneys whether normal or declining.

1Twenty80: Lastly, when should one seek professional help?

Dr. Abdul Aziz: Kidney failure is a serious medical condition in which your kidneys can no longer effectively filter your blood. Which is why it is of utmost importance for you to seek help immediately or as soon as you come to know that you or someone you know is going into kidney failure or reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The sooner the better!

Some of the symptoms that may be a sign of damaged kidneys are:

  • Oedema (when your body have excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body) 
  • Pruritic or itch (an unpleasant sensation that provokes the desire to scratch) is a common problem among patients with chronic renal failure. 
  • Dyspnea or better known as shortness of breath. 
  • Vomiting and lethargic as a result of high urea and creatinine.