top of page

Natural Therapies for Solitary Kidney


One of the main goals of naturopathic support is to help prevent complications that may occur in those with a solitary kidney. This involves limiting exposure to both common and less traditional risk factors that can predispose people with solitary kidney to these complications. Some examples include:

  • Declining kidney function: Prevention by addressing other factors that have also been shown to affect kidney function - such as vitamin D levels, water intake, and many others.

  • High blood pressure: Natural therapies are sometimes used to help reduce high blood pressure. However, some therapies can potentially harm the kidney because they work by forcing additional fluid through the kidneys. This can cause fluid overload, and overwhelm the kidneys. On the contrary, other natural therapies work by relaxing the blood vessels in the body rather than forcing more fluid through the already overloaded kidneys. This is likely a safer approach.

  • Nephrotoxic medications and supplements: Dr. Baker (ND) can discuss in detail which supplements, therapies and foods can affect kidney health and what to watch out for.


What is Solitary Kidney

Solitary kidney occurs when a person has a single working kidney instead of two kidneys. A person may be born with one kidney (this is called renal agenesis), have two kidneys but only one working kidney (renal dysplasia) or lose one kidney to a disease, such as kidney cancer. People who donate one of their kidneys have a solitary kidney.


Complications of Solitary Kidney

Some complications of having a solitary kidney include (2014 study):[1]

  • Loss of protein through the urine (proteinuria)

  • High blood pressure

  • Reduced kidney function (2013)[2]


People with a solitary kidney may be at increased risk of these complications because the remaining kidney must filter the blood that would normally be filtered by the other kidney. It has to compensate, which can lead to something called hyperfiltration - which is when the kidney is filtering more fluid above and beyond the usual amount. This increased demand can lead to scarring of the kidney. As scarring happens it can cause proteins to leak through the damaged area of the kidneys among other issues.


controlled protein and sodium intake, avoidance/limitation of nephrotoxic agents, keeping normal body mass index, and limitation of tobacco exposure).


Blood Testing For Solitary Kidney

At our clinic Dr. Baker (ND) will monitor your kidney and other systems through ongoing physical exams, urine, and blood tests. Optimizing the health of many of the other organ systems in the body can also help to improve and maintain kidney function. For example, a 2022 study found that those who maintain a healthy thyroid tend to maintain their kidney function better than those who have low thyroid hormone levels.[3]


What is the Outlook of Solitary Kidney?

In most cases, individuals born with a single kidney do not experience any symptoms and can live healthy lives without even realizing they have only one kidney. Sometimes, people find out about their solitary kidney incidentally through procedures like x-rays, ultrasounds, or surgeries unrelated to kidney issues. However, a few may face a decline in kidney function over time, leading to symptoms of chronic kidney disease. This is why it is recommended to take a preventative approach and start healthy dietary and lifestyle approaches from an early age that can help prevent kidney decline.


Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, the management of solitary kidney conditions requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses both traditional medical interventions and natural therapies. By addressing risk factors for kidney disease such as high blood pressure, and adopting strategies to support overall kidney health, individuals with a solitary kidney can help prevent the potential complications associated with this condition. Through careful monitoring, including regular blood tests and physical exams, Dr. Baker (ND) can track kidney function and make necessary adjustments to treatment plans. Emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle from an early age can play a crucial role in preventing kidney decline and promoting long-term well-being.


References

[1] Westland R, Schreuder MF, van Goudoever JB, Sanna-Cherchi S, van Wijk JA. Clinical implications of the solitary functioning kidney. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 May;9(5):978-86. doi: 10.2215/CJN.08900813. Epub 2013 Dec 26. PMID: 24370773; PMCID: PMC4011451.

[2] Doğan ÇS, Torun BM. Renal outcome of children with unilateral renal agenesis. Turkish Journal of Pediatrics. 2013;55(6):612–615. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24577979/

[3] Reque Santivañez J, Garcia Peris B, Panizo Gonzalez N, Perez Alba A, D'Marco L, Collado Boira E. Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease Patients: Prevalence and Associated Factors. J Thyroid Res. 2022 May 17;2022:1077553. doi: 10.1155/2022/1077553. PMID: 35620417; PMCID: PMC9130009.

30 views

Comments


bottom of page