My journey with kidney failure (part 1)

Editor’s Note: Today, we are pleased to introduce Rachel Weaver who will share her inspiring story about kidney failure. We are always inspired by patients who play an active role as a vital member of their own health team and participate in their own care.   

Readers: How do you manage kidney illness together with your healthcare professionals? 

kidney-illness
On May 12 2012, I remembered waking up in the hospital feeling very sick, teetering at the brink of life. What was happening to me? My condition was so serious that they called the family to come and see me while they had a chance… I was drifting in and out of consciousness and barely recognized them. The doctors later diagnosed me with acute renal failure…No one knows why this happened to me and I do not even know how I got it! Was it my bout with an E-coli infection 12 years ago? Or the immune response that caused my severe psoriasis? No one knows for sure and the doctors were not able to give me any answers. After a few days I was discharged with the advice to begin dialysis immediately.
As a Master Herbalist, I have always believed in this philosophy that given the proper nourishment the body will rebuild itself. However, as I set out to practice my philosophy on my own body, I did not realize how challenging a thing I was trying to do.With a BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) level of 60, a creatinine level of 4.22 and eGFR (kidney function) of 12%, I knew I had a daunting task ahead of me.I started studying the traditional renal diet but was initially unimpressed with the lack of nutrition. However, I figured that I had nothing to lose and was willing to try and work at lowering my potassium, protein, and phosphorus intake.
I strongly believed that high protein diets cause injury to the kidneys. Bearing that in mind, I immediately reduced intake of animal protein and switched to the use of legumes and nuts to substitute for animal protein. I told myself to eat in moderation and switched to foods which have lower potassium levels.This meant reducing the intake of high potassium vegetables, bananas and orange juice while substituting for food containing lower potassium such as apples,
cucumbers and berries.  In addition, I added more greens in and totally refrained from taking any sugars.
Very slowly but surely, I could feel my body making some progress, but having high BUN levels was constantly an issue. While surfing the net one day,I discovered Renadyl™, the probiotics for kidney health. Probiotics are good bacteria and I have already understood their applications in general immune and gut health. After learning how the probiotics in Renadyl™ help to consume nitrogenous waste products in my bowel, it made sense
to me that probiotics can also be used to maintain kidney health.
I started added Renadyl™ to the list of supplements I was currently taking and set a goal to bring my blood levels within the normal range and after three months, I began to see some changes in my monthly blood tests. My BUN levels dropped from 64 to 35 from October 2012 to May 2013 and my creatininelevels improved from 4.22 to 2.82. My EGFR is now 18% and I believe that this will continue to climb. Admittedly, this is not an easy fix, but I was really
impressed at my progress!
One year on, I am thrilled with my health that is returning. My hair is growing again. My energy is slowly returning.  I was able to reduce my blood pressure drugs. As I looked back on my progress, I feel that Renadyl™ has given me hope and made this possible.
There is no doubt that everyone is different and therefore may not experience the same results as me. Who knows whether I can keep improving?  But staying positive at my 1 year mark, one thing’s for sure – I am going in the right direction. Stay tuned to my next entry as I share more about what I have done to make a difference in my healing journey!
About Rachel Weaver: Rachel Weaver is the wife of one of the most patient, caring men on earth. She is the mother of 9 wonderful children ages 36-15, and grandmother to 14. She spent nearly 18 years as a midwife and is a certified Master Herbalist.  These varied experiences gave her the intense desire to help others on their journeys to natural health using simple things they have on hand. She began that work by teaching seminars on Taking Responsibility for Your Health. She is the author of three books: Be Your Own Doctor, Be Your Child’s Pediatrician and Backyard Pharmacy.
You can learn more about them on her website here: http://www.drmomsherbs.com/