Ayurvedic Management Of Nephrotic Syndrome
Did you know that our kidneys filter an estimate of 50 gallons of blood a day? Even though we are all born with two kidneys, we only need one to survive. But in order to make sure our kidneys don' t fail, we need to make sure that we're on the lookout for any signs that they may not be functioning properly. Nephrotic syndrome is a collection of various symptoms that indicate that our kidneys are not working properly. The nephrotic syndrome itself is not any disease. The kidneys ﬁlter the blood, after which waste products, unnecessary ﬂuids, and salts are removed from the body through urine. Glomeruli is responsible for this filtration. In its normal state, there is no leakage of proteins of the blood through urine. However, in case of damaged glomeruli, there is a leakage of albumin and other proteins into the urine. Nephrotic syndrome is an excessive leakage of proteins.
Causes of nephrotic syndrome
The primary cause of nephrotic syndrome only causes issues in your kidneys. However, the secondary cause of this syndrome creates problems with other parts or organs as well.
Damage of the glomeruli can be caused by the following:
Minimal change disease: It is not known why the disease stops the proper functioning of the kidney. It is a common cause for nephrotic syndrome in children
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS): Nephrotic syndrome in adults is caused by this rare disease which affects the filters in your kidneys, as the tissues of the glomeruli are scarred by FSGS
Membranous nephropathy: This is a thickening of the glomeruli. Though the exact cause is not known, it is somewhat related to diseases such as cancer, malaria, hepatitis B, lupus, etc
Diabetic nephropathy: A secondary cause where the kidneys are damaged due to diabetes in adults.
Systemic lupus erythematosus: Kidneys are badly damaged by this chronic autoimmune disease
Amyloidosis: Kidneys are damaged by the accumulation of amyloid protein in the blood
Symptoms of nephrotic disease
The symptoms can differ among people. Some common symptoms are:
Edema: In 95% of patients suffering from nephrotic syndrome, there is bloating and swelling of face, limbs, abdomen, and other body parts. This bloating occurs due to the excessive accumulation of water in the body
Hematuria: Blood is found in the urine of the patients.
Oliguria: Due to this syndrome, there is a decrease in the amount of urine released
Pleural effusion: When water accumulates in areas around lungs and results in breathing difﬁculties
High blood pressure: No matter what the age is, patients of nephrotic syndrome will suffer high blood pressure
Fatigue, appetite loss, anorexia, and paleness are also symptoms of nephrotic disease
Ayurveda believes that the blockage of srotas (minute passageway) in kidneys causes the nephrotic syndrome. The flow of ﬂuids within and outside the kidneys, and the carrying of urine, is done by the mutavraha srotas. When these srotas are clogged, the incoming ones cause shrinkage and the stopping of ﬂuid supply to the kidneys, whereas the outgoing srotas cause swelling.
Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas are responsible for maintaining the health of an individual. If even one is vitiated, then disease occurs. In the case of nephrotic syndrome, it is the disruption of the Pitta dosha. The main goal of the treatment is to correct the balance of the pitta dosha.
There is no permanent cure for this disease in modern medicine yet. The symptoms are managed, and possible complications are prevented. The medicines given are mainly to strengthen the vital functions, and some immunosuppressant drugs are also effective, but they do have their side effects. If the patients are children, their syndrome may go away over time.
Ayurvedic herbs given for nephrotic syndrome are natural and have no side effects. They directly or indirectly serve the following purposes:
Acts against Autoimmune
Reduces inﬂammation (due to anti inﬂammatory properties)
Helps in the producing new cells
Improves the functioning of kidneys.
Some of them are:
Punarnava (boerhavia diffusa): The blood given out by the heart increases as your heartbeat strengthens from this herb. Renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, and glomerulonephritis are recovered, as blood circulation to the kidney also increase. It is a safe medicine that is good for edema, ascites, and renal failure. It also treats renal inﬂammatory disease effectively, due to its anti-inﬂammatory properties.
Gokshuru (Tribulus Terrestris): Kidney, urinary bladder, and ureters, etc., are strengthened due to an increase in the blood circulation by this genito-urinary tonic. The damaged tissues from renal failure are healed by gokhru. It can destroy the renal stones and can also act as a diuretic.
Rakta Chandana (P. Santalinus): Acts as a diuretic and anti-infective medicine. Besides cooling the urinary tract, it alkalizes the urine as well.
Palaash(Butea monosperma): Infections of the urinary system are treated by this, and it acts as an alkalizer of urine as well
Kasani(Cichorium intybus): Strengthens kidneys and acts as an alkalizer. Chicory is a more common name for this herb.
Trinnpanchmool: Renal functions are improved, and it promotes the production of newer kidney cells by which the leakage of proteins reduces. This combination, comprising of 5 herbs, has been used for thousands of years to treat the kidney.
Gokshuradi guggul: The pathophysiology is modified, and the functioning of kidneys is improved by this combination of herbs.
Contact your Ayurvedic practitioner at Vedic Health for more information on natural therapies for kidney health.