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Jane’s Blog Chronic Kidney Disease (CDK)

Posted by Jane Jansen on

More than 15% of the US population is currently greater than 65 years old. As populations age there is a coinciding increase in age-related chronic diseases.

In the United States approximately14% of all adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CDK), costing almost $80 billion per year in Medicare expenditures in 2016. There is a marked increase in CKD above age 70, especially among females, non-Hispanic blacks, and persons with diabetes or hypertension

Over 50 percent of people currently age 30-49 could develop Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in their lifetime. CDK is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States and causes about 47,000 deaths a year. It kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.

CKD is known as a silent killer because most people do not realize they have it until the disease is well advanced. More than 450,000 Americans are currently on dialysis because of kidney disease and 12 people every day die waiting for a kidney transplant.

Individuals with CKD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, in part because arterial calcification increases as kidney function declines. Vitamin K is a nutrient lacking among older adults which can increase the potential for arterial calcification.

Many individuals who are involved in sports and or as they get older and develop chronic pain and often take pain relievers on a daily basis. “NSAIDs” (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve) and celecoxib (Celebrex) have been linked to increase of kidney disease.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most commonly prescribed class of medication for the treatment of heartburn and acid-related disorders and numerous studies show they can significantly increase the risk chronic kidney disease. Currently 15 million Americans routinely take PPIs. As many as 10.5 million people take PPI’s even when they shouldn't. According to a study published in the February 2016 Journal American Medical Association Internal Medicine PPI use is associated with a 20%–50% higher risk of incident CKD.

Changing your diet helps to keep the kidneys from working too hard. Typically decreasing sugars, sodium, protein, potassium, and phosphate. When your kidneys are damaged, it’s harder for them to get particular nutrients out of your blood, thus increasing the levels in the bloodstream to potential toxic levels.

Currently physicians rely on these tests to detect and manage chronic kidney disease:

  • The Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by measuring the level of creatinine in your blood. Glomerular filtration is the process by which the kidneys filter the blood, removing excess wastes and fluids. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a calculation that determines how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys.
  • A blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test measures how much nitrogen from the waste product urea is in your blood. BUN level rises when the kidneys aren't working well enough to remove urea from the blood.
  • Albuminuria-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). Albuminuria occurs when there are higher amounts of a type of protein called albumin in the urine, It is a common marker of kidney damage. The ratio of albumin-to-creatinine is recommended as the best method to determine albuminuria.

These tests are helpful in monitoring existing kidney disease; however they are not sensitive enough to catch the disease in its early stages or to predict early a person's risk of developing the disease later on in life.

Research published in the November 2015 journal New England Journal of Medicine suggests simple blood test for the “suPAR protein”  can predict a person's chances of developing chronic kidney disease five years before symptoms emerge.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center, along with four other medical institutions Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, NYU Langone Medical Center, and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County identified soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) levels as a potential biomarker for chronic kidney disease. suPAR is a biomarker for activation of the inflammatory and immune systems.

Although further research is needed into how much a person's risk of chronic kidney disease increases as suPAR levels rise, this new test has the potential to lower the risk of developing this deadly disease through early detection.

The risk of cardiovascular death among CKD patients is several times higher than general population; in fact it is the first cause of death in this group. CKD patients have a disproportionately high prevalence of atherosclerosis and arterial calcification.

For a decades vitamin K2 and vitamin K1 were assume to be practically one and the same. However, unlike K1, vitamin K2 does not participate in coagulation under normal circumstances and instead activates several extra hepatic proteins that, among other things, channel calcium into the skeleton and away from soft tissues.

Research has found vitamin K2 to be important in bone building. It also helps prevent plaque buildup in the arteries which decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease a significant concern for CDK patients.  From all K-vitamins, menaquinone-7 (MK-7) has been identified now as the most effective cofactor for the carboxylation reaction of Gla-proteins such as osteocalcin (in bone) and matrix-Gla protein (in the arterial vessel wall).

Clinical trials have demonstrated after 8-week supplementation with vitamin K2 in heart disease patients reduced the markers of calcification in a linear and dose dependent fashion, with the greatest benefits being seen at doses of roughly 360 mcg MK-7 daily. Vitamin K2 also channels calcium away from soft tissues and towards the skeleton, buffering the potential of vitamin D toxicity.

Taking care of your kidneys is important. At the Tree of Life Wellness Center we have helped numerous patients with CKD, including patients already on dialysis through healthful dietary changes and supplementation.

Obviously Chronic Kidney Disease is a serious health concern and there are numerous considerations including health history, medications and medical treatments that need to be taken into consideration before making any recommendations. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 508-336-4242. Telephone appointments are available too!

Jane Jansen   Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center 

Host Holistic Healthline Radio



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