Kidney Disease

I think I may have a problem with my kidneys. I urinate very slowly most of the time and it takes me a while to even begin urinating and when I drink a lot of beer or alcoholic drinks (which doesn't happen anymore since I have made myself bulletproof) I urinate every 10 minutes or so for a couple of hours. The doctor I mentioned this to didn't take me seriously and thought I was fine mostly due to my age I think (40 at the time) I'm wondering if there are any supplements I can take besides my new Paleo 2.0 diet to help my kidneys heal? Also is there anything in my diet I should try to avoid or eat more of? Thank you!


  • kittykitty
    edited June 2012
    Ive found that my urea (nitrogenous waste) is slightly above normal. Its not concerning but it could mean the start of a kidney problem (unlikely), that im dehydrated, or another option i thought of: that my protein intake is too high. I wouldnt have your protein intake above 1.2g/kg or 0.54g/lb. According to a study I read, if you keep your protein intake below or at that level then you shouldnt put extra nitrogen stress on your kidneys. And drink lots of water. Always good for purification of toxins. (if you have clean water) Creatinine is a better determinant of kidney problems vs urea. Urea is very variable, creatinine is more reliable. Have you had any kidney function blood tests?

    Hope that helps a little

  • Oh, and have you considered asking if you have a UTI? Is there pain when you urinate? Any low back or inguinal pain not linked to exercise?
  • No pain at all so I don't think UTI is it. Maybe I should have some tests done. Do you know if damage to the kidneys is reversible? Could I get back to normal if I lower protein for a period of time or will I always have to keep it low?
  • kittykitty
    edited August 2013

    Unfortunately Im not a dr. But I will be going into med school i hope next year. I would suspect you could reverse the damage IF it were your kidneys. I would definitely go see another dr. Dont settle for a 'no there's nothing wrong'. How long has the slow urination been going on? Since before you swapped to paleo or since youve started? Are you sure you drink enough water? Not coffee or anything else. Just water. The lowering protein hypothesis was due to my understanding of physiology from uni and from the study I read. I do know that if you have too much protein you excrete it as nitrogenous waste (urea) and if your kidneys are having trouble excreting all of the waste then your urea levels would be high. But there are many reasons why your urea levels could be too high. So its not really a reliable indicator. I know for me its been high for many years. But this is 3 blood tests over 5 years. the first time I was dehydrated, the second and third Im not sure. So i went and looked. Because my creatinine is normal its likely not kidney failure (lucky me!!). Hence the thought that it was protein. I calculated how many grams I was having and it was way high.

    You do need to have some tests. A urine sample, a blood test that tests urea and creatinine, and if you are a boy, i'd have a prostate test done. Just to be safe. Though I doubt that would be a problem if you dont have some of the other symptoms of prostate problems.

    A naturopathic website said some herbs can be good for treatment. green tea, celery seed, gravel root, butchers broom. However I am cynical about naturopathic things often. Chris Kresser has useful stuff and dave and the Bulletproof intern often refer to him. I've looked on his website and dont see much on kidneys, but you can email him and he may help.

    Im pretty sure your problem is fixable. It may not even be a kidney problem. Thats why doctors are so important. Have them test all sorts of stuff. And make sure you insist something is different about your excretion of fluid. Something is different, may not be a problem, but tests are important to make sure you are running smoothly.

    The first step I would take, as stupid and simple as it is, is drink more water.

    Hope that helps,


  • Wow Kitty, thanks for taking your time to explain all of that. I am a guy and I actually had this way before Paleo. I even asked my urologist about it when I had my vasectomy done a few years back. He checked my prostate and said I was fine. I drink plenty of water now, however since I started paleo, I do eat quite a bit more protein, so that may be it. Do you know if it differentiates between animal or vegetable protein. I read something like that somewhere but I think it may have been vegan propaganda. I'm going do take some tests to see what my levels are. Thanks for the advice. Love this forum, it really is a life saver!!
  • Cool, glad your prostate is cool. Thats always a plus. image/tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />

    Yeah, vegetable and meat protein were created very differently. Our bodies have a hell of a time getting protein as efficiently from vegetable sources as we do from meat sources. One of the things about that is the biological availability to our own system. The most biologically available protein source is eggs funnily enough. Then after that is meat like beef/lamb etc. Dave puts grass fed beef and lamb at the top. Organic free range eggs. Then game such as deer, bear, whatever (kangaroo in australia!!). Fish that is free not farmed (lower mercury that way). Then free range poultry and pastured pork. It is a hell of a time finding TRULY free range chicken. Theres almost always in small type somewhere "our hens range freely and are fed organic GRAINS" which is not cool.

    Dave is not with vegetarian sources of protein. eg tempeh, tofu, legumes, and other analogues such as mushroom based protein products and fake vegetarian meats. Mostly due to the soy, and the fact that legumes are irritating to our systems, and especially for men, that soy is not good for your testosterone levels. I was a strict vegetarian for years, eating a lot of soy, and now I have a thyroid inflammation problem. Luckily it is fixable. But that was after having soy every day (tofu, soy milk) for three years. Soy is not that great. I feel much better now Im off it. So I would avoid those vegetarian sources of protein.

    I doubt that having a higher protein intake than what you are used to is going to affect your urination. It may increase your plasma urea. But not necessarily your urination amount. However, it may dehydrate you a little. Just having more protein. It increases bodily thermogenesis and a fair bit of the energy from protein is burnt off in heat. If you are having more than what your body has been used to, that could be a factor.

    If you have been having this urination problem for a while even before paleo then im really not sure. If only I were a doctor. I am relatively positive that having more protein than what you have adapted to will add some extra stress on your kidneys. Really the best thing to determine is some blood tests and urine sample tests. And yeah, water.. best purification process really..

    I will certainly let you know if my urea levels decrease with my decreased protein intake. That could indicate something about my elevated urea levels being due to excess protein. Which could potentially be helpful for you too, if you know you are drinking enough water, and you dont have a kidney problem.

    This forum is awesome. And what some of the biohackers do, not just dave but some others like Chris Kresser and another called Peter Attia. One of the most important things I have learnt so far from them is that one must be critical not only of what modern medicine advises us, but also to be critical of the medications they give us. Chris said the medication can help alleviate the symptoms, but what is more important is the cause. I think that is one of the most useful things I have ever heard. It gave me a pretty new outlook on medicine. And also makes me want more to make med school because I could help put that train of thought further in the medical arena.

  • Hey Ghopp

    Do you have any other symptoms of nephropathy? Swelling, cramps, problems with concentration and sleep, itching or skin rashes? Do you generally feel well?

    I completely agree with Kitty - dysuria is commonly a symptom of a UTI, even in the abscence of pain. Does your pee look and smell normal (for you)? Might be worth getting a urine dipstick. Is you pee ever frothy? - could indicate proteinuria.

    Although this may seem a little odd, do you suffer with anxiety at all? Slow urination, especially a delay in starting to pee, is very common in anxiety.

    To put your mind at rest - acute kidney damage is generally reversible; and I don't imagine you have kidney 'damage' as such, maybe they're just a bit over-taxed at the moment. This is just my opinion though and you should really get advice from your healthcare professional if you're concerned.

    Good luck mate.
  • Thanks Paul,

    I took a ruin and blood test last week and am waiting for the results. I do tend to retain water easily when I excersise, and I do have itchy skin, no rashes per say. I generally feel well when I'm eating right, but if not I, always tired, but I think that's everyone. My pee is normal looking unless i eat vit b or something. I wondered about the anxiety issue because I do have it in my family or "shy bladder". So that will be my last stop if nothing shows up on he tests. Thanks for your advice!
  • Great news for kidney problems! I need to go see a urologist now to check prostate. I will keep you posted
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