Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 15—Alternative Treatments

Complementary Medicine + Conventional Medicine

If you have CKD or diabetes, you need to see a medical doctor. When alternative treatments are used with western medicine, we call them complementary, because they work together. Complementary care is meant to improve your health and add to western medicine, not replace it.

As always, work closely with your care team. When you use alternative treatments, be honest with your team about what you are taking. Help them to help you stay as healthy as you can.

Treatments that should be okay for you affect only the outside of your body, like:

  • Massage
  • Craniosacral treatments
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Meditation
  • Yoga

Always check with your doctor before trying any new treatment. He or she knows your health status and can tell you if something might be harmful to you.

Kidney cautions!

As someone with CKD, some alternative treatments are not safe for you. Healthy kidneys remove toxins from your body. When your kidneys don't work well, they can't get rid of these toxins—so the toxins can build up in your body and poison you.

In general, treatments that may NOT be safe for you are ones you eat or drink, like:

  • Some regular herbs (can cause bleeding or react with other drugs)
  • Chinese herbs (may not be what they are supposed to be and some cause kidney damage)
  • Noni juice (very high in potassium)
  • Pickle juice (very high in sodium)
  • Folk remedies (ask your doctor before taking)

CAUTION! Please check with your doctor before trying any alternative therapies; not all therapies are safe and/or recommended for people with kidney disease. The information presented here is for informational purposes only.
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