Nephrotic syndrome is a disease characterized by retention of fluid in the body (mostly legs and ankles) along with increased levels of proteins passed in the urine. It occurs when the kidneys do not function optimally due to damage caused to the blood vessels (glomeruli) that filter excess water and waste from the blood. It also leads to increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.(1)
The main causes of glomerular damage leading to nephrotic syndrome include diabetic nephropathy, minimal change disease that results in abnormal functioning of the kidney, most commonly found in children and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis where scarring of the glomeruli takes place either due to a genetic defect or some other medical condition. Thickening of the membranes within the glomeruli (membranous nephropathy) is also associated with some other diseases such as lupus erythematosus, malaria, hepatitis B and cancer that cause kidney damage. Amyloidosis (due to the accumulation of amyloid proteins in the organs the kidneys are affected because they cannot fully filter these substances) and a blood clot in the kidney vein (renal vein thrombosis) can also lead to nephrotic syndrome.(2)
Does Garlic Help Nephrotic Syndrome?
Garlic has long been known for its medicinal and healing properties. Since the diet is a major factor in controlling nephrotic syndrome it is important to take a healthy diet and avoid fluid diet to prevent retention of water in the body. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and studies have shown that garlic is also beneficial in lowering low-density cholesterol in the blood by decreasing production in the liver. It is also known to prevent blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots that can lead to renal vein thrombosis and also reducing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack. Garlic also has anti-viral properties and can be used to relieve pain and kill parasites in the body. It has been the subject of study for a long time due to its multiple benefits in health-related conditions.(3)
Kidney mostly functions as a filter system for the blood by allowing toxins to eliminate from the body. When the kidney does not function properly the toxins accumulate in the body and lead to associated renal conditions predisposing nephrotic syndrome. Any infections that affect the kidney or other organs can be effectively controlled by the use of garlic due to its anti-microbial potency. Raw garlic is specifically known to be more potent in killing bacteria’s that lead to infections. In some cases, garlic supplementation is also advised in the form of capsules with an enteric coating that can be directly absorbed in the intestine. They have been proven highly beneficial in fighting kidney diseases.(3)
Ginger In Nephrotic Syndrome
Ginger is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help heal any inflammation that can lead to kidney damage. It also helps in reducing the necrosis taking place in the kidneys. Ginger is also known to reduce the damage done to the kidneys and restore the normal levels of creatinine and uric acid. Recurring kidney infections that might aggravate the symptoms of nephrotic syndrome can be controlled with the use of ginger.(3)
Apart from natural sources, nephrotic syndrome is also treated by restricting the use of sodium and fluid in the diet. It is important to prevent any accumulation of fluid in the body to control kidney disease. Medications used to control hypertension include Lotensin, captopril, Cozaar, valsartan, and enalapril. Diuretics used to lower fluid buildup in the body and release extra fluid are frusemide (Lasix) and spironolactone. Cholesterol can be reduced by the use of Lipitor, Lescol, altoprev, crestor, and zocor.(2)
A healthy diet goes a long way in managing the symptoms of nephrotic syndrome. A diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol is advised. Lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy balanced diet along with taking adequate sleep and exercise can help in optimum functioning of the kidneys.(3)
- Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome: Causes, Systemic Effects, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
- Is Nephrotic Syndrome Fatal & Can A Child Die From It?
- Home Remedies For Nephrotic Syndrome
- Is Nephrotic Syndrome A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?
- Who Is At Risk Of Nephrotic Syndrome & Is There A Blood Test For It?
- Coping Methods For Nephrotic Syndrome
- What Causes Relapse In Nephrotic Syndrome?