• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

How to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease and Thyroid with Garlic

Updated: Sep 7

What are Renal Diseases?


Renal diseases are described as having kidney stones, glomerulonephritis, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, IgA nephropathy, nephrotic syndrome, or a kidney transplant. [2]. Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) is the primary disease of renal diseases and can lead to many of these other renal conditions. Most research points to the reduction of sodium in the diet to treat most renal diseases. In searching for an herbal remedy or specific food that would also help heal renal issues, I came across garlic.


Garlic for Chronic Kidney Disease


Garlic is known as Allium Sativum L.. [4]. It is a powerful plant or herb that is used in healing many conditions. For example, garlic can be used to ward off colds, sore throats, sluggish digestion, and boost immune function. [4]. Since garlic is also used to maintain cholesterol levels and maintain circulatory issues, then it is optimal to use it in practice to help relieve the symptoms of chronic kidney disease. [4].


Chronic Kidney Disease and Thyroid Disease


Symptoms of chronic kidney disease have some commonalities with thyroid dysfunction. [1]. Both kidney and thyroid dysfunction are interconnected by either chronic kidney disease-causing thyroid problems or thyroid problems, causing chronic kidney disease. [1]. Interestingly, researchers found that hyperthyroidism increases heart rate, renal blood flow, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR).


The disease also increases renin, tubuloglomerular feedback, beta-androgenic receptors in kidneys, angiotensin, and aldosterone activation. [1]. Basu and colleagues also found that severe hyperthyroidism results in protein breakdown, and eventually leads to renal atrophy. [1]. Hypertension is also a common symptom in both chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. [1]. Therefore, interventions treating low blood pressure (garlic) can be used as well to treat chronic kidney disease, as well as thyroid disease.


Pharmaceuticals vs Garlic


In a study conducted by García Trejo (2017) and his colleagues, they assessed chronic kidney disease with the goal of not only reducing hypertension through lowering overall blood pressure but intending to slow chronic kidney disease, as well. [3]. Currently, first-line drugs used to treat chronic kidney disease are antihypertensive drugs such as angiotensin II converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). [3]. They effectively reduce hypertension and provide glomerulus/nephron protection, which, in turn, slows the progression of chronic kidney disease. [3].


Similarly, garlic also slows the progression of chronic kidney disease. In Garcia's study, all groups with kidney disease were assessed based on creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels. [3]. The experiments were evaluated at a 3-week mark and a 6-week mark. After six weeks, results revealed that garlic (allicin) showed antihypertensive, antioxidant, and nephroprotective effects. [3].


Additionally, the study quotes, "the effect of allicin on blood pressure and renal function is comparable to reductions seen with losartan, a prescription drug commonly used as first-line therapy. Therefore, allicin may be a useful tool for the treatment of emerging diseases such as chronic kidney disease."[3].


Garlic for Thyroid Disease


To conclude, if allicin as garlic can be a useful treatment tool for chronic kidney disease, then it may also be a useful treatment tool in aiding in the regulation of thyroid disease. It would only make sense since these two disease compliments each other. Chronic kidney disease results in reduced iodide excretion from the kidneys, which, in turn, will result in increased iodine levels and the thyroid gland iodine. [1]. Therefore, if allicin can help regulate chronic kidney disease, then it should help control iodide flow to the thyroid.

References:

  1. Basu, G., & Mohapatra, A. (2012). Interactions between thyroid disorders and kidney disease. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 16(2), 204–213. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.93737

  2. Gaby, A. (2017). Nutritional Medicine.

  3. García Trejo, E., Arellano Buendía, A. S., Sánchez Reyes, O., García Arroyo, F. E., Arguello García, R., Loredo Mendoza, M. L., … Osorio Alonso, H. (2017). The Beneficial Effects of Allicin in Chronic Kidney Disease Are Comparable to Losartan. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(9), 1980. doi:10.3390/ijms18091980

  4. Gladstar, R. (2012). Rosemary Gladstar’s medicinal herbs: A beginner’s guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

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