My wife, Nicole, has stage five kidney disease. She has had type-1 diabetes for 40 years. She has been on dialysis for 8 years. Often, as with most who’s kidneys have failed, her blood pressure would rise as high as 185/93. At worst, it would pass the 200/100 mark.
Today, however, her blood pressure is that of a 10 year-old. Last Thursday’s reading was 102/58. Friday was 105/58. No, she’s not on any blood pressure medication or diuretics. And, that Friday reading was after skipping her regular dialysis session on Thursday.
I think this is big news for anybody with type-1 diabetes. Not just those with kidney disease (which, sadly, most people with T1D have to some degree and don’t know it). Yes, normalizing blood sugar is critical (and, in itself, will help lower blood pressure). But it’s not enough. People with T1D are prone to a long list of diseases that originate in the destruction of small and delicate blood vessels. What do you think will fair ye better in the quest to avoid kidney failure, blindness, neuropathy and dementia: A blood pressure of (or above) 125/85 or a blood pressure of 100/60?
Some have actually said, “100/60 is too low.” Not according to any medical reference I can find. Blood Pressure UK, for example, states anything between 90/60 and 120/80 is “ideal and healthy.” While uncommonly low for a woman who just turned 50 (especially with less than 15% kidney function), it’s considered perfectly normal for children 6-10 years old by eMedicineHealth. Indeed, this concept we have in industrialized cultures that blood pressure “naturally” increases with age has been proven untrue by many aboriginal cultures. As a study from the University of Rio de Janeiro shows, the Yanomami Indians of Brazil have an average blood pressure of 95/61 regardless of age.
Blood pressure, I have found, is a bit of a “let’s not talk about it” issue in the natural health field. The focus tends to be on blood sugar, weight and other such metrics. But blood pressure (unless ridiculously high) is almost treated as something medical doctors check in order to push deadly blood pressure medications for Big Pharma. I suspect the reason for this is that most health gurus have mildly high blood pressure. Probably above 120/80. Or, at best, thereabout. Certainly not Yanomami material. Since all these healthy people have high blood pressure, it must not really be high.
That’s what I used to think as I saw my own blood pressure creeping up with age. I don’t often go to a doctor but I had to have blood work a year ago. The nurse checked my blood pressure. It was around 125/80. Nicole was shocked, since it’s typically much lower. Like many people, I just blamed in on “white coat syndrome.” The stress of being at a doctor’s office and the irritation of waiting 30 minutes only to sit another 15 minutes in another room for a scheduled appointment that will last five minutes.
These days, however, I’m trying to keep up with my wife on dialysis. The other morning, after coming home from a 7km run, I slipped my arm into the cuff and hit the “squeeze” button. 99/71. No, sitting around for 10-15 minutes trying to get the best reading possible. That was taken within ten minutes of vigorous cardio. I’m almost ready for the Amazon.
I can tell you, too, that life at 100/70 feels a lot better than 125/80. Exercise feels almost effortless in comparison. Sleep is deeper and shorter and more refreshing. The brain seems sharper and more relaxed. Normal blood pressure is highly underrated.
That I normalized my blood pressure might be impressive. For Nicole, it’s extraordinary. Some might even say it was impossible. Without functioning kidneys you can’t excrete water fast enough. The water is going to build up in the blood stream. Without dialysis, it’s just not going to find a way out. And, even with dialysis, one session typically wouldn’t normalize her blood pressure. Regardless, it would just rise in between sessions.
But last week she had a session on Tuesday, skipped her session on Thursday, and was still averaging around 105/70 by Saturday. She was also able to maintain her body weight (normally, fluid builds up, causing weight gain). In fact, the edema in her face and abdomen looked less on Friday, than it did on Tuesday after dialysis. In other words, she actually seemed to improve (not just maintain).
This isn’t the first time we tried something like this. When Nicole did her 40-day fast, she stopped dialysis around day 20. She didn’t feel a need for it and just kept on putting off the next treatment. One week past and she was actually looking better. By the end of week two all the edema had left her body. She never looked so healthy. What’s more, her urine output went from about 25ml per day to 100ml per day. So her kidneys actually seemed to improve.
Of course, when she went back to eating and dialysis… it all came back. Water weight went back up to the usual two-month pregnant look. And kidney function slowly went back down to about 25-35ml per day. Sadly, she can’t fast forever. But, as we researched more, we realized maybe she doesn’t have to.
We’ve been doing a number of experiments and have been putting pieces together. It’s a bit frightening, but I think we figured out how to maintain normal blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance without a dialysis machine. It doesn’t require fasting – though a weekly one-day fast will only help.
Last week, Nicole went four days without dialysis and maintained a blood pressure that is probably better than 95% of the doctors and nurses at the dialysis clinic. This week she is going to try five days without dialysis using the same approach. If by day five her blood pressure and heart rate are unchanged, and she has no symptoms, she’ll continue to day 7. Hopefully, she never has to go back.
If you think this sounds crazy, you probably haven’t ever tried dialysis. Many patients opt to die than continue long-term with dialysis. It’s often a painful experience that stresses the entire body. All the blood is sucked out of the body, put through a machine and then pumped back in. And, I assure you, that machine is not working on an exact science. It takes out more than what it should (including nutrients like magnesium). Just look at how jittery people are after dialysis. According to the Institute of Behaviour Sciences, 30% of persons on dialysis suffer from restless leg syndrome. I’d wager it’s higher than that. Usually patients also have a “dialysis hangover” until the next morning. Maybe because the machine puts back into the body inorganic minerals (such as sodium-chloride) and requires the use of a dangerous blood thinner.
So if there’s an easier, natural and pain-free way to replace dialysis, why hasn’t it happened already? In Canada, the average dialysis patient costs about $83,000 per year according to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. The methods we are using that replace dialysis cost (at the most) $10 per month (after an initial one-time expense for some hardware). Dialysis is big business. I know it sounds horrific to suggest so, but that’s the reality of the situation.
So exactly what are we doing? How is Nicole drinking fluid yet not gaining water weight, even though she only pees about 25-50ml per day? And how is she maintaining the same blood pressure as our 10 year old son? I’m out of time, but next week I’ll fill you in.
How far can we take this approach? At the very least, I think we know Nicole will do fine with just two dialysis sessions a week. And, those sessions have already been shortened by about an half-hour. With this new approach to managing blood pressure, her regular 3-1/2 hours dialysis session was pushing her blood pressure way too low. Legally, they were forbidden to let her leave until she could raise it by drinking water, singing, squeezing her fists and getting ticked off.
At best, we are hoping she’ll be able to stop dialysis altogether. Yes, this new approach takes time. About two hours a day. But dialysis with travel (especially when taxis who forget to show up) already sucks up 4-5 hours every two days, anyway. And this new approach seems to work better, is not painful and doesn’t cause a hangover. More so, I think it will also help detoxify and repair the kidneys. So not just replace dialysis, but heal the kidneys. And no more going to a hospital full of sick and dying people, wifi radiation and chemical aromas in the air.
So, next week, I’ll let you know how a longer period without dialysis goes. Plus, I promise to tell you exactly what we are doing to maintain perfectly normal blood pressure without dialysis. (Subscribe so you don’t miss out).
I hope today’s message will inspire you to get your blood pressure kit out. If your BP is higher than a 50-year old woman with failed kidneys you may want to seriously consider adopting the same method the Yamomami Indians use to keep it low. If your kidneys work fine, then you won’t need to spend 2 hours a day like Nicole using these methods. Maybe thirty minutes per day (or, possibly only 30 seconds). Depending on your lifestyle, you can probably normalize your blood pressure without it taking an extra second of your day using just one of the methods we are using. But for those with kidney disease, it’s really the combination of several different approaches that we found works.
Until then, if you think you can guess any of the methods we’re using, drop me an email. First person to give the best answer will receive a free (physical copy by post) of the September issue of HealinGrit (not online yet) which focuses on this very solution to normalizing blood pressure.
Thinking outside the type-1 (and renal failure) matrix,
–John C. A. Manley
P.S. What amazes me more is that we were able to normalize Nicole’s blood pressure while she still has a mouth full of toxic dental work. Nonetheless, our plan is still to have all the mercury fillings, crowns, bridges and other dental disasters removed. Please help by donating even $5 to the fundraiser. There’s only one qualified dentist in North America that’s willing to perform this 5+ hour surgery on Nicole. And her clinic isn’t down the street. So the travel expenses (on top of the $20,000+ dental bill) are a big hurdle Fortunately, cutting back or eliminating dialysis treatments will reduce the amount of money (and trouble) needed to get there (American dialysis clinics are 2-3x as expensive as Canadians). You can find out more or make a donation at www.kidneykarma.com.
P.P.S. For more on the connection between dental work and kidney failure check out 6 Studies Conclude That Toxic Dental Work Damages Your Kidneys.