Information on Kidney Disease

Living with Kidney Disease

Your kidneys play a vital role in your body. They work hard to clean your blood and create urine for you 24 hours a day. Without kidney function, you would struggle to process toxins and eliminate waste, and this would have a devastating impact on your health.

It’s important to keep your kidneys healthy so they can perform these important tasks throughout your life. If your kidneys are not healthy, other organs in your body may suffer and this could lead to further health complications.

As many of the signs and symptoms are non-specific and may be attributed to other causes. Kidney disease is often discovered by chance.


There are a number of kidney related podcasts available for free across the internet. A short list of the podcasts that we think are relevant to New Zealanders can be found below.

'Diet and Kidney Health' by Dietitian Fuchsia Goldsmith

'Developments in treating kidney disease' with Professor Gopi Rangan

Herbal medicine and kidney disease

Herbal medicines have been used by humans for over 5,000 years. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) however, there are good reasons to be cautious about taking herbal medicines. Herbal supplements are made from plants, fungi or algae, and are usually sold as extracts, teas, powders or tablets, or capsules. The fact that they are marketed as “natural” is appealing to people who want to shy away from drugs.

Unlike prescription or over the counter drugs, herbal supplements are not regulated so their manufacturers can put in whatever ingredient they want. Some herbal medicines are high in glucose, phosphate and/ or potassium. When you are seeing your doctor, renal dietitian and or pharmacist it is very important to discuss herbal medicine with them, so that it won't negatively interact with your prescribed treatments.