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Protect your kidneys

Protect your kidneys

July 03, 20233 min read

Your kidney energy is vital to your health & well-being, but we don’t often think about caring for them until there’s a problem. The reason? Their “taps on the shoulder” that they need some TLC are very subtle and those same symptoms can relate to other things… we just don’t tend to associate them with the kidneys. There are many signs that your kidneys need some love, and if you have 3 or more, you should take some steps to strengthen them. I’ll give you plenty of tips for this at the end. Here are the symptoms to look for:

Feeling tired even after you’ve had enough sleep, feeling cold when others are comfortable, low libido or erectile dysfunction, shortness of breath with moderate exertion, trouble thinking or concentrating, high blood pressure (even slightly high), feeling itchy in the absence of a rash, seeing bubbles in the toilet after urinating, metallic taste in your mouth, frequent urination (especially waking in the night) and bags under the eyes. That’s quite a laundry list!

Kidney symproms

A conversation about kidney health needs to also consider the definition of kidney in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Their definition of kidney includes both your kidneys AND the adrenal glands that sit on top of each kidney. They consider that these work as a whole, which makes total sense when you see how much stress (regulated by adrenals) impacts blood pressure, which is regulated by the kidneys. The kidneys are the source of your “chi”, or vital energy. When kidneys are overworked and underpaid, it results in many of the symptoms listed above.

What causes your kidneys to be stressed? The biggest stress comes from toxic loads. Usually we think of the liver as filtering out toxins, but your kidneys work just as hard. These loads include environmental toxins, alcohol, cigarettes, vaping, mercury from silver fillings in your teeth, and medications, including OTC meds. The next biggest stress is aging. In fact, once you pass age 30 (what nature considers to be your childbearing years) you are no longer blessed with the extra protective energy of youth. And this energy continues to deplete more rapidly with each passing decade. The final category of stress is damage to the delicate tubules in the kidneys, which are only 1 blood cell thick! These tiny tubules are damaged from chronic low water consumption because the toxins they are trying to filter out are not dilute enough. They are also damaged by certain diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Protect your kidneys

But don’t despair! There is much you can do to rejuvenate your valuable kidneys. First, do drink enough water every day. Divide your body weight by 2 and that tells you how many ounces you should drink each day. In TCM, the kidneys belong to the water element, so things like swimming, sitting or walking by a creek, lake or ocean and even listening to the gentle sound of a water feature will help. Many foods help to nourish the kidneys, including kidney beans, seaweed, cranberries, blueberries, black cherries, beets, lemon, and spinach. Horsetail tea and Cornsilk tea are also very healing for your kidneys and can be easily found at your local health food store. Skin brushing before you bathe or shower is a huge help; in fact, the skin is known as your “third kidney”. I’m a huge fan of Earthing or Grounding, which helps by dissipating stress energy either through walking barefoot on the earth or sleeping or sitting on a special mat that plugs into the ground receptacle in a wall outlet. See the official Earthing site for more information.

Become aware of the condition of your kidneys and incorporate some of these healing strategies. Your reward will be a lifting of that depleted feeling and an increased vibrancy. 😊

Nourishing to kidneys


Disclaimer: This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this blog should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a naturopath?

A naturopath is a holistic practitioner who uses a system of treatment which avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the use of natural agents such as air, water, herbs and lifestyle improvements. At Vitality Project, we practice Traditional Naturopathy. As the name implies, this is the original practice of naturopathy and is distinguished from Functional Medicine, which uses medical labs with narrower ranges of normal than your MD considers. In Functional Medicine it’s not unusual to run lab tests that cost thousands of dollars. This is not needed in Traditional Naturopathy.

Do you treat _______?

(Fill in the blank- autoimmune conditions, arthritis, fibromyalgia, infertility, anxiety or depression, inflammation, fatigue, etc) The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think. Your medical doctor uses your diagnosis to point the way to appropriate treatment options. A Traditional Naturopath uses your diagnosis as a description of what your body is manifesting in the way of symptoms, but your diagnosis doesn’t point the way to treatment. In our philosophy, every non-optimal health condition is caused by the same 4 basic stressors that have occurred over time. These are times in your life you’ve had poor lifestyle habits, times you’ve had physical stresses (accidents, injuries, surgeries, even childbirth), times you’ve been under excessive mental & emotional stress, and times you’ve been exposed to toxins (including pollutants, infections and even medications). We then create a plan to pull out the toxins over time and support the function of your organs and systems so that your body can actually heal.

Does insurance cover this?

Regular health insurance does not, because this is not medical care. But many HSAs will cover. You can check with your provider for details.

Do you work with children?

Yes, we’ve worked with people from 1 day old infants to those well into their 90’s.

How long before I see results?

Most people will begin to see improvement within the first few weeks. Much of that depends on how willing you are to make the lifestyle changes to support your body. It also depends on your history. We do a consultation as a first step to gather some background about your situation and history, then present what would be necessary from you. For example, if it’s necessary to stop artificial sweeteners and that’s something you’re not willing to do, we will be honest about what results you could expect, and you might decide we’re not a good fit for you. We’ve had many people who do decide at a later time that they’re ready, and this is fine. The goal is to have a successful relationship.

Can you work together with my medical treatments?

Absolutely! This is called Complimentary medicine and it works very well. Our job is to get you improving, and many times you are then able to come off Rx medications. We never pull you off, though. As you heal and your condition improves, you work with your prescribing doctor to lower and eliminate medications you don’t need any more. At certain times, necessary medications (chemotherapy is one example) have undesirable side effects and we can commonly support you in such a way that these side effects are greatly lessened. It’s a beautiful thing!

Do you offer telehealth?

Yes, we work with people all over the world who cannot come in person. Additionally, some locals choose to avoid traffic and do telehealth.

Do I have to take vitamins and supplements?

Yes, these are some of the tools we use to aid your healing. We can work within your preferences, such as liquid vs pill. We work to make this fit into your lifestyle as simply as possible.

How much do you charge?

The initial consultation is $50, which gives us a chance to talk about what is going on with you and decide whether to work together. If we decide to move forward, the first appointment takes an hour and includes reviewing your history and doing testing. The second appointment is one week later where Debra presents a Report of Findings and we work out a treatment plan that works for you. The fee for those two visits is $450, payable on the first visit. Follow ups are from $150 to $250, depending on the length of the appointment. We usually see people at 4-week intervals, but in special circumstances you might need a recheck in 2-3 weeks.

How do I get started?

The first step is your consultation. You can fill out the form for us to contact you or you can call our office directly at 770-817-8028. We look forward to getting to know you!

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  • (770) 817-8028


  • 801 Bombay Lane

  • Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.

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Vitality Project is a naturopathic clinic located at 801 Bombay Lane in Roswell, Georgia.

The clinic is led by Debra MacIntyre, who has over 30 years of experience in naturopathic medicine.Vitality Project is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM, and Saturday from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.



Contact Us


  • (770) 817-8028

  • 801 Bombay Lane

  • Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. We are closed on Sunday and Monday.

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