Ayurvedic treatment for Tuberculosis of the Kidneys

Tuberculosis of the Kidneys

Know More on Kidney Diseases

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys Ayurvedic treatment


Tuberculosis (TB) refers to a serious infectious condition that although mainly affects the lungs, is also known to affect other parts of the body such as the brain, the spina  bones and even kidneys.1

When it affects the genital or urinary organs, Tuberculosis can affect:2

  • The kidneys
  • Ureter – tube through which urine passes from kidney to bladder
  • Bladder – Receives and stored urine
  • Urethra – tube that connects bladder to the rest of the body

According to Ayurveda, tuberculosis can be correlated with Rajayakshma vyadhi. It is a debilitating disease in which tissues of the organ affected, metabolize slowly (dhatwagni mandya) and are usually abnormally thin or weak (dhatu kshaya).3


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys


Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that can spread from people to people, through microscopic droplets released into the air while coughing, speaking, sneezing, or spitting.1

These bacteria commonly affect the lungs, but if your immune system is weak or your body gives the bacteria access to other organs due to any other reasons, they may affect your kidneys as well.1

According to Ayurveda, if a person forcibly stops his natural urges (like urination, defecation etc.,) , the body elements (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) gets aggrevated and cause  symptoms (Rhinitis, cough, hoarseness of voice, anorexia, pain in the chest region, Headache, Fever, Pain in the shoulder girdle, vague pain in the whole body, frequent vomiting, Diarrhea) of Rajayakshma (Tuberculosis)


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys


Some common signs and symptoms of tuberculosis of the kidneys include1:

  • Symptoms of general tuberculosis such as -
    • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
    • Coughing up blood
    • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
    • Unintentional weight loss
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain in the flanks


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys


Your doctor may initially do a physical examination and search for lymph swellings to detect tuberculosis. Additionally, your doctor may recommend some other tests that include:1 

  • Skin test: Most commonly used diagnostic tool for tuberculosis is a simple skin test - called Mantoux test 
  • Blood tests Many blood tests may be used to confirm or rule out latent or active tuberculosis.
  • Imaging tests For detecting TB of the kidneys, imaging tests such as X-ray of CT scans are done along with a ultrasound. These will show signs of kidney damage or infections.


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys


In modern times, a course of anti-tuberculosis medications, also called as anti-kochs treatment (AKT) is recommended as the first-line of therapy. Additionally, many ayurvedic herbs can be used in conjunction with the AKT treatment to protect the live, and provide extra strength and nourishment to the kidneys.3

In ancient Ayurveda (as per Charaka- the ancient great sage), a lot of research was focused on the treatment and management (chikitsa) of tuberculosis (Rajyakshma).3

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) to manage kidney infections. These include:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume healthy and nutritious food
  • Consume foods that have high protein content such as milk, eggs, curd, paneer, cheese, lentils or dals, chicken, fish, etc. These promote weight gain and indirectly help combat tuberculosis
  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Avoid excessive stress
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion and exercises
  • Make it a habit to cover your mouth with a mask to protect yourself from infection spread



Tuberculosis of the Kidneys
  1. How does stones form in our kidneys?

Many a times, kidney stones will not have a single cause, and there could be several factors that increase its risk. Higher concentration of crystal-forming substances in the urine — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid can cause crystallization of these salts. Additionally, lack of substances in urine which will prevent crystal formation end up creating the perfect environment for formation of kidney stones.

  1. What is pyelonephritis?

The infection of the kidney is medically termed as pyelonephritis. It is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that usually starts from the lower organs such as the urethra or urinary bladder and gradually moves up to the kidneys. Such infections need immediate medical attention as if left untreated they can cause  permanent damage to the kidneys.

  1. How does CKD develop?

CKD happens due to any secondary condition that impairs the functioning of the kidneys over a period of time. Some of these secondary conditions are-

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation of kidneys
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Enlarged prostate problems, kidney stones
  • Some cancers
  • Recurrent kidney infection
  1. Do children suffer from kidney disease? How?

Children can get affected with many kidney related diseases. The commonest of these are either an acute kidney disease or chronic long term disease.1 Having a kidney disease can mean treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions in children. 

As in adults, the causes of kidney disease in children are various secondary conditions of situations, which will impair the functioning of the kidneys over a period of time. Some of these secondary conditions are -

  • Developmental defects of birth
  • Any serious infection
  • Any hereditary condition
  • Any serious major diseases
  • Trauma
  • Blockage of urine
  1. What is acute kidney failure? How is it different form chronic failure?

Acute kidney failure means that the kidneys are unable to filter any waste products from the body and this condition develops rather quickly. Due to the failure of the kidneys to filter blood, dangerous levels of waste accumulates in the body causing severe toxic conditions.Chronic kidney failure on the other hand develops gradually over a few weeks, months or even years.

  1. How does a high BP affect the kidneys?

The condition of having a high blood pressure over a long period of time is known to cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys. This damage results in a reduced ability of the kidneys to perform their functions. This is because a high blood pressure requires the blood vessels inside the kidneys to stretch more than usual. Over a period of time the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys start showing scars due to stretching, leading to various kidney diseases. 

  1. What is proteinuria how is it caused?

Proteinuria simply means the presence of ‘protein’ in the urine. This is mostly indicative of poor functioning of the kidneys whereby the proteins are being leaked in to the urine and thrown out of the body. While some amount of protein is found in urine, the quantity increase in kidney damage.

The causes of proteinuria are physiological (meaning temporary), such as after exercise, cold climate, fevers etc; as well as pathological (due to an underlying condition) such as diabetes, kidney tumors, heart disease, liver failure etc.

  1. Why do we have anemia in a kidney disease?

Kidneys perform many important functions apart from filtering he blood. One such vital activity is production of a substance called EPO (Erythropoeitin) which is essential for manufacture of new red blood cells. As the functions of kidneys are hampered in kidney disease, the production of EPO gets affected and results in low RBC production and hence anemia. In advanced stage of kidney disease, where hemodialysis is required, blood loss during hemodialysis also results in anemia.

  1. What is hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis refers to the swelling of a kidney that occurs due to accumulation of urine in them. For some reasons, due to a blockage or obstruction of the ureters, the urine being formed in the kidneys cannot move out and gets retained inside the kidneys leading to swelling of the kidneys. This can happen either in any one or both of the kidneys. 

  1. Why are women more prone to getting a UTI?

Women are more likely than men to get an UTI. This is because of the shorter length or the urethra - that allows infections to travel upwards quickly. Additionally, in women, due to close proximity of the anal opening  and the urethral opening, many GI tract infections (Such as those caused by E. coli) spread to the urinary tract.


Tuberculosis of the Kidneys
  1. Mayo Clinic. Tuberculosis. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/home/ovc-20188556 accessed Sept 13th 2016
  2. Knipe H et al. Renal tuberculosis. Available at http://radiopaedia.org/articles/renal-tuberculosis accessed Sept 13th 2016
  3. Kurane SB et al. Rehabilitation of pulmonary tuberculosis patient with Kharjuradi Ghrita and Pranayama: A study. Int J Res Health Sci. Jul 2014;2(3):755-60.


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