Before something goes awry, we rarely give our kidneys much thought. Located under the lower ribs, the kidneys are a component of the urinary system that filters blood, drains extra water, and detoxifies waste and toxins in urine. The kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste and excess fluid from the body. They are also responsible for regulating blood pressure, producing hormones, and balancing electrolytes. Over time, various factors such as age, genetics, lifestyle, and disease can cause kidney function to decline, leading to a range of health problems.
Symptoms that may indicate your kidney is not operating optimally
- Having less energy than usual
- Inability to sleep
- Frequent urination
- Urine that is frothy
The specific health issue and your medical history will determine the specific symptoms that point to kidney problems.
How Can Red Light Therapy Support The Kidneys
Red light therapy is a form of low-level light therapy that uses red and near-infrared wavelengths of light to promote tissue regeneration. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a popular way to administer red light therapy. While many skin diseases can be helped by these wavelengths, they also permeate the body more deeply than other colors of light. As a result, red light therapy may also be used to treat conditions that affect the body's deeper layers of tissue, such as circulation issues and digestive system issues.
From a Rouge customer: This size is perfect, we opted for an in home red light therapy setup so I’d have full access all the time safely. I have a rare condition and am using it to stabilize my mast cells, and curious to see if it has any impact on daily symptoms. So far it’s helped with pain, and I’m seeing weight loss happen without that being the goal. Huge bonus. Love love love the wound healing ability as well since my skin is so sensitive, highly recommend!!
Clinical Research and Kidney Health
A 2010 study using rats published in the Journal of Photochem Photobiol, established the advantages of red light therapy for kidneys affected by diabetes hyperglycemia. In this study, red light therapy was associated with lowered oxidative stress and improved kidney function. The review quotes, “LLLT reduces oxidative stress leading to reduced inflammation. LLLT also increases mitochondrial membrane potential, leading to synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and faster tissue repair,” (Lim J,. et al, 2010). LLLT stands for Low-Level Light Therapy. It refers to the type of therapy, also known as red light therapy, that uses low levels of light to improve health conditions, including pain, inflammation, and skin problems.
As reported by this 2012 Photomed Laser Surgery article, NIR low-level laser treatment was effective in treating progressive kidney disease in rats. In the kidneys, they noticed lower swelling and damage, both of which are associated with a deterioration in kidney function.
Additionally, as mentioned by Dr. Hirschberg (veterinarian), photobiomodulation (another term for red light therapy) is known to improve kidney function in small animals, such as cats and dogs. It is believed to work by promoting cellular energy production and reducing inflammation.
Studies have shown that red light therapy has a positive impact on the kidneys by improving circulation, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting cell regeneration. By increasing blood flow to the kidneys, red light therapy helps to oxygenate and nourish the cells, improving their overall health and function. This can lead to improved kidney function and reduced risk of kidney damage. In addition, red light therapy has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which help to protect the kidneys from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues, leading to a range of health problems. By neutralizing these free radicals, red light therapy helps to reduce the risk of kidney damage.
Although the above research covers animal-based studies, animal studies have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of various biological processes and the underlying mechanisms of many diseases. By studying the effects of certain treatments and interventions on animals, researchers can gain valuable insights into their potential benefits for human health. The above studies show promise for inflammation-reducing properties of red light therapy for the kidneys. This study, in particular, was shown to be efficient at reducing kidney damage brought on by blood flow that stops and then starts.
When it comes to the heart, researchers have discovered that red and near-infrared light stimulation can aid in the recovery of damaged cardiac cells after a heart attack. In this study the researchers used a red laser to target the bone marrow cells of heart attack victims. It was discovered that "After a low-level laser was shined into a person's bone marrow, the stem cells took to the circulation, traveling through the body and responding to the heart's signals of distress and harm. When the stem cells reached the heart, they used their mending abilities to lessen scarring and encourage the development of new arteries, optimizing the blood flow.” ( Oron et. al., 2011). With that said, researchers are motivated by findings like this one that shows red and near-infrared light therapies can be used to simplify and improve stem cell therapy in a variety of surgical procedures and even help with the healing of other organs, such as the kidneys.
In conclusion, red light therapy offers numerous benefits for the kidneys, including improved circulation, reduced oxidative stress, and cell regeneration. The findings indicate that red light therapy might be an innovative, non-pharmacological, and non-invasive therapeutic modality to support overall wellness. Albeit additional and further research is needed. In the interim, speak with your nephrologist if you have kidney issues and want to learn more about red light treatment. If you wish to incorporate light therapy into your treatment plan, make sure to always talk to your doctor about it first.
Asghari A, Takhtfooladi MA, Hoseinzadeh HA. Effect of photobiomodulation on ischemia/reperfusion-induced renal damage in diabetic rats. Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Dec;31(9):1943-1948. doi: 10.1007/s10103-016-2073-x. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PMID: 27624783.
Ahrabi B, Bahrami M, Moghadasali R, Zamanian-Azodi M, Khoramgah MS, Tabatabaei Mirakabad FS, Darabi S, Abbaszadeh HA. The Effect of Low-Power Laser Therapy on the TGF/β Signaling Pathway in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Review. J Lasers Med Sci. 2020 Spring;11(2):220-225. doi: 10.34172/jlms.2020.36. Epub 2020 Mar 15. PMID: 32273966; PMCID: PMC7118498.
Tuby H, Maltz L, Oron U. Induction of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow by low-level laser therapy has profound beneficial effects on the infarcted rat heart. Lasers Surg Med. 2011 Jul;43(5):401-9. doi: 10.1002/lsm.21063. PMID: 21674545.
Lim J, Sanders RA, Snyder AC, Eells JT, Henshel DS, Watkins JB 3rd. Effects of low-level light therapy on streptozotocin-induced diabetic kidney. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 May 3;99(2):105-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Mar 11. PMID: 20356759.
Oliveira FA, Moraes AC, Paiva AP, Schinzel V, Correa-Costa M, Semedo P, Castoldi A, Cenedeze MA, Oliveira RS, Bastos MG, Câmara NO, Sanders-Pinheiro H. Low-level laser therapy decreases renal interstitial fibrosis. Photomed Laser Surg. 2012 Dec;30(12):705-13. doi: 10.10