A poor mother desperately needing a kidney transplant reveals that she has chosen to treat her condition by eating only fruit.
Polina Petruk, 33, was told by doctors that she should say goodbye to any form of normal life & # 39; when in 2007 focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is diagnosed.
The rare condition causes kidney scarring and damage to the organ's blood cleansing mechanism – and doctors warned Ms. Petruk, from East Dulwich, London, that she had a 50 percent chance of dying within ten years.
FSGS also impeded her chances of having a child because doctors feared that a pregnancy would put too much pressure on her kidneys.
But Mrs. Petruk went against medical advice and had her daughter Maia, now five, reducing her lung function to just five percent.
After she & # 39; fruitarian & # 39; , she now claims to feel good – and needs fewer dialysis sessions every week. And she says doctors are surprised at her energy levels and health, which she attributes to her diet of six meals of fruit a day.
Polina Petruk, 33, from East Dulwhich, London, chooses not to undergo kidney transplant, despite having only 5 percent kidney function
Ms. Petruk was told by doctors that she should say goodbye to any kind of normal life & # 39; in the diagnosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in 2007. She said she surprised doctors by having a child, Maia, now
Mrs. Petruk, who is studying nutrition at London's College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM), said: “My case has confused doctors because they have never seen anything like this because the prognosis for this condition is not good, with a 50 percent chance of dying in the 10 years after diagnosis.
& # 39; I am not necessarily on the transplant list, because the side effects of the anti-rejection medication are terrible. I don't want to get my body through that. & # 39;
FSGS is a rare disease in which scar tissue develops on the glomeruli, which filters the kidneys.
According to NephCure Kidney International, around 5,400 people worldwide are diagnosed with FSGS.
A TYPICAL DAY DIET LIKE & # 39; FRUITARY & # 39;
The day of Polina Petruk starts with water with lemon or grapefruit juice.
First meal: 600 g of pineapple.
Second meal: also 600 g of pineapple.
Third meal: 400 g frozen blueberries and 200 g dates.
Fourth meal: large salad of fruity vegetables such as cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes and herbs such as parsley, dill and coriander, with some nut cheese such as cashew nut cheese or pine nuts (all vegan).
Mrs. Petruk is also taking a vegan multivitamin supplement, omega 3 supplement and vegan b12 supplement.
She doesn't drink much because of her kidneys, but drinks hot water or water with lemon or fennel tea.
Mrs. Petruk, whose family moved from Ukraine to the UK at the age of 10, had eating disorders during her teenage years.
She believes she may have taken her toll, and although no cause has been confirmed, she thinks this may have been the case.
The disease can often have no known cause, known as primary FSGS, or can be caused by infection, medication, hereditary diseases or conditions such as diabetes, which is called secondary FSGS.
There are few treatments available for FSGS, and Mrs. Petruk was shocked at the number of medicines that had been prescribed for her.
She went looking for her own way to stay healthy, knowing that if the condition worsens, this can lead to kidney failure.
Mrs. Petruk said: “I only went to the doctor because I wasn't feeling well, never expected to be told that I had a kidney problem and would have to take so many prescription drugs to treat it.
Mrs. Petruk was shocked at the number of medicines she was prescribed after her diagnosis and instead looked for other ways to stay healthy
Mrs. Petruk gets 80 to 90 percent of her daily calories from fruit and the rest from vegetables, nuts and seeds
Mrs. Petruk eats six meals a day like this. She said she was convinced that a plant-based diet enabled her to give birth after doctors said she had no child
& # 39; So I started experimenting with how the increase in the amount of raw foods in my diet would affect how I felt, my symptoms and the medication I needed to take, slowly starting to eliminate all animal products.
& # 39; I soon realized that I was starting to move better, my blood pressure stabilized and my kidneys were filtering better. & # 39;
Eventually, by 2012, Petruk claims that she was able to get rid of her prescribed medication.
She said: & # 39; Because my health had improved so much between 2009 and 2012 – which I think was because I experimented with many different diets, including the paleo or caveman diet, vegetarian and ultimately vegan – I could have reduced and quit eventually my prescribed medication.
& # 39; Contrary to all expectations, I lived a normal life. & # 39;
Mrs. Petruk met her partner, Star, 30, an artist, at a music festival near Stonehenge in Wiltshire in 2012, and six months later she found out she was pregnant.
Doctors had warned that she could never get that, because her kidneys could not handle the extra requirement of pregnancy.
But Mrs. Petruk decided to take her baby against medical advice and her kidneys were damaged.
After using many different diets, including the paleo or caveman diet, vegetarian and ultimately vegan, Mrs. Petruk said: & against all expectations, I lived a normal life & # 39;
Mrs Petruk believes that her condition should improve because she now has dialysis twice a week twice a week instead of three times an hour four times a week
She said: & # 39; Maia was born as a planned C-section after 37 weeks because the pregnancy damaged my kidneys.
& # 39; And although she was small and cold and cranky, she was medically fine and we were allowed to go home two weeks later.
& # 39; I am convinced that following a plant-based diet enabled me to give birth despite my terrible diagnosis.
& # 39; Before I received Maia, I had used my diet to bring them back to a normal 95 percent function, but after my pregnancy I was told that I had lost 70 percent of their normal function. & # 39;
The downward spiral continued until Petruk eventually needed four-hour dialysis sessions three times a week to stay alive, as her kidney function had dropped to a shockingly low five percent.
Still determined that changing her diet could make a difference, she committed herself in 2016 to a & # 39; fruitarian & # 39; to become.
Mrs. Petruk gets 80 to 90 percent of her daily calories from fruit and the rest from vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Instead of eating three substantial meals a day, Petruk eats six or seven smaller fruit meals to ensure she gets enough calories.
Now, although her kidneys still work at five percent, Mrs Petruk's dialysis has been reduced to two-hour sessions twice a week.
She claims that her medical team is astonished by her energy and that, because her general health persists, she does not need much dialysis.
Mrs. Petruk said: & # 39; I look good, I feel good and I am lively & # 39; – because she only eats fruit
Mrs Petruk claims that her health is as good as someone after 12 hours of dialysis. Shown, a standard meal
& # 39; The doctors are surprised that I can maintain my energy level and also how clean my blood is, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; My uric acid and phosphate levels are just as good as those of a person doing 12 hours of dialysis.
& # 39; I also have good cardiovascular health and no diabetes, which is common in patients with my type of diagnosis and I know it is because of my diet with lots of fruit. & # 39;
& # 39; People think it must be difficult to be a fruitarian, but it's all in your head. It depends on how much you want to do it and for me I am committed because it helps me prevent my kidneys from losing even more functions.
& # 39; I look good, I feel good and I am lively and when people around you start noticing that they want something. & # 39;
A spokesperson for Kidney Research UK said: “There are no indications that a fruit-only diet can safely maintain kidney function.
& # 39; Many diets have been tested for their ability to slow the progression of kidney disease, with most research focused on limiting protein intake.
& # 39; There are indications that this may delay the progression of chronic kidney disease and may delay the need for dialysis.
& # 39; But there is a significant risk that protein malnutrition will lead to muscle weakness and other complications. & # 39;
WHAT IS FOCAL SEGMENTAL GLOMERULOSCLEROSIS?
Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a rare disease in which scar tissue develops on the glomeruli, which filters the kidneys.
The glomeruli filter blood, remove the fluid that changes into urine and leave protein behind.
The disease can occur on its own without a specific cause, known as primary FSGS, or can be caused by infection, medication, or conditions such as diabetes, called secondary FSGS.
Symptoms include swelling in the limbs due to fluid retention in the body, high levels of fat in the blood resulting in high cholesterol and high levels of protein in the urine and low levels in the blood.
Few treatments are available, but some contain steroids to prevent your immune system from attacking glomuerli, ACE inhibitors and ARBs to stop protein loss and diuretics to remove fluid buildup.
However, if the condition worsens, it can lead to kidney failure.
According to NephCure Kidney International, around 5,400 people are diagnosed with FSGS every year.
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