My Experience with Activated Charcoal for Stage 4 Kidney Disease CP, March 8, 2014  
(Revised Apr. 7, 2014)
 
My purpose in sharing my experience with activated charcoal is to serve as a resource for those looking for a truthful, detailed, personal experience with this product, rather than marketing hype. I will attempt to give you my entire story including why I originally tried activated charcoal, my experience with different sources, how it has impacted my health and my honest opinion of the products effectiveness for various conditions.
 
I am a 79 year old male, height 5'-3”, weighing 230 pounds.
 
Medical problems and health concerns as of mid -2013.
Diabetes type 2.
Kidneys, stage 4, GFR=27 and with a cyst on each kidney.
Heart w/pacemaker and 4 stents.
High blood pressure. 
Walking a few hundred yards causes my heart rate to become unstable.
Lower Back, Needs L4 & L5 Fused.
Prostate is enlarged.
Shoulder with tear in rotator cuff.
Thyroid with 4 nodules.
Gerd/acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
Severe itching and can not take the prescription meds needed due to side effects.
Rosacea.
Acne covering the upper torso.
Gout.
Low testosterone.
90 lbs over weight.
 
Prescribed medications as of mid - 2013
Insulin,                              as needed based on testing.
Glimepiride 4mg,             2 per day.
Blood glucose test strips, 3 per day.
Plavix 75mg,                    1 per day.
Zocor 80mg,                     1 per day in the evening.
Aspirin 81mg,                  1 per day.
Benazepril 20mg,             1 per day.
Metoprolol 50mg,            1 per day.
Forosenide 20mg,            2 per day.
Synthroid 50mcg,            1 per day.
Prilosec 20mg,                 1 per day.
Allopurinol 100mg,         1 per day.
Finasteride 5mg,              1 per day.
Testosterone shot             monthly.
Metronidazole.
Clindamycin Phosp.
 
In the summer of 2013, itching, caused by kidney issues, became unbearable. The only relief I could get was sitting under a fan or going outside when there was a breeze. I went to my primary doctor and tried several different prescription medications. They either did not work or had bad side effects and the itching continued.
 
My primary doctor sent me to a kidney specialist as my GFR was 27. I was also concerned as my GFR had drop 10 points in 3 years. If it continued to drop at that rate I could be on dialysis within 4 to 6 years. On meeting with the kidney doctor he advised that there was very little I could do accept wait it out and go on dialysis. He said that at my age I was not a candidate for a transplant. I guess he thought that he was comforting me by telling me that people live very productive lives while on dialysis. I left his office, got into my car and sat there a few minutes just thinking about what I just been told. The problem was much bigger than just going on dialysis. Those toxins, not being removed from my blood, are damaging my heart and other organs in my body. I thought about how all my life I have had jobs where I had to solve problems that others had failed at. Now, I decided, it is time to solve my problem. I made up my mind right then there that I would solve it, and would begin working on it that very day. I had a lot to learn and not much time to do it.

First, I have to solve the itching problem.
I kept searching for a doctor whom might help me. I found an allergist who specialized in itching. He did not have a solution, however, as I was leaving his office he stopped me and said he had recently read an article that talked about taking activated charcoal for itching caused by kidney problems. I thought that might be real possibility as activated charcoal removes toxins from the digestive system. On the way home I stopped at drug store. I purchased activated charcoal, a bottle of water and took 2 capsules, as recommended. A few hours later the itching was nearly gone. I started taking 2 capsules twice a day.
 
It is important to note that I also followed the directions carefully – I ask anyone reading this to do the same.  Warning: Activated Charcoal should not be taken within two hours of taking any prescription meds, over the counter products or vitamins. It will absorb them destroying the purpose for taking them. It does not affect the natural nutrients in food and the FDA rates Activated Charcoal as Category I - "Safe & Effective".
 
After about two weeks I was surprised that my acne was disappearing and my rosacea was clearing up. I had been going to a dermatologist for both of these issues and was getting very little help. I was also able to stop taking prilosec for gerd, which I had been taking for several years.
 
I have been so encouraged by all of the success I have had with my health that I started a diet in October, 2013. 
 
I am taking their detox 1600 activated charcoal which is made out coconut shell. I put one teaspoon of the charcoal into 8 oz. of water and take it twice a day. I drink it though a straw. By putting the straw inside of my front teeth they don't get as black. I then drink another 8 oz. of clear water. Charcoal tends to cause constipation and sticky stools.   Drinking plenty of water helps the problem. I try to drink a total of 80 oz. of water each day. I also take a natural fiber supplement. I tried several different brands and the CVS brand works best for me personally. I started taking the charcoal powder on November 1 at a cost of about $5.00 per month.
 
As of December, I had been able to stop taking blood pressure medication and had stopped taking diabetic insulin and oral medications prior to that. I credit the activated charcoal for correcting my blood pressure. I'm not sure what has corrected my diabetic problem. As my doctor says, “don't fight it. Just get more weight off so it doesn't come back.”  
 
I have been walking one to two miles a day, six days a week without my pulse rate becoming unstable. This is the first time since my heart problems in 2008 that my pulse rate has been stable when exercising. This has been really exciting for me. Around the 1st of January my back start acting up and I had to reduce my walking to one mile two days a week. By the end of January I decided I had to have back surgery. I had been holding off for a couple of years. Now I am scheduled to have the L4 and L5 fused on April 28, 2014. I'm having my prostate taken care of early April.
 
I had my blood tests – this is the first time I've been able to compare blood tests before and after taking activated charcoal.  The results are amazing.  See the following:
 
    W/O Act. Charcoal                         With Act. Charcoal

Description September 2013 February 2014 Range
Kidneys                 GFR 27 42 60 or >
Urea Nitrogen      BUN 59 23 7 to 25
Creatinine 2.22 1.55 0.7 to 1.18
Cholesterol 151 105 125 to 200
HDL 29 38 40 or >
Triglycerides 126 92 <150
LDL 97 49 <130
 
Note:  I was taking 80 mg of Zocor. My Cardiologist has reduced it to 40 mg.
 
As of March 1, 2014 I had lost 30lbs and I have been able stop or adjust the following medications:
Diabetic - Insulin, STOPPED
Diabetic - Glimepiride STOPPED
Diabetic - Blood glucose test strips, 3 per day.  I am testing once a day just in case my diabetes comes back.
Heart - Zocor changed from 80mg to 40mg, 1 per day.
Blood Pressure - Benazepril 20mg, STOPPED
Gird - Prilosec 20mg, STOPPED
Prostate - Finasteride 5mg,  STOPPED
Acne - Metronidazole STOPPED
Rosacea - Clindamycin Phosp STOPPED
 
I wrote back in October that I was going solve my kidney problem. I believe that I have done that along with the assistance of others I have met while doing my research. My wife’s help in the research (even though she admits now that she did not believe in activated charcoal to begin with) has been invaluable. Now that she has seen my blood tests she believes in the product. I was also fortunate that my primary doctor was supportive and I owe a great deal to the allergist that first brought activated charcoal to my attention. I am most grateful to the owners and personnel at buyactivatedcharcoal.com who were always there to answer my questions.
 
Update:
I believe that I can get my GFR closer to 50 which will be better than it has been in 15 years. 
I am now taking 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal three times a day. Next, I am going to put an activated charcoal poultice over my kidneys on my back to try and shrink the cysts on my kidneys. I have heard of several cases where this has been successful. I’m also considering trying to do the same with the nodules on my thyroid. I have little to lose and everything to gain if it works.
 
My Son has studied the area of leaky gut syndrome. After listening to him and reading about it on the internet I believe that I have had the leaky gut syndrome which most likely caused my gerd/acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome that I’ve struggled with for several years. The activated charcoal has relieved gerd and irritable bowel syndrome by addressing these symptoms at this time. I firmly believe that the bad bacteria must be addressed and removed from the gut to truly correct the situation. I am starting a program immediately. I’ll describe what I’m actually doing after I’ve studied and have a better understanding of what is required.  
 
Update:
At this time I am getting ready for a procedure on April 18 to correct my enlarged prostate. The doctor will be using the Greenlight laser procedure which will let me come home the same day. I should be completely recovered within a week. I hope I am recovered as I go in for my back operation that I discussed earlier on April 28. They are fusing L4 and L5 using a laser minimally invasive procedure. I will have to wear a brace for three months which can only be removed for sleeping and showering. I have had three laser procedures performed previously to relieve pinched nerves. I was warned when I had the last procedure in 2005 that I probably would need to have L4 & L5 fused as they were not stable.
 
Update:
Today I came down with case of gout in my left big toe. I coated it with the charcoal and ground flaxseed mixture I use in my kidney poultice, wrapped it in a paper towel, put a plastic wrap over it and put on a sock. It’s now been three hours and the toe feels good. I am going to leave it wrapped for at least another three hours. After two days the gout is gone. In the past I have had to take medicine that required me to become sick and vomited before I could stop taking it and that medicine was bad for my kidneys. Activated charcoal came through again.
 
Update:
I've now evaluated the results of the blood test and of my taking the charcoal. My plan was to take the charcoal after lunch and after dinner in the evening. Not realizing how effective the charcoal was, I am concerned that I was not very careful in making sure that I took it regularly. I skipped it many times. Kimberly, the person I purchase this from, had suggested that I take it three times a day which I am going to do in the future. Prior to starting three times a day I'm going to stop the charcoal for 10 days. I want to find out what the results will be. I have to test on myself as it is difficult to find reliable information – the very reason that I decided to share my story. 
 
I had to pay for the following blood test. I order them from directlabs.com as they are much cheaper than at my physicians. See the following blood test results:
   

Description After 10 days  W/O Act. Charcoal Range
Kidneys                 GFR 39 60 or >
Urea Nitrogen      BUN 26 7 to 25
Creatinine 1.66 0.7 to 1.18
Cholesterol 118 125 to 200
HDL 43 40 or >
Triglycerides 65 <150
LDL 62 <130

My itching came back on the third day of not using the activated charcoal. My acne and rosacea started coming back on the fifth day. It has taken about two weeks for the acne and rosacea to clear up again after resuming the activated charcoal.   
 
My experience with purchasing activated charcoal and BuyActivatedCharcoal.com
Note: The first bottle of activated charcoal had 100 capsules for $19.95. I started looking for what was available locally and online. I purchased a bottle of 100 for $4.95 from a well know vitamin source online. After I had taken them for about one week I had a few small Acne pimples coming out. That alerted me to differences in quality.
 
I resumed researching activate charcoal on the Internet. After a lot of research and many phone calls to numerous suppliers I selected BuyActivatedCharcoal.com located in Crawford, NE. I found the personnel there very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Kimberly and John, the owners, were available to speak to me to answer more in-depth questions. I liked the customer service and that they carried all the products I needed at reasonable prices.  
 
After talking with Kimberly about my kidney and heart problems I decided to switch to powder instead of capsules. She doesn't give medical advice, but she was willing to explain what other customers told her about their experiences, and I found that helpful.
 
Update starting May 16, 2014:
I have been asked for more detail on my diabetes.  I had avoided explaining the change I experienced as neither I nor my doctor understand what happened. I was on insulin and glimepiride for my diabetes. During the night of July 7, 2014 I woke up feeling dizzy. I immediately check my blood sugar and it was in the 40's. For the next 3 day I had difficulty controlling my blood sugar. I decided to stop all diabetic meds and try to control my sugar with exercise and diet. At the time my A1c was 6.9. I was able to keep my blood sugar tests below 100 in the morning however, it would creep up during the day. When I had my blood test in Sep my A1c was down to 6.5. This was before I started activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has been shown to help diabetes. My doctor again said he couldn’t understand what was going on. He encouraged me to accept the change and get myself on a diet and lose weight so that the diabetes would not come back. I started a diet and have lost approximately 40 lbs. as of this update. My A1c was 6.3 in Feb 2014. I’m still not taking any diabetic meds. I’m hoping to get my A1c under 6 by late summer now that I am exercising again. My blood sugar went out of control while in the hospital. The doctor said that was to be expected due to the meds like pain killers that I was given.  I have been out of the hospital for 16 days. My blood sugar appears to be back in control. The exercise has helped.
 
Prior to my back operation I was very concerned about the tear in my rotator cuff. Whenever I laid on back at night I would have nagging pain in my right shoulder. The only way I could sleep was to lay on my right shoulder. My doctor said this was due to leakage from the tear. After the operation it will not be easy to roll from back to my right side. My doctor said that the only way to fix it was an operation. Not knowing anything else to do I put a charcoal poultice on my shoulder at night. I only had 3 days before the back operation. By the 3rd night the pain was gone and has not come back. Charcoal came through again!     
 
Prior to the operation I was putting charcoal poultices on my back over my kidneys. I was hoping that they would shrink the cyst that I have on my kidneys. I had put the poultices on for 29 nights before I had to stop for the operation. I have had the cyst checked. The cyst did not decrease or increase during the time poultices were on. I plan to try again as soon as the back brace can be removed.
 
I am having the nodules on my thyroid checked for size on May 20th. I plan to start putting a poultice on my thyroid starting the night of the 20th.       
 
I’ve have had both the prostate and back operation.  All went well except that my bladder, stomach and bowels stopped working.  I had to stay in the hospital 3 days extra and wear a catheter for 16 days.  Everything is now working. The back feels good with no pain when standing or walking. I have to wear my back brace for 3 months minimum. As of Monday I will be wearing a bone stimulator for 30 minutes a day until L4 and L5 is sufficiently fused. I am now walking approximately 2.5 miles a day.


Update starting May 21, 2014:
While I was in the hospital I had a tooth ache. Yesterday I went to a dentist. The tooth that aching was abscess and I had to have root canal. Didn’t really need another problem at this time.
 
Trying to better understand why my bladder, stomach and bowels stop working I talk with my doctor. He explained that it was caused by anesthesia. Making my more severe was the fact that I had anesthesia twice in 10 days. My bladder is still adjusting after 6 weeks. It’s slowing improving.
 
I’ve worn the back brace for four weeks with eight weeks to go based on the successful fusion of L4 & L5.  I will be having an x-ray on June 13th to check the progress. I am walking and standing with no pain. As the weather has gotten hotter I walk before 8am in the morning and after 8pm in the evening. I still have some pain when setting and lying down making it difficult to sleep. I think I am making great progress. 
 
I am still taking activated charcoal as I’m working on my overall health. As a measurement of past progress I am going to show the meds that I was taking and a list of what I am now taking.
 
Prescribed medications as of mid - 2013
Insulin,                               as needed based on testing.
Glimepiride 4mg,              2 per day.
Blood glucose test strips,  3 per day.
Plavix 75mg,                     1 per day.
Zocor 80mg,                     1 per day in the evening.
Aspirin 81mg,                  1 per day.
Benazepril 20mg,             1  per day.
Metoprolol 50mg,             1 per day.
Forosenide 20mg,             2 per day.
Synthroid 50mcg,             1 per day.
Prilosec 20mg,                  1 per day.
Allopurinol 100mg,          1 per day.
Finasteride 5mg,               1 per day.
Testosterone shot              monthly.
Metronidazole.
Clindamycin Phosp.
 
Prescribed medications as of May 26th, 2014.
Blood glucose test strips, 1 per day.
Plavix 75mg,                    1 per day.
Zocor 40mg,                     1 per day in the evening.
Aspirin 81mg,                  1 per day.
Metoprolol 25mg,            1 per day.
Forosenide 20mg,            2 per day.
Synthroid 50mcg,            1 per day.
Allopurinol 100mg,         1 per day.

Note: I have also lost 40lbs. I plan on being down to 150lbs. by Dec 31st.
 
I had an appointment with my Cardiologist on the 22nd. He told me that my pace maker would have to changed sometime between 10 and 22 months from now. It’s going to be interesting because as at my age Medicare won’t let me have a pacemaker which is recommended for my condition due to cost even if I pay the added cost.

Update starting Jun 12, 2014:
I have had a hard time staying on schedule with all my meds and activated charcoal. With 2  operations and treatments like bone stimulations every day to speed up fusion of L4 & L5 along with trying to properly space out the meds along with activated charcoal I’ve missed some of my med, Charcoal, etc. I have been concerned that it may have affected the progress I had made with my kidneys and HDL etc. I have just had blood test taken for comparison with earlier test:  See below:
 
                   W/O Act. Charcoal        With Act. Charcoal

Descriptions Sep 2013 Feb 2014 Jun 2014 Safe Range
Kidneys     GFR               27 42 44 60 or >
Urea Nitrogen BUN 59 23 40 7 to 25
Creatinine 2.22 155 1.49 0.7 to118
Cholesterol 151 105 137 125 to 200
HDL 29 38 50 40 or >
Triglycerides 126 92 88 <150
LDL 97 49 69 <130
 
Note: I believe I can significantly improve the June results now that I’m well on the way to recovery from the operations.
 
I keep hunting for ways to stop putting toxins into my body which end up in my blood affecting my kidneys, heart and other organs in my body.  There are many toxins in our mouths.  Two things I am started to do to eliminate the toxins:

When I drink charcoal I first take mouth full and slosh it around for about 2 minutes then spit it out. I then drink the rest of charcoal. I finish by brushing my teeth. I do this 3 times a day.

At bed time I do Oil Pulling using Coconut oil followed by brushing my teeth.
 
I am continue to search for the ways that Toxins get into my blood stream which in turn effect my kidneys, heart, etc.
 
See Chart below for the changes in my GFR over the last few years:
 
Mar 2000 GFR = 46
Feb 2007  GFR = 45
Jul 2008   GFR = 42, had 2 heart stints put in Apr 2008 and a pacemaker.
Feb 2011  GFR = 38
Sep 2011  GFR = 36
Aug 2012 GFR = 31, had 2 heart stints put in Dec 2011 & 1 heart stint put in Jan 2012.
Sep 2013  GFR = 27
Feb 2014  GFR = 42, after taking Activate Charcoal starting Oct 2013.
Jun 2014  GFR = 44, Continued on Activate Charcoal.
 
I still believe that I can get my GFR up close to 50 and that I will never be on dialysis.