Kidney Renal Disease Diet
People who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or renal failure may need medication, dialysis, a special diet, or a combination of treatments. Doctors place limits on dietary elements to relieve stress on the kidneys and alleviate uncomfortable renal disease symptoms like nausea, headaches and fluid buildup. Follow the diet your doctor prescribes for kidney disease control.
When kidney function is reduced, you may have trouble eliminating fluids from your body. If you are experiencing problems with fluid buildup, your doctor may prescribe a diet that limits fluids. If your renal disease diet restricts fluids, suck hard candies or lozenges to combat thirst and dry mouth. Order a child’s drink in a restaurant and remember to drink only small amounts when you’re thirsty and eliminate drinking to be social or out of habit.
Do not limit protein in your diet until your doctor tells you to; however, it may become necessary for renal patients. If you need to limit protein as part of your kidney disease diet, most of your nutrients will come from low-protein carbohydrates like white rice and bread. If you are diabetic, work closely with a nutritionist at this phase of your renal disease to make sure you are eating foods that will not cause your blood glucose levels to rise too much, since carbohydrates are often high-glycemic index foods.
Phosphorus is a necessary mineral that works in your body together with calcium for bone health. Kidney disease patients may have too much phosphorus in the blood and need to limit phosphorus in the diet. If your phosphorus levels measure too high and your doctor restricts the phosphorus in your diet, avoid foods high in phosphorus such as cola, nuts, most dairy products, organ meats, and canned seafood products like herring or sardines. Because you will still need calcium in your diet, and won’t be eating most dairy foods, your doctor may prescribe a calcium supplement.
Too much potassium in the blood can cause heart problems and even heart attacks. Since your kidneys filter potassium, when their function declines, you may need to limit potassium in your diet. Avoid foods high in potassium like leafy greens, dried fruits (figs, apricots, prunes), bananas and tomatoes. Instead, eat apples, green beans, rice, bread and lettuce. Many salt substitutes are made from potassium, so do not use these, even if your doctor also limits sodium, without asking a doctor or nutritionist.
Sodium makes the body retain water and also increases thirst, so it may be one of the first elements limited in your renal disease diet. The good news is that lowering the sodium in your diet also decreases high blood pressure. If your doctor has restricted your sodium intake, stop using table salt or salt in your cooking. Instead, flavor your food with herbs and salt-free herbal blends. Avoid cured meats and processed foods and check labels to avoid hidden sodium in baked goods or cereals.