Diet plays a very important role in the treatment of kidney disease. The kidney does the following for your body:
Removes the waste products that are made when protein is broken down in the body, regulates the amount of sodium and other minerals, and maintains the proper balance of fluid.
Your kidney may have problems doing these functions in cases of renal failure. By watching your diet, you can help reduce the strain on the kidney.
The purpose of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) kidney disease is to maintain good nutritional status, slow progression, and to treat complications like fluid overload.
Diet modification is individualised depending on: Stage of your renal disease, current treatment, laboratory results and presence of other medical conditions.
Why much concern on diet? When the kidneys can no longer remove waste products and excess fluids from the body, these wastes and fluids can build up and poison the body. To prevent this build-up between dialysis treatments, the intake of fluids and certain foods must be limited.
Phosphate, potassium, sodium, protein and fluids should be controlled.
How to control your phosphorus intake. Phosphorus is a mineral that healthy kidneys get rid of in the urine. In kidneys that are failing, phosphorus builds up in the blood and may cause many problems including muscle aches and pains, brittle, easily broken bones, calcification of the heart, skin, joints, and blood vessels.
To keep your phosphorus levels in check, consider the following tips:
Limit high phosphorus foods such as: Meats, poultry, dairy, fish, milk and other dairy products like cheese.
Avoid high phosphorus foods such as: Lima beans, black beans, red beans, black-eyed Peas, white beans, dark, whole or unrefined grains, dried vegetables and fruits, chocolate, dark coloured sodas Usually your diet is limited to 1000 mg of phosphorus per day.
Keeping your potassium intake controlled. Potassium is an element that is necessary for the body to keep a normal water balance between the cells and body fluids. All foods contain some potassium, but some contain larger amounts. Normal kidney function will remove potassium through urination. High potassium can cause irregular heartbeats.
A renal patient’s diet should be limited to 2000 mg of potassium each day.
high potassium foods: bananas, avocado, oranges, orange juice, tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato puree, honeydew melon, nuts, papaya, chocolate, red Beans, milk, white beans, lima beans black beans lentils, peas, baked Beans.
Checking your sodium intake. Sodium is an element that is used by all living creatures to regulate the water content in the body. Usually a sodium restriction comes in the form of “No Added Salt.” This is necessary because a greater intake of sodium will result in poorly controlled blood pressure and excessive thirst which can lead to difficulty adhering to the fluid restrictions in your diet.
To limit your sodium, you should: Avoid table salt and any seasonings that end with the word “salt”, keep away from salt substitutes (they contain potassium) , avoid salty meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, canned meats, restrict yourself from salty snacks such as cheese curls, salted crackers, nuts, and chips, avoid canned soups, frozen dinners, and instant noodles, avoid bottled sauces, pickles, olives.
Controlling your fluid intake. People on dialysis often have decreased urine output, so increased fluid in the body can put unnecessary pressure on the person’s heart and lungs.
A fluid allowance for individual patients is calculated on the basis of ‘urine plus 500ml. The 500 ml covers the loss of fluids through the skin and lungs.
Most patients will not urinate as much once they begin Haemodialysis. Those who produce a lot of urine may be able to drink more than those who do not produce urine.
To control fluid intake, patients should:
Not drink more than what your doctor orders (usually 4 cups of fluid each day),Count all foods that will melt at room temperature (including fruits)
Controlling your protein intake. Main aim is to control urea and manage proteinuria.
Protein recommendations are influenced by kidney function, the degree of catabolism, and the use of dialysis.
Meeting protein and energy needs helps to minimize losses of muscle tissue. However, high-protein diets are not advised because they can exacerbate urinary protein losses and result in further damage to the kidneys. Instead, the protein intake should fall between 0.8 and 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight per day; at least half of the protein consumed should be of high biological value such as milk products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and soy products as they produce less nitrogenous waste.
With proper medication/treatment and right diet modification, renal failure is manageable.