A Diet for Kidney Failure Can Be Complicated
Patients suffering from renal failure have to follow a very restricted nutrient diet for kidney failure. The diet requirement is complicated as the patient has to maintain intake of various nutrients in fixed and appropriate proportions depending on the stage of kidney disease (see below) – aiding in treatment of renal failure. Hence, it is essential to consult a specialized dietitian dealing with nutritional requirements of patients suffering from kidney failure, who can also prescribe you a diet for kidney failure.
Stage I – Kidney damage with GFR (Glomerular filtration rate) value 90 or above
Stage II – Damage with mild decrease in GFR value 60 to 89
Stage III – Condition with moderate reduction in GFR value 30 to 59
Stage IV – Severe reduction in GFR vaulue from 15 to 29
Stage V – Kidney failure with GFR value less than 15 [usually placed on dialysis]
Important diet for kidney failure requirements:
Now, let us see the micro part of diet for kidney failure requirements of patients, mentioned below:
Calories provide energy, maintain weight and assist in building tissues- especially the muscles of your body. You get your calories from foods containing fat, protein and carbohydrate. But intake of proteins and other high calorie food is restricted to the extent avoiding further damage in renal disease. You need to understand and to cater the need of calories from different foods that are not high in protein and sodium to help you either to maintain or gain weight.
Different types of proteins are required by your body for fighting against infections, building and repairing muscles. Doctors advise controlled intake of proteins in renal failure, the reason being that the wastes produced in the blood can be minimized and help your kidneys function longer. In a diet for kidney failure, most people are directed to limit their protein to 45 – 75 gm per day (about 0.6 gm/kg body weight).
Your daily needs of proteins can be fulfilled by consuming animal and plant sources like eggs, milk products, fish, chicken and from grains and vegetables. An appropriate portion size for a diet for kidney failure serving of meat is about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards.
Hypertension and kidney disease are related to each other because your blood pressure over time will hurt your kidneys, even if you don’t know that it is high. Sodium (salt) is associated with increased blood pressure, and in a diet for kidney failure you will be encouraged to limit your intake. Hence there may arise a need to reduce the intake of sodium in your food that you prepare. The need of cutting sodium in your diet will be informed by your Doctor and this is where a dietitian comes in to your rescue. Following a meal plan that is made for a diet for kidney disease will help you control your intake.
You can try spice and herbs – fresh and dried and lemon juice instead of using salt. Watch the amount in processed foods as well by reading the labels.
When you are suffering from kidney failure, you may find that your kidneys are inefficient at removal of phosphorous from your blood. This leads to high amounts of the nutrient, which also causes your body to drain calcium from the bones. This will make them weak and prone to easy damage and also causing skin itchiness.
Rich sources of phosphorous are milk products, nuts, beer, chocolate, kidney beans, lentils and soft drinks like cola.
Your dietitian can help you by recommending suitable food substitutes, helping you to lower the intake of phosphorus. A phosphate binder medication may also be prescribed by your Doctor to reduce the content of phosphorus that your body absorbs when you are eating a diet for kidney failure.
Your strong bones are a result of calcium. When you consume food having rich calcium, it also comes along with high phosphorus content. Hence, you should exercise care when consuming calcium rich foods and your dietitian is the best to guide you. Following a meal plan will guide you in the right direction as well.
Proper working of your heart and muscles depends on the important mineral called potassium. Maintaining the correct level of potassium in your blood is important, because either high or low is dangerous for you.
If you are short of the same, your Doctor will recommend potassium supplements. Follow your doctor’s advice about how much potassium to consume.
Choice of diet for kidney failure:
I discussed some of the major nutrients which consist of your daily diet and how they affect your overall health and kidney disease. After going all through the information provided above, you may get confused. It may seem that maintaining your diet might look like a tremendous task. The choices are very limited, restricted and hard.
Working with A Kidney or Renal Dietitian:
These persons are specially trained to evaluate the need of diet for kidney failure for patients suffering from different stages of kidney damage.
Dietitians will help you in keeping your nutritional needs complete by developing a plan of diet and keeping a track of whether your nutrient requirements are fulfilling with improvement in your health. A dietitian will also will help you in making and keeping a grocery list – making your diet requirements complete.
Even a renal dietitian will not write a diet for kidney failure meal plan. But you can find those on the web, and it can be fulfilled online via internet. There are registered online dietitians who have the capability, time and resources to meet your diet requirements and leading to peace of mind from your diet for kidney failure.
The best choice is to follow your doctor’s recommendation for a diet for kidney failure, and to consider how valuable a meal plan written by a registered dietitian complete with a grocery list can meet your needs for renal diet recipes and controlling your kidney disease.
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Also published on Medium.