Guidelines on Following a Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Diet
When you have chronic kidney disease or CKD, you need to follow a special type of diet to ensure that your body will continue to function well despite your kidney disease. A CKD diet will control the amount of protein, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and potassium in your diet, since your kidneys can no longer remove the toxins and waste products in your body. If you have CKD, you need to have a CKD diet in order to decrease the workload of your kidney and maintain its function.
You will need a nutritionist to help you plan your CKD diet. But for the meantime, here are the guidelines that you need to remember if you are planning to have a CKD diet:
Limit your protein intake
The body needs protein in order to build muscles, repair tissues, and fight infections. However, when the body breaks down protein, it also releases urea, a waste product that usually goes out in the urine. Since your kidneys are no longer functioning well, there is a danger that urea might not be properly excreted by the body. Therefore, a CKD diet will help prevent urea overload in the kidneys. You need to limit your protein intake by cutting down high protein foods such as fish, meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Your nutritionist will tell you how much protein your condition warrants in your CKD diet.
Limit your phosphorus intake
Phosphorus can build up in your blood, and your kidneys might not be able to get rid of it. This may cause your bones to lose calcium and weaken. Foods that are high in phosphorus content and should be limited in your CKD diet include dairy products, nuts, whole grains, beer, cocoa, and cola drinks.
Limit your sodium intake
Sodium or salt is linked to kidney disease and hypertension. This could also lead to fluid retention in the body, thus causing your blood pressure to shoot up and your extremities to swell. In your CKD diet, you need to limit your sodium intake to 1500 milligrams per day. Avoid using extra salt in your CKD diet, and also avoid processed foods because they are very high in sodium.
Limit your potassium intake
Without healthy kidney, potassium can build up in your body, causing irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias. Foods that are high in potassium and should be limited in a CKD diet include fruits and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, beans, bananas, pumpkins, spinach, mushrooms, and dried peas.
Limit your fluid intake
As previously mentioned, kidney disease makes you retain fluid since your kidneys cannot excrete excess fluid in your body. This could lead to swelling, or worse, fluid buildup in your lungs, thus making it hard for you to breathe. Your suggested fluid intake in your CKD diet will depend on your urine output, fluid buildup, and blood pressure. One way to limit your fluid intake is to sip small amounts of fluid each day and use smaller cups and glasses. You should also remember that foods also contain fluids, and that these should be taken into account in your CKD diet.
Remember to stick to your CKD diet so that you will be able to maintain the highest quality of living achievable for people with chronic kidney disease.
Also published on Medium.