Chronic kidney disease is a condition that affects the function of the kidneys. There are varying stages of kidney disease, starting with asymptomatic Stage 1 that is usually only caught due to blood work, all the way through end stage renal disease that can require dialysis or kidney transplant. At each level there are varying levels of symptoms and discomfort that patients deal with on a daily basis.
What many patients might not realize is the role that your diet has in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. The truth is that something as simple as the meals you eat on a daily basis can help with chronic kidney disease. In fact, with the right diet you even have the potential to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease considerably.
What happens with chronic kidney disease?
With chronic kidney disease, your problem is that the kidneys are losing function. When the kidneys do not function properly, they are not able to perform the many, many jobs they have in your body. Just a few of the roles that the kidneys provide in your body are:
- Filtering the blood and removing excess nutrients, waste, fluid, and more.
- Balancing the fluid content.
- Balancing the levels of nutrients to help multiple bodily functions.
- Activating certain nutrients and chemicals to do their jobs.
- Producing enzymes to help control blood pressure.
- Hormone production to help make red blood cells.
As you can see, the many functions of the kidneys truly affect your entire body.
How does what I eat affect my kidneys?
To put it in broad terms, everything that you eat introduces material (nutrients, fluid, vitamins, chemicals, and more) into your body and that material is all processed through the kidneys. This happens because all of that material gets absorbed into your bloodstream during digestion.
All of the blood in your body is filtered through your kidneys. They eliminate excess waste and fluid, as well as keep a balance of many vitamins, minerals, and chemicals in your body. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these materials build up in your system and can all cause a host of different problems.
As one example, all that extra fluid that your kidneys can no longer filter and eliminate can build up in your body. This can cause swelling, severe edema, increased blood pressure, shortness of breath, and major strain on the heart.
How can meals help with chronic kidney disease?
Your meals can help because you can control what and how much of certain foods you put into your body. Your doctor will give you a list of dietary rules to follow and restrictions to avoid. By following those instructions and eating a kidney safe diet, you are putting less strain on your kidneys and in turn your entire body.
Following a strict kidney safe diet can not only help with chronic kidney disease, it could even potentially slow the progression of the illness. You will feel better because you will avoid all of the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side effects of those hazardous build ups in your body.
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