Once you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness such as chronic kidney disease, you likely have a million thoughts and questions racing through your head. It is very important for you to have those questions answered, but first you have to sort through them and find a way to articulate your thoughts. The first step, then, is to breathe and calm yourself.
There is a huge occurrence of chronic kidney disease in the United States. While this is a sad statistic indeed, this does mean that you are not alone. It also means that there is likely a lot you can do about it. What you can do about it starts with what you put into your body. What you eat has a huge impact on chronic kidney disease, so many of the questions you should consider asking your doctor should start with what you can do about food.
Here are some questions to get you started:
• How is chronic kidney disease affected by food?
• How much difference can I make with my kidney disease by making dietary changes?
• What are the foods that I should avoid completely?
• What are the foods that I should eat only in moderation, and how often can I make that?
• What is the deal with chronic kidney disease and sodium?
• What are some ways I can cut sodium out of my diet?
• Is there anything else I should avoid at this particular stage of chronic kidney disease?
• Do I need to limit my protein intake?
• Do I need to monitor my potassium or phosphorus intake?
• What foods are high in potassium or phosphorus?
• With the right dietary changes, can I avoid end stage renal failure?
• What are the steps I need to take to slow the progression of my chronic kidney disease?
• What are the benefits of a plant based diet?
• Do I need to limit how much fruit I eat?
• Is there a professional nutritionist that specializes in chronic kidney disease that you can refer me to?
• What are some resources (books, websites, etc.) that you can refer to me to help me understand chronic kidney disease better?
• What are some resources for finding the best kidney disease friendly recipes?
That may seem like a lot of questions, but they are just a start to understanding your illness and what to do about it. Chronic kidney disease can be greatly impacted by the foods you eat, so maintaining the right diet can make all the difference when it comes to your life and well-being.
Studies show that you could potentially slow or even halt the progression of chronic kidney disease with the right treatment and dietary changes, so these questions are mere starting points for your discussions about food with your doctor. One you get rolling asking these questions and getting the answers, you will likely have a lot more questions and a lot more to discuss. For other topics about CKD click here.
Also published on Medium.