Your Renal Diet Information to Plan Your Kidney Diet Menu
Renal diets are critical to individuals with kidney problems. When the kidneys are damaged or fail to work properly, it is usually progressive and permanent. As the kidneys lose their ability to filter and remove waste products, the products collect in the blood. The first course of action is a renal diet that is fairly restricted, followed with dialysis. Depending on the stage or treatment, diets become more critical in monitoring what our bodies need to continue functioning. Renal diets are essential to eliminating what can be harmful to our bodies. Since no two individuals are identical, the renal diets are prepared by a registered dietitian specialist for the individual, taking into account the stage of the kidney failure and the frequency of any dialysis treatments. Individuals experiencing kidney problems need to understand their particular diet, the foods to be monitored and the side effects of incorrect foods. As the condition changes, testing laboratory data will alter the diet so that the individual retains more energy for better body functions. Once the condition progresses to dialysis treatments, the renal diet plays a critical role in supporting the body’s function, as the dialysis does not replace the kidney function entirely.
Renal Diet Controls for Pre-Dialysis and Dialysis Patients
The main elements of the renal diet are protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, calories and fluids. Calories are needed to produce energy for normal body functions. Without the proper amount of calories the body will automatically revert to using its storage of protein or muscle causing malnutrition. In the beginning stages low protein amounts and low phosphorus diets are administered. Salt or sodium is a major concern, so using herbs or non-salt seasonings are part of the diet. It’s important to read the labels on seasonings, because salt alternatives contain potassium and that is equally harmful to the kidney function at this stage. Most dietitians recommend you avoid processed foods because many of these products contain salt as a preservative. Orange juice contains high amounts of potassium, which should be limited in the early stages, so cranberry juice is recommended as a replacement, especially for diabetic cases if juice is consumed at all.
Diets are important routines; they help to control the body’s collection of fluids and waste in between dialysis sessions. Renal diets are specific to the types of foods and fluids consumed each day and most will require a reduction of fluids, proteins, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Too much sodium and our bodies retain water causing a problem with breathing or swelling of the ankles (because of fluid accumulation) for those suffering from kidney problems. Fluids like water, coffee, and tea may be alright for some diets, but the dietitian and physician will make the determination. Caution is needed to ensure that liquid limits are not excessive. Potassium and phosphorus both create more waste substances in the blood causing heart irregularities from high levels of potassium or bone loss from phosphorus increased levels. Protein loss is increased during peritoneal dialysis and some individuals experience malnutrition depending on the duration of the dialysis, so many times during dialysis the amount of protein and other components is increased to allow for some improvement in health.
Conditions that Also Affect the Renal Diet
Other health conditions may also contribute to the development of the diet, for example high cholesterol will limit the amount and types of fat. Diabetes may cause the limitation of carbohydrates. Sodium needs to be monitored as it’s usually related to high blood pressure. The reduction of fluid in the renal diet may also cause problems with constipation and require more fiber. in the diet. Those with chronic kidney disease or receiving hemodialysis, which filters the blood, may require more calories in the diet to make up for damage or healing that needs to be done. Peritoneal dialysis may cause weight gain and diets are adjusted for the health of the individual. Too much protein can cause problems with toxic build up resulting in nausea, headaches or light headedness. Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, which uses the individual’s own abdomen tissues as a filter may be exceptions for increasing diet protein. Physicians and dietitians monitor processes ensuring best results and well-being for the individual.
Following a Renal Diet Meal Plan
Overall, following a renal diet, whether you are in the early stages or on dialysis requires coordination of many factors. You need to understand how the foods you eat interact with your medications and your health. You should understand the general guidelines that help you to plan a meal for your day and your week. Starting with a plan is the best way to be successful, and it will also help you to know what to do to follow your renal diet without having to think about it.