The decision to embark on a specialized diet plan such as a renal diet plan can be a difficult one.
You may have been told by your family practice doctor that your kidneys are starting to fail. Or maybe you're at the point of seeing a nephrologist and you understand that you have to do something now to slow the progression of your kidney disease.
It is important to understand at this point what level of diet for kidney failure you might need. Did your Dr. say you are in stage 1 or stage 2 kidney disease? Or did he/she tell you that you need to start thinking about dialysis? Maybe you were just so shocked when they said something about your kidneys that you forgot to ask. [If that's the case, then you should probably call them back and talk to the nurse about what stage of kidney disease you may be in.] A renal diet plan can be very restrictive so it's important to know how much action you really need to take when you're creating your diet for kidney failure.
1. If you are in stage 3 or 4 kidney disease, you need a diet for kidney failure. By the time your Dr. actually tells you that you are in kidney failure, you are probably in stage 3 or 4. Your doctor may have mentioned something called a GFR, and that will tell you which stage of kidney disease you are in. It's fairly common for doctors to not impose restrictions on patients prior to stage 3 or 4.
2. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, and you've had it for more than 10 years, chances are your kidneys may be damaged. It's just part of the disease process and unless you maintain very good control over your blood pressure or your diabetes you likely have caused small amounts of damage over time that can start showing up as kidney failure. You should start looking at better controlling your diabetes or high blood pressure, and that will help delay the onset of any kidney disease.
3. If you've done a 24-hour urine collection and the test showed a significant amount of protein over that period of time, your kidney failure is likely to progress more rapidly than someone who doesn't have as much protein loss. That may seem like a bad thing but it should be a wake-up call to you to start taking action right now to do the things you need to do to be on a diet for kidney failure.
It's important to realize that about 10% of the people in the world have some amount of kidney disease. Your kidneys just naturally start to fail as you get older, and many more people have high blood pressure and diabetes today than ever before. Those are risk factors associated with developing kidney disease – diabetes, high blood pressure and age. If you have high blood pressure you should be doing everything you can to control it.
What I would like to do is help you avoid getting to the most restrictive of the kidney diets. A pre-dialysis diet limits a lot of food that you can eat. After you've been diagnosed with kidney disease, you will find that you are even more restricted from sodium and other minerals like potassium and phosphorus.
So when you are looking at ways to know if you need to renal diet plan, aside from the most obvious one of your Dr. telling you that you need a diet for kidney failure, you should realize that if you have some of the risk factors associated with kidney disease you need to control those to delay the beginnings of kidney failure.
If you need help with a diabetic diet plan, you can learn about those on our other website, www.healthydietmenusforyou.com – you also have access to cardiac diet meal plans as well.
If you're on this website because you realize you need to do something about your kidney disease, learn more about our meal plans on this page. And sign up for our e-mail list to get three free meals specifically designed for the diet that you are on.
Also published on Medium.