Your Diet for Healthy Kidneys: What Eating Will Benefit
Your kidney is as important as your heart to lead a healthy life. Some special tips to keep both these organs healthy
Kidneys are important organs of our body that act as filters for blood and other fluid excretion. These two bean-shaped organs just above the waist work to maintain the chemical homeostasis of our entire body. Some essential information to keep these organs healthy is as follows.
Kidney problems can be detected through these tests.
- – blood test
- – urine test
- – kidney scan
- – kidney biopsy
- – Kidney X (Ray – to check for pulmonary edema – fluid accumulation in the lungs)
– Glomerular filtration rate (GFR- This test measures the glomerular filtration rate. It compares the level of waste elements in the patient’s blood and urine. GFR measures how many milliliters of waste fluid the kidney filters in a minute can do.)
Symptoms of kidney problems
The most common signs and symptoms of kidney-related diseases are as follows:
- – anemia
- – blood in the urine
- – dark urine
- – decreased mental acuity
- – decreased urination
- Swelling in the feet, hands, and heels (swelling of the face if the problem is severe)
- – Hypertension (hypertension)
- – Itching of the skin, maybe frequent
- Inability to get arousal for sex in men (erectile dysfunction)
- – Frequent urination, especially at night
- – Protein in urine
Types of kidney disease
3- Acute renal failure
4- Chronic renal failure
5- Renal Transplant
6- Kidney stone or unary calculi
Diet changes to prevent kidney disease
A renal diet means that the diet suitable for kidney health is low in sodium, phosphorous, and proteome. Its diet uses high-quality protein and usually reduces fluids. Some patients may also need to reduce potassium and calcium. Every person’s body is different. Diet and nutrition requirements change according to the type and stage of renal disease.
A person suffering from this disease is advised to take easily digestible high-quality protein. The quantity may be increased or decreased according to the condition of the patient and the stage of the disease. Neutral nitrogen balance under nondialysis conditions can be achieved in stable nonacidotic patients with a minimum biological value protein of 0.6 g per kg daily if adequate calories are given.
- Kidney-friendly protein source
- Desi cheese
- Egg Omelette
- Egg white
The National Kidney Foundation recommends a serum calcium-phosphorus product of 55 mg/dL to prevent soft tissue calcification. Calcium from phosphorus binders should be kept below 1500 mg per day and total calcium intake (including supplements and diet) should not exceed 2000 mg per deciliter.
Phosphorus can be found in many types of food items. Therefore, patients suffering from kidney problems should seek the help of a renal dietician to keep their phosphorus levels in check.
Key Items of a Low Phosphorus Diet
- Italian, French, and Sourdough Bread
- corn or rice and cream of wheat
- faded popcorn
- some light-colored soda and lemonade
- Avoid These Foods High in Phosphorous
- Whole-grain bread
- Bran Cereal and Oatmeal
- Nuts and Sunflower Seeds
- dark cola
Generally, the amount of sodium in the diet of people suffering from severe kidney disease is limited to 2000-4000 mg per day. Avoid hypertension and excessive thirst, and limit fluid consumption in patients with anemia. Salt substitutes usually contain potassium chloride. Patients are prohibited from taking these as they can cause hyperkalemia (excess potassium in the blood). In most non-dialyzed patients with severe kidney disease, the sodium and water balance is maintained with 1000–3000 mg sodium and 1500–3000 mL fud. Sodium and water requirements are different. Individual attention is given to each patient.
Patients suffering from kidney disease may suffer from excessive sodium intake as their kidneys fail to remove excess sodium and water from the body. Sodium builds up and fuses in tissues and the bloodstream, which can lead to these problems.
- – excessive thirst
- swelling of the legs, arms, and face
- – high blood pressure
- Heart disease- Your heart has to work extra hard due to excessive fluid in the bloodstream. This makes the heart bigger and weaker
- – Difficulty breathing – Fluid accumulates in the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing
How can patients monitor sodium intake?
Always read the labels of food items. Sodium is listed on it
- – Pay attention to the amount of food served
- – Use fresh meat
- – Use fresh fruits and vegetables
- – Avoid processed and packaged food in cans or tins
- – Compare brands and choose the ones with the lowest sodium
- – Use spices that do not contain salt in their name (choose garlic powder instead of garlic salt)
Patients who require hemodialysis require a maximum dietary potassium intake of 2000-3000 mg daily. The maximum dosage for patients in need of peritoneal dialysis is 3000-4000 mg.
Why should kidney patients pay attention to the amount of potassium in the diet?
When the kidneys are damaged, they are no longer able to remove excess potassium. Due to this, potassium starts increasing in the body. Too much potassium in the blood causes hyperkalemia. This can cause problems.
- – muscle weakness
- – irregular heart rate
- – slow pulse
- – heart attack
- – death
How can patients monitor the amount of potassium in their diet?
When the kidneys are unable to regulate potassium, patients should pay special attention to the amount of potassium in the diet so that the amount of potassium in their blood remains within a safe range. For this you have to do these steps.
1- Cut down on foods high in potassium
2- Do not exceed 8 ounces (227 grams) of milk and its products daily
3- Choose citrus fruits and vegetables
4- Avoid salt substitutes and potassium chutney
5- Read packaged food labels and avoid potassium chloride
6- Keep track of the amount of food served
Controlling food is essential for patients with severe kidney disease as consuming fluids can lead to increased fluid build-up in the body, which can be dangerous. Patients on dialysis have less urination. Due to this increased fluid in the body increases unnecessary pressure on the heart and lungs.
- These measures should be taken to control the fluid
- Do not drink more than the doctor’s advice
- Room temperature food should be taken
- The amount of water in cooking should also be reduced
A kidney stone is a hard lump that forms from crystals in the urine.
Dietary changes are recommended to prevent stone formation
1- It is good to drink plenty of water- 2-3 liters daily. It includes all types of fluids such as water, coffee, and sorbet. Sorbet is considered beneficial, especially grape juice and soda. This helps produce less concentrated urine and ensures a good amount of urine (at least 2.5 liters per day).
2- Reduce high oxalate foods
– Eliminate spinach, a variety of berries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beets, tea, and rhubarb (a kind of fruit) from your diet.
3- Get enough calcium in food. Consuming dairy products three times a day reduces the risk of calcium stone formation.
4- Avoid taking extra calcium supplements Calcium supplements should be taken only when advised by your physician or kidney dietician.
5- Take protein in small amounts in food
By consuming more protein, the kidneys will produce more calcium. This will lead to the formation of more stones in the kidney.
6- Avoid eating too much salt. Consuming too much sodium increases calcium in urine, which increases the risk of stone formation.It is important to take less salt in food to control blood pressure.
7- Do not take an overdose of Vitamin C supplements. The recommended intake of vitamin C is up to 60 mg daily based on the US Dietary Reference Intake. 1000 mg or more per day increases oxalate in the body.
I am Ankit Sharma Nutrition Consultant. My approach is holistic and customized to enable you to achieve true wellness – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am from India but have clients across the globe. I can work with you to say goodbye to counting calories and short-term solutions. You will achieve long-term sustainable change in the way that they are eating, moving, living, and believing.