Chronic kidney disease is characterized by progressive loss of functional capacities of kidneys occurring as a result of genetic problems; some injury or overreaction to some drugs; and diseases like glomerulonephritis, prostate disease, pin worm infestation of kidney, vasculitis, polycystic kidney disease and hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
Symptoms include increase or decrease in the frequency of urination; urgency to urinate at night; edema; fatigue; epidermal rashes or itching due to deposition of waste material in blood; loss of appetite and a metallic taste in the mouth due to uremia; hyperphosphatemia; hypocalcemia; pain in bones and chest; and accumulation of fluid in the lungs causing shortness of breath.
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Diet for Kidney Disease
Dietary management helps to slow down its progression and reduce complications. The followings things have to be kept in mind while planning a diet for chronic kidney disease patients:
- Calories: Calorie intake of CKD patients should be optimal enough to get sufficient energy, maintain healthy weight and prevent tissue breakdown. Usually simple carbohydrates like sugar jam, jelly or fats like canola or olive oil are recommended to the patients as sources of healthy calories.
- Carbohydrates: Diabetics and overweight people with CKD need to restrict the amount of carbohydrates they consume. Fruits, vegetables, breads and whole grains serve as good source of carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals.
- Fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil and fish oil help to protect the cardiovascular system of CKD patients.
- Protein: Low to moderate protein diet is recommended to the patients to reduce uric acid build up in the body. Usually soy proteins, tofu, miso and tempeh as well as low fat dairy products are recommended to the patients.
Sodium: Foods rich in sodium like soy sauce, canned foods, processed meats, salted snacks, canned or dehydrated soups and table salt have to be avoided as they enhance blood pressure and subsequent damage to kidneys.
Phosphorus: Incapacity of kidneys to excrete phosphorus makes it important to consume diets low in this mineral. This includes avoiding milk and milk products; dried beans and peas; nuts and peanut butter and drinks like hot chocolate, beer etc.
Calcium: Restricting phosphorus rich foods will cut down on calcium availability so usually calcium supplements and vitamin D in a special prescription form are given to the patients.
Potassium: Potassium levels also have to be controlled as the kidneys fail to process them properly in CKD. So patients have to avoid potassium rich fruits like orange juice, kiwis, raisins, bananas, prunes, etc. and vegetables like potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, pumpkin etc.
Iron: In advanced stage of the disease patients experience anemia and extra iron is needed in the diet.
Add a fiber supplement like psyllium or methylcellulose to your diet as it reduces the uremic toxic build up occurring as a result of kidney disease. 30 grams a day is needed to reverse kidney disease. This level can be attained gradually i.e. you can take 5 grams for first couple of days and then increase to 10 and so on.