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CKD and Diet

Chronic kidney patient may need to make changes to their diet. These changes include limiting fluid, limiting salt, potassium, phosphorus and eating low-protein diet. Further changes in diet may be required if the kidney disease gets worse or a regular dialysis is required.

As the urine output may also be impacted, it is a good idea to limit the fluid intake in kidney disease patients. Without passing of urine, fluid can build up in the body and can cause fluid accumulation in heart, lungs and ankles.

You may consult your physician and/or dietitian about your ideal weight and design your diet accordingly. Weigh yourself often to keep track of your goals.

Protein: Your may be asked to go on a low protein diet before you start dialysis. This may change once the dialysis is started. People on dialysis may required to eat up to 10ozs of high protein food each day.

Calcium and Phosphorus: These two minerals go hand in hand and are checked very often in kidney patients. Even in the early stages of this disease, the level of calcium can go low and phosphorus can go high.

High phosphorus level can also cause itchiness and low level of calcium can cause body to pull calcium from the bones making them weak and easy to break. You may need to take calcium pills to prevent bone disease and take vitamin D to keep the balance between calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Dairy foods contains large amount of phosphorus, this includes milk, cheese, yogurt. You can look for labels where the dairy products have lower amount of phosphorus. To address high phosphorus you may also be prescribed the phosphorus binder.

Potassium: Potassium is another electrolyte that should be aware of. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of potassium. You will need to look for items that are low in potassium. Higher levels of potassium can cause dangerous heart rhythms.

Avoid orange juice, nectarines, kiwis, raisins, dry fruit, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, prunes, avocado, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach, asparagus as they are high in potassium.

In the early stage of the chronic kidney disease you may not be required to limit the intake of fluid however, as the disease progresses, you may be required to limit the amount of fluid you can drink. To avoid the thirst – you may avoid salty snacks and stay cool on hot days.

Iron: Advanced kidney disease can also cause anemia and patients in this case may require iron supplements. This can be addressed via iron supplements or by taking the Erythropoietin (EPO) injections.