As the saying goes, we are what we eat, and for people with kidney disease, it is even more vital that an appropriate nutrition plan be observed to lessen symptoms, such as swelling, pain, nausea and more, and to perhaps even slow down the progression of the disease. Regency Home Care recommends the following dietary considerations (after approval by the physician) to ensure a kidney friendly diet:
High levels of sodium in the diet can cause the body to retain fluids, raise blood pressure and make the heart work harder. Sodium intake should be limited to 2 grams daily. Refrain from consuming foods that include significant amounts of salt like:
Processed meat and smoked meat
Crackers, pretzels and chips
Pickled foods including olives and pickles
High-sodium condiments including soy sauce, BBQ sauce or ketchup
NOTE: Pay attention to salt substitutes and “reduced sodium” foods, as many salt substitutes are high in potassium.
Potassium is a mineral found in almost all foods. The body requires a certain level of potassium in order for our muscles to work, but during the course of dialysis, levels of potassium have to be very closely monitored. Having too much or too little potassium can lead to muscle cramps, erratic heartbeat and muscle weakness. A nutritionist can help decide how much potassium is right for an individual.
Although protein is a key nutrient, when the kidneys are not working properly, extra protein begins to accumulate in the blood. People with kidney disease need to consume no more protein than is necessary by the body. When treatment is started early, a low protein diet and a balanced formula of essential amino acids during each meal has been shown to postpone the time to dialysis and perhaps even reverse some kidney concerns.
Vitamins and Minerals
Those with kidney disease may have a need for vitamin supplements to help avoid some typical side effects of kidney failure such as bone disease or anemia, but these should be taken only as advised by a doctor.
At Regency Home Care, we’re helping seniors throughout Marietta, GA, to manage kidney disease, through our in-home care services which include careful meal planning and preparation services, assistance with following doctors’ orders, and providing the cheerful companionship that lifts up spirits and brings warmth and joy into the home. Contact us online or call us at 678.999.2446 to learn more about our Marietta home care services.