The diet you keep and your nutrition, in general, are important aspects on the way you lie with kidney disease and they do not seem to get the attention they deserve, as people have a tendency to play down the importance of eating right. We consume foods several times during the day, it is said that eating is of the things we do more often, so it would be foolish to pretend that food has little to do with our health, especially when you live with something as serious as chronic kidney disease. In this case, it is not just about eating in a way that is generally considered “healthy”, since even some foods that are usually known for being great choices for your body could be harmful for patients with kidney disease. The secret is about knowing what to eat and about making choices that do not created an added burden to an organ that is already dealing with increased pressure due to its weakened state. A perfect example of this is protein. People understand that protein is something great for the body and how a protein-rich diet is absolutely necessary for you to stay healthy and lose unwanted weight, however when it comes to the kidneys, an excess of protein is actually quite detrimental to their health if they are already damaged. In today’s article here at Joe Cosgrove Blog, we want to look with more detail into the link between nutrition and taking care of yourself when you are struggling with kidney disease.
Eating right can ensure that you are getting the amount of energy you need in order to accomplish your daily tasks, it can help you prevent infection, help you maintain your muscle mass and also make sure that the progress of the disease slows down. Everyone comes down to the fact that healthy kidneys are in charge of regulating nutrients and the balance of minerals inside our body, but when they are not working properly, this balance may shift in undesired directions. By regulating your diet and talking to your physician, you can make the right choices based on your specific lab results and your daily routines so you can eat right and start helping your body deal with the issues from the outside in. The thing to remember is that there is no universal “kidney diet” that works miracles for everyone, but instead, you have to create alongside your doctor a diet that works for you. In most cases, the purpose of such diet is to avoid other illnesses like increase blood pressure or diabetes from developing and thus making matters worse.
Some of the aspects to consider when putting together a meal plan or a type of diet in general are:
Protein is absolutely necessary for the body to build muscle, repair damaged tissue and also to help you fight off infection. The problem arises when the intake of protein is so high that the kidneys aren’t able to remove all the waste product that this protein deposits in the blood and then you may have some issues related with the buildup. In order to come up with the right amount of protein intake you should consume, you must consider your weight, the amount of activity you do and also the quantity of protein present in your urine as it shows in your tests. If the intake is too low, you may have to deal with a different set of issues related to that.
Sodium is one of the most important substances that are regulated by healthy kidneys. If your organs aren’t functioning properly, then a sodium imbalance is quite common and it can show itself by causing a fluid buildup in the body, high blood pressure and heart-related issues.
If the kidneys aren’t working properly, then excess potassium can build up in the body, which leads to a condition called hyperkalemia. This excess of potassium can lead to nausea, weakness, numbness and slower heart rate. Consuming the right amount of these nutrients is very important and like we mentioned earlier, your doctor can help you figure out what that amount is, considering your particular condition.
Foods that contain calcium are also high in phosphorus, a substance that in excess can actually weaken your bones. The problem with weak kidneys is that they do not help the blood absorb the amount of calcium that it should and that ends up becoming an excess of waste material that in the end helps create the perfect environment for kidney stones to form, something that you really do not want to add to your condition.
In general, people at the early stages of kidney disease do not need to limit fluid intake and will instead cause more harm than good by doing so. After that, you really need to examine your exact condition with the help of your dietitian and your doctor in order to come up with a plan and some guidelines as to what your fluid intake should be.
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