Nutrition and diet are important components of your life, no matter what sort of health you’re in. When you have problems like diabetes or kidney disease, a healthy diet can be even more important. For one, having a good diet can help you control the disease itself and manage symptoms in a natural way. In terms of your diet, a lot will hinge on just what sort of kidney issues you have. It will also depend on the amount of kidney function you have. Some treatments may ask you to modify or alter your diet as part of your treatment in general. Keep in mind that when your kidneys aren’t working as they should, you have a hard time flushing your system out. If that is the case, it is essential you stick to the diet your doctor puts in place.
If you already have kidney disease and the condition is advanced you’ll need to see a special nutritionist. These people help patients with kidney conditions, so they know what to expect and the best diet for you. Diets and nutrition plans will implement end points or achievements and often take suggestions from you as a patient. If you also suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, your diet can be a little challenging. For one, it can be hard to find the right diet to meet all of your needs. It may be challenging but that is not to say you can’t find the right diet. Nutrition plans that target those with diabetes and kidney disease usually focus on key ingredients such as:
- Sodium – when you’re kidneys are having trouble, salt can build up in your body. Having too much sodium in your body means you’ll experience water retention and swelling in your tissues. It is common in the limbs and face, you may have heard it called “edema”. When you have kidney disease, it is essential to keep your salt intake down. This is the best way to battle your kidney disease through your diet. In fact, most nutritionists will suggest that you keep your salt intake under 2,300 mg per day. Eliminating processed food from your diet is a great way to lower your sodium intake. Also, do your research on the foods you’re purchasing, read the nutritional facts and figure out the salt content of each item you buy.
- Potassium– if you’re having kidney problems or you have kidney disease, potassium can be a problem because your kidneys can’t process it out of your body. There ends up being too much of it in your circulatory system which can, in turn, cause problems with your heart. So now you understand why it is important to manage your potassium intake if you want to stay healthy. A good way to monitor your potassium levels is through frequent testing performed by your doctor. You can then alter or add things to your diet based on these results.
- Phosphorus – when you have advanced kidney disease, you can suffer from increased levels of phosphorus and it may even be a sign that your kidneys are failing. Increased phosphorus will leave to imbalances in other parts of the body as well. A diet that takes this into account is best. Your doctor can advise you on the best foods to help with your phosphorus level but in general avoid beer and dairy products. These are some of the worst offenders when you have advanced kidney disease.
- Carbohydrates – anyone with diabetes knows that keeping track of your carbohydrates is important and the same is true if you have kidney problems. Carbohydrates have a major impact on the body when you have this disease. Being aware of food and diet is extremely important at this stage of your illness. Monitoring your carbohydrate levels can be as simple as reading the nutritional labels on each item you buy at the grocery store. You can also discuss your diet or nutrition with your doctor. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential when you have kidney disease, but monitoring your carbohydrate intake doesn’t have to be difficult. Having a basic awareness of the carbohydrates in your normal diet is the first step.
- Protein – a high protein diet can be great if you’re trying to lose weight, but if you have kidney disease it can also be a bad thing for your body. Always choose your protein sources carefully. Be sure to choose lean or “clean” proteins like fish or white meat. It is incredibly important to use lean protein if you have kidney problems.
- Fat – your fat intake will change day by day and it will also be variable depending on the individual. Always choose “good” fats and add them to your daily meals. Avoid anything with saturated fat. Also, it is a good ideal to cut back on fatty foods in general.
Diabetic & Kidney Disease Meal Plans
If you are currently fighting kidney disease and diabetes it is important to speak to a nutritionist or dietician. Your doctor can also help you create a personalized approach to your meals. Sometimes you can even work out a barter system where you trade some meals with others. Usually this involves bartering foods of a similar caloric or other daily intake value. Your doctor, however, is the best person to talk to when it comes to this plan. Be sure to discuss all your options and dietary needs or changes with them.
Another option for you is to reduce or monitor your carbohydrate intake. This sort of approach means that you’ll keep a log of everything you eat. You’ll also plan your diet based on the amount of carbs you’re ingesting per meal. It is a very involved process that requires you to write down nearly everything you eat. Since this is an intense request it may not be for everyone. The best way to monitor your carbs is through a diet journal. This journal can also be helpful when you talk about your food plan with your doctor.
The Kidney Disease Diet Plan
If you are in advanced kidney disease or even in the stages of kidney failure, having a dietician is essential. This person will assist you with your nutritional needs as well as your medical treatment. Sometimes symptoms of kidney disease can be reverse or stopped altogether if you make the right dietary changes now.
Do I Have to Eat a Special Diet?
The short answer is yes! If you have kidney disease, your diet will have to be monitored and somewhat specialized. A nutritional plan that focuses on your kidneys may mean that you’ll experience a deficit in vitamins and minerals, sometimes you can fix this by adding diet supplements into your meals. Just consult with your doctor before changing anything!
If you have kidney disease you also need to be on the lookout for some of the problems it will create. Kidney problems can generate other medical issues in your body, so your diet will be especially important in treating these or preventing them. Some over-the-counter vitamins will probably not work well for you if you have kidney disease. Your nutritionist or doctor can either prescribe or suggest the right vitamins for you.
Meals & Nutrition for Those with Kidney Disease
A good meal plan for those with kidney issues involves keeping your sugar and carbohydrate intake low. This is so you don’t do any more harm to your kidneys. Always discuss any problems or concerns with your doctor. With their help you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect diet for you and your disease.