What Food Items Should You Limit In Kidney Disease
Many food items that are part of a typical healthy diet may not be right for you if youre suffering from kidney disease. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, your doctor may recommend limiting certain food items such as
Depending upon the stage of your kidney disease, your doctor will advise you to reduce the potassium, phosphorus and protein levels in your diet.
How To Maintain Healthy Kidneys
This article was medically reviewed by Ankush Bansal, MD. Dr. Bansal is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician in Florida. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Christiana Care Health Services in 2007. He is licensed in 19 states and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and senior fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 80% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 199,954 times.
Nutrients To Be Aware Of
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other healthy options that will do your kidneys, and your body, plenty of good. If you do have chronic kidney disease, there are a few nutrients you should be aware of.
Your kidneys regulate potassium, which is why it’s so important to monitor how much you are eating on a regular basis. Your kidneys also have a role in red blood cell production, meaning that if they aren’t functioning correctly your count may be low. Eating iron-rich foods can help prevent this and help keep your energy levels up.
On the opposite side of the equation, salt can be your enemy. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and make your heart and kidneys work too hard. Be careful about how much salt you use in cooking and also watch the salt content of pre-packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, and boxed meals. Salt substitutes may also contain a lot of potassium, so try herbs to add flavor and give it some time. You can get used to eating less salt, but it does take six to eight weeks for your taste buds to get used to it.
Lastly, we mentioned phosphorus, but it is worth repeating. A low-phosphorus diet should include lots of fresh fruits and veggies, rice milk, corn and rice cereals, as well as lemonade and even ginger ale.
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What Is Kidney Disease
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that act as your bodys waste filtration system. They filter your blood 12 times per hour. Excess water and unwanted chemicals or waste in the blood are disposed of as urine .
Kidney disease is when your kidneys are damaged in some way and are not filtering your blood effectively.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Theres no magic behind the cliché advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, but its a good goal precisely because it encourages you to stay hydrated. Regular, consistent water intake is healthy for your kidneys.
Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease.
Aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. Exactly how much water you need depends largely on your health and lifestyle. Factors like climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether or not youre pregnant or breastfeeding are important to consider when planning your daily water intake.
People who have previously had kidney stones should drink a bit more water to help prevent stone deposits in the future.
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Ask Your Health Care Provider Questions
Ask your health care provider the following key questions about your kidney health during your next medical visit. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help protect your kidneys.
Key questions for your health care provider:
- What is my glomerular filtration rate ?
- What is my urine albumin result?
- What is my blood pressure?
- What is my blood glucose ?
- How often should I get my kidneys checked?
Other important questions:
- What should I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
- Do I need to be taking different medicines?
- Should I be more physically active?
- What kind of physical activity can I do?
- What can I eat?
Keep The Pressure Off
The National Kidney Foundation says that blood pressure is important as it relates to kidney health, and you may be prescribed medication to help with this. The foundation also notes the medications most preferred for those with existing kidney disease are called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers .
Taking in too much fluid and salt can also increase the fluid load on your circulatory system which can increase your blood pressure, so be sure to talk to your doctor about limits for each. We already covered exercise, but we should also mention thats a great natural way to keep blood pressure under control.
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Foods That Elevate Kidney Health
Diet has a close relation to kidney health. Deficiency of vital nutrients can be the cause of kidney diseases and kidney failure. People in the advanced stages of kidney disease need to adopt a kidney-friendly diet to prevent kidney failure. Diet requirements vary depending on the stage of kidney disease, however, eating foods low in potassium, sodium, and phosphorus can altogether prevent any abnormality in the kidney function.
A few delicious options for a kidney-friendly diet are
Rules That Can Safeguard Your Kidney Health
When it comes to kidney health, heres some scary news: According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in three Americans are at risk of chronic kidney disease.
What makes this statistic worrisome is most people dont know their kidneys aren’t working correctly until their symptoms are so advanced they need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
There is no doubt that kidney health is vital to a persons overall well-being, says urologist Ehud Gnessin, MD. Making the right lifestyle choices to help prevent serious, life-threatening kidney problems is very important, and is especially true for people as they get older, when the risks of kidney problems and developing kidney stones increase.
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How To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy As You Age
Although it’s been close to eighteen years since I dissected my first cadaver in anatomy class, I still remember being surprised when I got my first glance at a pair of kidneys – they were much smaller than I had expected. Up until that point, I had imagined the kidneys to be quite large, given the amount of work that they are responsible for.
Each of your kidneys is about 4 to 5 inches long and about 1 inch thick, weighing in at about 4.5 to 5 ounces. To put it into easy-to-visualize terms, each of your kidneys is a bit larger than a deck of cards.
Although your kidneys make up less than 0.5 percent of your total body weight, they receive close to 25 percent of the total amount of blood that your heart pumps while you’re resting. Also, your kidneys use up about 20 to 25 percent of your bodys supply of oxygen.
Please note: To listen to an audio recording of this article, please download and play the following file: How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy as You Age – Audio File
Why do your kidneys such small organs receive so much of your blood and oxygen? Because they are responsible for five critical functions:
Your kidneys keep your blood clean by filtering it of waste products and eliminating these waste products from your body as urine.
Your kidneys help maintain a proper balance of fluids throughout your body.
Your kidneys produce an enzyme called renin, which is needed to help maintain your blood pressure.
Ways To Keep Your Kidneys Happy
Did you know that March is National Kidney Month? This is a time of year to raise special awareness about kidney health and to share facts on ways to keep kidneys healthy. 1 in 3 Americans is at risk for kidney disease.
More than 26 million Americans already have a kidney disease. The problem is most are not aware, because there are no signs of kidney disease until it has progressed. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for preventing kidney problems, such as kidney stones.
The good news is there are some actions you can take to improve the chances of keeping those kidneys happy! Here are five things to consider:
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Diagnosis Of Kidney Disease
Early diagnosis and optimal management can often prevent kidney damage from becoming worse and reduce the risk of kidney failure.
Chronic kidney disease often has very few symptoms, or only general symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and feeling sick. The doctor may begin by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination.
The diagnostic tests for kidney disease chosen by your doctor depend on factors including your symptoms, age, medical history, lifestyle and general health. Tests for kidney disease include:
- urine tests
Monitor Weight And Eat A Healthy Diet
People who are overweight or obese are at risk for a number of health conditions that can damage the kidneys. These include diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.
A healthy diet thats low in sodium, processed meats, and other kidney-damaging foods may help reduce the risk of kidney damage. Focus on eating fresh ingredients that are naturally low-sodium, such as cauliflower, blueberries, fish, whole grains, and more.
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How To Take Care Of Your Kidneys
A healthy diet and plenty of water are benchmarks for proper nutrition. But how your body removes waste is equally as important as what goes into your system. Your kidneys are responsible for removing waste products from the bodyalong with other crucial actions. And while much focus is placed on other organ-specific healthlike your heart and liverlearning how to take care of your kidneys can be a cornerstone of optimal health.
Your kidneys perform a variety of tasks:
- waste removal via urine
- balancing your bodys fluid levels
- releasing hormones to help maintain normal blood pressure
- activate vitamin D into a usable form used to help promote bone health
- control the production of red blood cells
Your kidneys regulate so many key functions to maintain your whole-body health. Thats why kidney health is crucial to keep your body operating at peak performance.
Learn more about how kidneys function, the ways vitamin D and kidney health connect, and how to take care of your kidneysincluding the fuel they need for optimal health.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol harms your kidneys in several ways, explains Maruschak. Its a waste product that your kidneys have to filter out of your blood and it makes your kidneys less efficient. Its dehydrating, which can affect the kidneys ability to regulate your bodys water levels. It can affect your liver function, which in turn can impact blood flow to the kidneys and lead to CKD over time. And a high alcohol intake has been liked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney disease.
Maruschak says both men and women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Thats 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Its always best to speak with your physician about your alcohol intake, as some people should not be consuming any alcohol at all, she says.
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Protect Your Kidneys With Healthy Actions
Food is a critical component, but its still only part of the answer to the question of how to prevent kidney failure. Making smart choices and nurturing healthy habits in other areas of your life are just as important.
- Exercise. Any exercise is better than no exercise for people living with CKD. If you get bored going to a gym and lifting weights or using a treadmill, you might choose walking, gardening, yoga, or dancing as an exercise. Even cleaning the house can get your heart rate up and improve blood flow.
- Quit smoking, or dont start. Smoking inhibits blood flow to your organs, including the kidneys. It can also interfere with hypertension medications, cause hardening of the renal arteries, and hasten kidney function decline.
- Monitor and manage your blood sugar and blood pressure. Check them regularly and frequently. In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, make sure that you take any medications prescribed by your physician as directed.
- Get good sleep. Healthy sleep patternsnot too little nor too much, as well as ensuring good qualityis easier said than done for many people, but here are some simple strategies that can help.
- Try turning down the lights as youre getting ready for bed.
- Meditate, or just sit quietly, in a chair for a few minutes with your eyes closed.
- Drink a cup of warm milk or herbal tea.
- Ask your healthcare provider about safe, natural sleep enhancers.
How Diet Can Impact Kidney Health
The kidneys are filled with tiny blood vessels that help filter waste and extra water from your blood and remove them from your body. If you have CKD, your kidneys cant filter blood as well as they should, causing excess waste to build up in your body.
Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney disease. High blood sugar levels in uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys blood vessels, leaving them unable do their job properly, says Krista Maruschak, RD, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinics Center for Human Nutrition.
Untreated or uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure can have a significant effect on the development of CKD over time, says Maruschak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes and over a third of adults have prediabetes, while about half of American adults age 20 and over have hypertension. These individuals are also at an increased risk of developing CKD.
A healthy diet can help you prevent or manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, in part by helping you to maintain a healthy weight, says Maruschak. In turn, this supports your kidney health.
As part of a kidney-friendly diet, you may also need to limit certain foods to help prevent further kidney damage.
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Do Not Smoke Or Drink Too Much Alcohol
Try to stop smoking completely and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.
Drinking too much alcohol and smoking both raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
Control Your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes, or a condition that causes high blood sugar, may develop kidney damage. When your bodys cells cant use the glucose in your blood, your kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter your blood. Over years of exertion, this can lead to life-threatening damage.
However, if you can control your blood sugar, you reduce the risk of damage. Also, if the damage is caught early, your doctor can take steps to reduce or prevent additional damage.
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A Powerful Juice To Cleanse Your Liver And Kidneys
In addition to keeping the above tips in mind, it is good to cleanse your liver and kidneys naturally with ingredients that boost the elimination of toxins and waste that the body does not need. Although there are various sport-drinks for good liver and kidney cleansing, here is a very powerful juice with a flavor that you will love.
When Kidneys Require An Er Visit
Most chronic kidney ailments or congenital disabilities are detected in children by a Pediatrician. For adults, the protocol isnt as clear cut. Most symptoms of kidney distress signal our bodies as a symptom of another problem.
The most common reason we see patients in the ER for kidney distress is for kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.
Kidney stones cause severe pain of the abdomen, groin, or genitals, or side. You may also experience:
About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes .
Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Mar. 2019, www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/2019-national-facts.html.
37 Million American Adults Now Estimated to Have Chronic Kidney Disease. National Kidney Foundation, 27 Sept. 2019, www.kidney.org/news/37-million-american-adults-now-estimated-to-have-chronic-kidney-disease
Choi, Justin. 8 Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy. Healthline, 1 Feb. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/kidney-health.
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