We are what we eat, and for people with kidney disease, it is crucial that an appropriate nutritional plan is adopted to cut down on symptoms, including an upset stomach, swelling, pain, and more. Additionally, sticking to a kidney-healthy diet might even delay the development of the disease.
What’s the Best Diet for Someone With Kidney Disease?
If you are caring for a loved one with kidney disease, it is very important to know the best nutritional tips to help manage kidney disease, such as:
Too much sodium in the diet can lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure, and can cause the heart to work harder. Salt should be restricted to at most 2 grams each day for those with kidney disease. One way to assist is to stay away from serving foods with large levels of salt, such as:
- Canned foods
- Condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, and barbecue sauce
- Chips, pretzels, and crackers
- Pickled foods
- Processed or smoked meats
NOTE: Be wary of salt substitutes and “reduced sodium” foods, many of which are high in potassium.
While protein is a crucial nutrient, too much protein for underperforming kidneys can cause a protein build up in the blood. Those with kidney disease should consume no more protein than what is required by the body. When treatment starts early, a diet low in protein together with essential amino acids at recommended amounts during each meal has been found to prevent the need for, or at least push back the need for dialysis, and in fact could even reverse some kidney problems.
Potassium is a mineral, and is included in nearly all types of food. Our bodies require potassium to keep our muscles working, but when somebody is receiving dialysis, potassium levels must be monitored very closely. A lack or surplus of potassium can cause an erratic heartbeat, muscle cramps, and muscle weakness. The physician or dietitian can decide how much potassium is appropriate for the specific person.
Vitamins and Minerals
Those with kidney disease might need additional supplements of vitamins to decrease some of the typical side effects of kidney failure, including bone disease or anemia, but they should only be used if directed by the doctor.
If you need more nutritional tips for managing kidney disease or additional resources on providing care for a family member with kidney disease, or to learn how a professional in-home caregiver can improve health and quality of life, contact Heaven at Home Senior Care at 940-380-0500. We’ll be happy to set up a free in-home consultation at your convenience to answer all of your questions and provide you with the information you need about our services and the areas where we provide care.