Your Kidney’s New Year Resolution | Renal Health
Your Kidney’s New Year’s Resolution!
The following are handouts and information we present to our patients to help them understand how diet can effect problems of the kidneys.
You need Potassium and Iron
Potassium helps nerves and muscles work properly. The kidneys help keep the right amount of potassium in the body. High potassium can cause tiredness, irregular heartbeats or stop the heart without warning.
Foods High in Potassium
|Apples, dried||Bok Choy|
|Melons||Kidney and Lima Beans|
Other food items:
Milk and Yogurt
Low Potassium Foods
Beans – green or waxed
Bread and bread products
Note: Almost all foods contain potassium. Serving size determines whether the food is low, moderate or high in potassium.
People with advanced kidney failure usually need extra iron.
Foods High in Iron
Sodium aids the body in man functions. Controlling muscle contractions, balancing fluids and controlling blood pressure. Kidneys remove the excess sodium in the urine. As the kidney fails, sodium and fluids may be retained causing swelling of the eyes, hands and legs. Reducing sodium in the diet helps to reduce high blood pressure.
Look for these on food labels: Low Sodium, No Salt Added, Sodium Reduced and Unsalted.
Do not use salt substitutes as they contain potassium. Look for products that contain less than 100 mg of salt per serving.
High Sodium Foods
Soups (Canned, dehydrated, instant)
Processed/Boxed Meals/Frozen Meals/Fully Prepared Meals
Low Sodium Alternatives
Season foods with spices, herbs like garlic and oregano, no salt seasoning blends
Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
Phosphorous works with calcium to keep bones, nerves and muscles healthy and strong. When the kidney fails, it can not get rid of excess phosphorous. The level of phosphorous increases in the body and the body can not take in enough calcium. The calcium levels go down in the body. The body them takes calcium from the bones, weakening them. High phosphorous can cause itchy skin, painful joints and bones, brittle bones, calcium skin ulcers and calcium buildup in the blood vessels. Avoid foods high in phosphorous.
Foods High in Phosphorous
Peanut and Nut Butters
Foods Low in Phosphorous
Non-Dairy Milk Substitute
Ricotta and Brie Cheese
Too much calcium can cause constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, confusion and a metallic taste in the mouth. Not enough calcium can cause numbness, muscle aches and seizures.
Good sources of calcium are dairy products and supplements.
Protein is needed by the body to maintain muscles, aid in building resistance to infections, repair and replace body tissue. As the body breaks down protein, a waste product called urea is formed. As the kidney fails, the urea is poorly eliminated and accumulates in the bloodstream. If not on dialysis, reduce your protein intake. If on dialysis, take in high quality proteins.
Foods High In Protein
Milk and Milk products
Foods Low in Protein
In the early stages of kidney disease, there is no need to limit fluid intake. As the disease progresses and when on dialysis, fluid intake may need to be restricted.
Limit These if Necessary
Ice Cream and Sherbet
Milk and liquid creamers
Tips to decrease the amount of fluids one drinks (or eats)
Drink only when thirsty
Eat less salt to avoid thirst
Suck on ice chips
Brush teeth 3-4 times a day, this prevents the mouth from drying out
Suck on lemon wedges
If diabetic, control blood sugar
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free candy
Take medications with minimal amount of water
Measure the amount of water you can drink for the day, place in a container.
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