Golden rules for renal patients to manage renal disease

Are you or your loved ones diagnosed with kidney disease? Worried about renal health? Stop getting stressed which will further deteriorate the condition!!! Instead find ways to manage your renal health. Do you want to know how to prevent your kidney problems getting worse? Then read the post closely. This post will give you a clear idea about how renal patients have to change their diet to manage their renal problems and avoid the horrors of suffering from dialysis.

Kidney is the organ which filters the blood to remove extra fluid and waste from the body and send out as urine. They are responsible for maintaining electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphate in balance. When kidneys are not functioning properly the levels of extra fluid, wastes and electrolytes gets to build up in the blood which may cause damage to other organs. Follow these golden rules to maintain your renal problems.

Rule No. 1 – Modify your diet as soon as you diagnose

Many people wait too long to get help for their kidney problem until it is too late maybe in stage 3 or 4 and end up in dialysis. Don’t let that happen to you or your loved ones. As soon as one diagnose that he/she has renal problem then along with medication it is must to change dietary habits. Renal problems are not like diabetes in which even if you have a high sugar level you can decrease it through medications/diet/exercise. But in renal disease once if you have a increased creatinine level you can only try to maintain it in that level, you cannot decrease it. If you fail to manage your dietary habits in the initial stage then the creatinine level increases and you may go to stage 3/4 where dialysis is the only solution. Hence the first golden rule is to modify your dietary habits as soon as you diagnose and make it your lifestyle.

Rule No. 2 – Lower your fluid intake

When you have a kidney disease you may not need much water. This is because the damaged kidneys will not be able to excrete extra fluid and as a result it will start to get accumulated in the hands/legs/around the organs and will become dangerous. Depending upon the stage of kidney disease and your treatment, your doctor will fix up your fluid recommendation. Stick to it strictly. Certain foods like juice/soup/buttermilk/ice cream all have a lot of water in it. So when you are in fluid restriction, you must also consider the water content in foods that you consume. If you are thirsty, to quench your thirst you may chew gum, rinse your mouth or suck a piece of ice.

Rule No. 3 – Follow a kidney friendly diet

A kidney friendly diet may limit certain electrolytes in the diet to prevent them from getting building up in the body. When kidneys are damaged it may not be able to excrete electrolytes like sodium, potassium, phosphate and magnesium from the body and as a result it will get to build up in the blood.

Potassium – Potassium are generally present in all fruits and vegetables. If you are in your initial stage of kidney disease then you can leach your fruits and vegetables and consume it. This process is done to minimize the potassium content. Leaching is done by soaking in water for hours after peeling the skin and cutting it. After soaking the vegetables have to be cooked in excess water.

When you are in stage 2/3/4 then you have to limit the intake potassium rich foods like green leafy vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, plantain, coconut, beans, brown rice, banana, melons, orange. Instead of you can consume more of low potassium foods like cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, okra, radish, turnip, onion, capsicum, lettuce, apple, pineapple, berries, grapes.

Sodium – Avoid salt completely no matter in what stage of renal disease you are. Do not add salt while cooking or eating. Sodium may make you feel thirsty. Non vegetarian foods are generally high in sodium content. So limit your meat and meat products including milk. Also avoid eating pickles, papad, processed foods and packaged foods.

Phosphorus – Limit the intake of high phosphorus food like nuts, seeds, whole grain and oatmeal.

Rule No. 4 – Reduce protein intake

If a renal patient consumes a diet high in protein, it will make the kidney work harder and causes even more damage. But at the same time you should not completely avoid protein. It’s because protein is the building block of our body, all the organs are made up of and functions efficiently mainly because of protein. Only solution to this problem is to change the source of protein. You have to choose foods which provide high quality protein which are kidney friendly. The best source is egg white. Others maybe milk, skinless chicken, fish, tofu, cheese, peanut butter, soy milk.

Point to remember – Your kidney is damaged and it is not able to handle protein properly. So it is essential to take protein from your diet. In that sense it doesn’t mean you can take unlimitedly. Consult with the doctor/ dietitian and know your protein recommendations per day and try to meet that recommendation with high quality protein source. And at the same time limit other low quality proteins like pulses, beans, etc.

Rule No. 5 – Keep your sugar and blood pressure in control

If your blood sugar or blood pressure increases there is a high damage for your kidneys to get damaged. So it is always advised to keep your blood sugar and pressure in control. In fact one of the major reason for getting renal disease is itself uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure. Hence if you are diabetic or have hypertension try to control it through strict diet, regular exercise and change in Lifestyle.

Rule No. 6 Change your lifestyle

Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking slows the blood to reach kidneys. When less blood flows to the kidney it reduces it’s ability to function properly. Heavy drinking may hurt kidneys and liver and may cause cancer. Be fit and active. Being active helps to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure in control and which in turn prevents the progression of renal disease.

Rule No. 7 – Do not over take pills without doctor’s prescription

Every pill you take passes through the kidney and hence may cause injury to your kidneys. Drugs like pain killers, non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, certain laxatives and other illegal drugs can all cause damage to your kidneys. So don’t take any drugs without doctor’s prescription.

Rule No. 8 – Go for a regular check-up

Regular follow-up, this is what majority of the population fail to do. You only go to a doctor until have have a symptom that too in the initial stage you try to cure it by yourself and only if you are not able to tolerate it you go to a doctor. Please don’t do that. If you are diagnosed with a disease, diabetes or blood pressure or kidney problem or whatever go for a regular follow up. If you go for a regular follow up and get checked you can control the progression of the disease and so the chance of living will be higher.

Renal patients should frequently check their iron and vitamin D status. A component of iron and vitamin D are usually synthesis in kidney. So when kidneys are damaged the chance of getting lower iron and vitamin D is high, which may lead to complications like anaemia, fractures, etc.

Eat healthy to live healthy!!!!

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