Home guest articles The Role of Nutrition in Controlling and Preventing Kidney Disease

The Role of Nutrition in Controlling and Preventing Kidney Disease

written by Guest Blogger June 11, 2014

Today’s guest post is a great follow up to What is an Insulin Resistance Diet & How it Can Help You. Add the 15 kidney friendly foods listed below to your diet to help you control your blood pressure and blood sugar, and can keep your kidneys healthy!  

Chronic kidney disease is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. One in ten adults is afflicted with the disease. It is primarily caused by hypertension and diabetes. It is a progressive condition that may be slowed and possibly halted if blood pressure and blood sugar are maintained within normal limits.

In the past, the medical community has concentrated on limitations in diet as the main focus of management. New research has revealed vitamins and supplements as another proactive approach to treat kidney disease.

The function of the kidneys is to remove excess water and waste products from the body by filtering the blood. The kidneys also aid in controlling blood pressure and building strong bones. When they are no longer able to clear the blood of toxins and waste products, their ability to perform these functions go awry.

The breakdown of protein is a difficult task for the kidneys. Therefore, the ingestion of protein is sometimes limited when kidney disease is detected. Other nutrients that need to be limited are phosphorous, potassium, and sodium. (Davita.com)

5 Stages of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is classified into five stages, according to the glomerular filtration rate, (GFR). The glomeruli are the little capillaries in the kidneys that filter the blood, removing waste products. The glomerular filtration rate utilizes a math formula based on a person’s creatinine level.

Creatinine is a waste product of muscle activity. As kidney function deteriorates, the creatinine level rises. The GFR numbers determine which stage of kidney failure the patient is in, with stage 1 being slightly less than normal and stage 5 being end stage renal disease. Stage 5 requires dialysis or a transplant.

As kidney function declines, phosphorous increases in the blood stream, which in turn pulls calcium from the bones, affecting bone density. Since dairy foods contain large amounts of phosphorous, the ingestion of milk, cheese, and yogurt must be controlled, as these are the dairy products highest in phosphorous content. As potassium builds up, muscles are affected, especially the heart, which can develop irregular heart rhythms.

15 Kidney Friendly Foods

There are fifteen foods that are advocated for individuals diagnosed with kidney disease. Their main advantage is that they are high in antioxidants:

  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Red Grapes
  • Egg Whites – egg whites contain all of the essential amino acids and are the highest quality of protein.
  • Fish
  • Olive Oil

Vitamins are an important part of the nutritional status of patients with kidney disease. Vitamins are either water soluble or fat soluble. Fat soluble vitamins (A, K, E, D) should be avoided, as they may build up in the body and become toxic. (Source: “The ABC’s of Vitamins,” Davita.com).

Chronic kidney disease is a sobering diagnosis and a cause for much concern. The hope in such a diagnosis is that the sooner it is diagnosed, the better it can be controlled or possibly reversed. Proper nutrition and controlling an individual’s blood pressure and blood sugar go a long way toward controlling the disease.

Additional hope lies in the discovery of natural foods, such as kidney supplements, which may prove to augment successful treatment of this troubling disease.

About the Author

Article contributed by ProRenal, a doctor-formulated kidney supplement and daily multivitamin to support kidney and heart health.

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