About The Renal Diet
A renal diet, also referred to as a kidney diet, is designed for patients who are suffering from kidney malfunctioning. It is also suitable for those people who are going through dialysis. It is extremely important that your kidneys are working to their full potential. They play a very important function.
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There are many people who are of the opinion that the function of a kidney is to mainly eliminate toxins and urine from the body. But they do much more than that. They help in the formation of red blood cells and also help to maintain the blood pressure level.
Benefits Of The Renal Diet
The main benefit of a renal diet is to reduce the symptoms and to slow down the progress of kidney failure. For those who are suffering from kidney malfunctioning, it is very important to maintain a sufficient amount of minerals, electrolytes, and fluid in the bloodstream. This is even more important for those who are going through dialysis. The job of the kidney is to get rid of the excess fluids and electrolytes from the body.
In case the kidneys are not working properly, these substances will gradually build up in your body and result in vomiting, nausea, and weakness. The job of the kidney diet is to maintain the intake of all the essential nutrients in your body.
Unlike the other diets, there is no fixed set of foods for the renal diet. It is basically a set of rules and guidelines which every kidney patient should follow. The condition of each kidney patient is unique. Hence, there is no standard diet and it will vary from person to person. Hence, before starting a renal diet, it is advisable to see a dietician. A renal diet is suitable for all kinds of kidney patients. It doesn't matter whether you are at the first stage of kidney failure or a more advanced stage of kidney failure, following the renal diet is definitely going to help you. It is very important that people take the diet very seriously.
How To Maintain A Renal Diet
Sodium is very crucial for your body and has several functions. One of the most important functions of sodium is to maintain a sufficient level of fluid in your body. If there is too much of sodium in your body, then you will feel thirstier. If your kidneys are working properly, then it will automatically maintain the level of sodium in your body. However, if your kidneys are not working properly, then it is your responsibility to maintain a sufficient level of sodium intake.
The best way to avoid excess consumption of sodium is by avoiding the excess salt in your meals. Many people have a habit of adding excess salt on their food. However, you need to cut down on the excess salt. You should also avoid the consumption of salty foods such as chips, popcorn, and cheese. Also, avoid canned drinks. Since salt adds taste to so many foods, it will initially be very difficult to maintain a proper sodium intake. You should also try to avoid artificial salt substitutes because they contain a high level of potassium.
Potassium is one mineral which you will find in almost every food item. From fruits to vegetables to meat, almost every food item contains at least a little bit of potassium. Potassium has a lot of functions, like maintaining a proper amount of fluids and electrolytes, and also makes sure that our metabolic process is working properly. When your kidneys are working to their potential, they will automatically get rid of the excess potassium from your body and maintain the level of potassium. However, when they are not working efficiently, it is your responsibility to manually control the intake of potassium.
It will be very difficult to control the level of potassium because it is present in so many fruits and vegetables. For example, fruits like oranges and vegetables like carrots and broccoli contains a high level of potassium. You should avoid those. Instead, you can go for potassium low fruits and vegetables like grapes, apples, onions, and lettuce. However, if you still want to consume high potassium foods, then you have to conduct a process which is known as leaching.
Leaching is basically a process where you remove some of the potassium content of the food. The method varies from vegetable to vegetable. However, it generally involves a lot of rinsing and boiling.
Just like potassium, you will also find phosphorous in a lot of food. Hence, if you are suffering from kidney failure, you have to carefully consider the potassium content of the food before consuming. You will be told to avoid potassium-rich foods like cheese, oysters, peas, and beans. You can also consider using a phosphate binder. It will help you to regulate the level of phosphate in your body.
Proteins are actually chains of amino acids. They are very important for our body because they result in the formation of strong muscles and glands. When the body breaks down the proteins, it results in the formation of urea, which is a waste product. It is the job of the kidneys to drain out the urea.
However, if they are not working properly, then you have to be careful about the quantity and what kind of protein you are consuming. Getting rid of the urea is very important. If excess urea builds up inside your body, then you can fall seriously ill. However, you should also make sure that you are consuming a high enough quantity of protein. Deficiency of protein will result in weak muscles.
Apart from getting rid of the urea, it is also the responsibility of the kidneys to get rid of the excess water from your body. If the excess water doesn't drain out of your body, then it will result in the swelling of your ankles and feet. The best way to avoid water retention is by monitoring your salt intake.
If you are suffering from other kinds of problems like hypertension or diabetes, then you must follow a diet for those conditions, as well. You may be wondering how to follow so many diets at once. However, the good news is that the renal diet is very much similar to the diet for most other diseases like diabetes. You have to make some minor adjustments, but overall it can be fairly similar.
Renal Diet Risks
There are some risks while following the renal diet, but the risks are much higher if you are not following the renal diet. You must consult with a renal dietician to figure out your exact requirements. Some of the minor effects which you may experience are nausea and vomiting. These are minor issues and will get better with time. If you are experiencing something serious, then you should consult your doctor immediately.
Another issue which people face while following the renal diet is maintaining the daily calorie intake. Since there are restrictions on a lot of foods, it can be a bit of a challenge to maintain the normal calorie intake. One thing which you can do is increase the number of your meals.
Final Words On The Renal Diet
Overall, the renal diet is a very healthy diet which all people suffering from kidney failure or kidney malfunction must follow seriously. The fact that it is flexible and varies from person to person makes it more effective. Another good thing is that there are no serious side effects. Another advantage is that the renal diet is more or less similar to the diet for diabetes or other common diseases like hypertension.