Nutrition and kidney failure: everything you need to know

People suffering from kidney failure, especially in its chronic form, need to introduce changes in your diet that guarantee to maintain a good nutritional status and reduce the accumulation of toxic substances that the kidney is not able to eliminate. Here we show you everything you need to know about nutrition in kidney failure.

Nutrition and renal failure

In patients with chronic renal failure, caloric-protein malnutrition is common; In addition, this is a good predictor of mortality and morbidity. Because, Know the dietary needs of patients with renal insufficiency at different stages of their evolution It is important to prevent malnutrition.

You have to know that there are different degrees of disease: acute renal failure, chronic renal failure and renal replacement therapy (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis). In this article We will give general nutritional guidelines for the disease, but you have to customize depending on the phase in which the patient is.

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Diet in renal failure

The diet for renal failure is considered strict, since You have to limit or eliminate several food groups. Although if the patient is on continuous dialysis, the diet is not as restrictive.

Control the amount of protein

It is important that the nutritionist adapt the amount of protein in the diet of the patient with renal insufficiency.

Protein restriction in moderate renal failure decreases the progression of the disease. Proteins subject the kidney to excessive work, but they are necessary to be well nourished. Currently, moderate hypoproteic diets of 0.8 g / kg / day (60% high biological value) are recommended if the patient is not on dialysis. If you are on dialysis, these requirements are increased.

Reduce potassium and phosphorus

Potassium if it accumulates in the blood increases the risk of alterations in the heart. Plasma potassium levels should be monitored. A high level of phosphorus in the blood in the long term significantly affects the bones. Protein restriction already involves a reduction in phosphorus.

Ensure the consumption of calcium and vitamin D

With respect to calcium there is a deficit in your intestinal absorption due to a decrease in vitamin D. Vitamin D should be supplemented, since a deficit can cause atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction and ventricular hypertrophy. In a study published in Nephrology It was suggested that vitamin D supplementation would have a vascular benefit.

Control salt intake

Other factors that must be taken into account in the nutrition of renal failure is to control sodium, as it favors the retention of fluids that the kidney cannot eliminate. If you do not have hypertension it will be restricted to about 1,000-2000 mg / day.

Discover: Kidney failure: causes and prevention

Limit fluid intake

Fluid consumption in case of kidney failure should be limited, especially in case of dialysis treatment.

If the patient is in treatment with dialysis should control fluid intake, as people with this treatment tend to urinate little. So if large amounts of fluid are taken and not expelled, they can accumulate in the ankles and even in the lungs and heart. It is advisable to always weigh yourself on the same scale, to verify that you do not gain weight in dialysis sessions.

Nutritional keys in kidney failure

To carry out the guidelines explained above, it is necessary to follow the following keys regarding nutrition. Yes, The ideal thing is to consult the nutritionist directly so that he can advise the food according to the needs of each one.

  • Adapt protein consumption to each patient found in meat, fish, dairy and eggs.
  • Control the consumption of legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and cocoa, as they are the richest foods in potassium. This in order to avoid hyperkalemia.
  • When taking vegetables, legumes or potatoes, keep them in water three hours before cooking, and boil them a couple of times after removing the cooking water. It is also convenient to skip them later to reduce the water content.
  • Another method of eating vegetables is to consume them frozen. Canned or cooked fruits, limiting their intake twice a day.
  • It is better to take toasted bread because they have less water.
  • Limit the consumption of integral products for its high content of phosphorus and potassium.
  • Avoid drinking soda, even if they are sweetened, because they do not eliminate the sensation of thirst correctly.
  • Do not consume ultraprocessed foods, Soups and purees of sausage, sausages, meat and smoked fish and packaged snacks, to properly follow a low salt diet.
  • Eat moderately whole dairy products, for the amount of phosphorus they present.

As you have seen the nutritional treatment in this disease is complex, so do not hesitate to go to a specialist to customize your situation.