Renal Failure :: Kidney disease – Renal Failure – Nutrition and Diet

Renal patients are often advised to eat very low amounts of sodium, potassium, phosphorus and protein, depending on the stage of renal disease. This does not indicate a NO potassium diet however! Low salt foods are indicated for heart patients as well. Diabetics are advised
to consume frequent smaller meals.

Poor appetite is a common symptom of advanced kidney disease. Even if you are not hungry, it is important to eat and keep good nutrition.

Well-nourished people with kidney disease stay healthier and live longer.

As kidney function drops, you may notice that protein foods, such as eggs, meat, chicken and fish lose their appeal, or even taste funny. You need calories and quality protein to feel your best.

To get good nutrition try to:

o Eat more bland, starchy foods or whatever appeals to you

o Eat small portions of protein foods, at a cold temperature – like egg salad or tuna salad or a cold chicken sandwich

o Avoid cooking smells if they bother you – cook ahead and freeze meal-sized portions that you can microwave, or look for low-salt convenience foods

o Try a liquid nutritional drink

o Have several small meals instead of one large one

o Watch cooking shows on television to tempt your appetite

o Boost the protein content of your meals by adding egg whites, egg white powder or protein powder

o Get help from a renal dietitian, if lack of appetite continues. Because nutrition is so important, many private insurance plans and Medicare do cover some nutritional help for people with kidney disease.

Finally, if your appetite or nutritional well-being does not improve, this may be a sign that you should start dialysis. Many people find their appetite improves after some time on dialysis.

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