Nephrology Associates of Michigan (NAM) was founded in 1974, it has enjoyed the trust of patients and referring physicians throughout Southeast Michigan.
Dietary habits have long been associated with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Cumulative scientific evidence points towards dietary contribution to increasing morbidity in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) as well.
Kidneys perform several important functions for us. Keeping its chemical balance is one such area. Our diet contains several important nutrients combined together. These are absorbed through the gut and reach blood. Several chemicals are generated when these compounds are broken down. Normally functioning kidneys are able to cope with this chemical load and keep our internal environment stable. However, the efficiency of this process is impaired as the kidney function declines. Sulphates and phosphates are well known to accumulate in such situation.
The SOURCE of food is also an important factor in keeping CKD patients healthy.
Plant-based diets are lower in sulphur containing amino acids and absorbable phosphorous compared to animal-based diets. Diets low in such compounds have been associated with reductions in cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease. Data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that participants with stage 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease who consumed meat-based diets with elevated acid load had a higher risk of progression to end stage kidney disease (ESKD) than participants with lower calculated dietary acid load. Northern Manhattan Study showed that higher plant-based protein intake in CKD patients lowers mortality, slows down progression of CKD and delays the onset of dialysis.
Changing life style and behaviors is easier said than done. It is recommended that we make small sustainable changes to diet which can add up over time.
There is a caveat though. Patients with CKD are recommended to reduce their potassium intake to 2000-3000 mg/d (50-75 mEq/d). Certain plants like tomatoes and potatoes are rich in potassium. Some of these vegetables can be leached prior to consuming as well. Further information regarding diet in kidney disease can be obtained from kidney.org. Please contact your physician or see a renal dietitian for details as well.
Dr Ahmad Masood