When following a special diet for kidney problems there are a number of foods and substances that should be avoided or limited. Treating kidney disease means decreasing the stress and workload for these organs, and some foods do the exact opposite. Once a dietician has helped to create an ideal diet for the kidney patient it is important that this diet is followed specifically. If diet treatment is not effective the patient could end up needing dialysis or other more invasive medical treatments.
Every diet designed to treat kidney disease and function problems will limit or eliminate a number of foods. Salt increases the need for filtering and also increases urination. Salt should be avoided as much as possible. Herbs and other dietician approved flavorings can be used instead to create delicious and satisfying meals. MSG is also very hard on the kidneys and some other organs and should also be avoided completely. Check food labels or prepare foods from scratch to avoid hidden ingredients.
There are many foods that a kidney diet allows but only in limited amounts. A low protein diet is often recommended. Protein should be limited to a maximum of 7 ounces a day. Any more than this amount can increase the stress on the kidneys and make proper function more difficult. Fluid restrictions are also put in place. Kidney disease is one condition where fluids are not pushed but instead are limited. Most dieticians recommend no more than 48 ounces of fluids in a 24 hour period. This amount also must include any foods that have high amounts of liquid, such as soup, jello, pudding, and ice cream.
Potassium is essential for good health, but this nutrient also contributes to increased kidney function and effort. A low potassium diet may be recommended as well. Diets designed for kidney problems will limit potassium to small amounts determined by the dietician. Avoid most salt substitutes because these products are generally high in potassium. Phosphorous is also usually limited as well.
Kidney diets will normally eliminate nuts, beans, seeds, peas, cola flavored soda drinks, and beer. There may also be other foods that should be limited or avoided as well. The dietician will examine all of the medical conditions that the patient has and then determine the ideal diet.