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Kidney disease dietitian

A kidney dietitian will help you manage kidney disease by:

  • Advising you on the right diet to slow or stop progression of the disease
  • Preventing metabolic complications
  • Minimising the toxic effects of uraemia 
  • Maintaining an optimal nutritional state
  • Managing potassium, sodium and phosphate levels
  • Managing protein intake
  • Managing fluid intake
  • Avoiding kidney stones

Is my diet important to help me manage Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? 

Making the right dietary changes may help you manage your condition better and can help slow the progression of the disease. The internet is full of blogs and information that talk about foods you need to avoid to keep your kidneys healthy, however, this can be really confusing. Luckily you don’t have to figure all of this out by yourself! 

Your dietitian can help you with meal planning and look at your blood results to ensure your diet is right. She will help you with:

  • Choosing and preparing foods with less salt or sodium
  • Adjusting your potassium intake by advising you on the right foods to eat
  • Eating the right amount and the right type of protein
  • Consuming the right amount of fluid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a gradual and irreversible loss of kidney function. We have two kidneys that filter waste and excess fluid from the blood, which we then remove via the urine. Our kidneys are also essential in producing our red blood. With CKD, the kidneys lose their ability to perform these functions over time. 

The two main causes of CKD are type 1 or 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure (hypertension). Other causes can include having an autoimmune disease such as lupus, an inherited disease such as polycystic kidney disease, or having glomerulonephritis, which is an inflammatory disease causing damage to kidneys. 

Often, symptoms are not severe enough until the kidney disease is quite advanced. Here are some symptoms of advanced kidney disease:

  • Fatigue and low energy, with problems sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vomiting
  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Itching
  • Weight loss 
  • Bone pain
  • Urinating more often, especially at night
  • Swollen eyes, legs, ankles and feet

CKD cannot always be prevented, but the following can help reduce your risk:

  • Stop smoking and reducing alcohol intake. This can help reduce blood pressure and risk of other diseases associated with a higher risk of CKD.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet – aiming for a range of fruits & vegetables, wholegrain, dairy, lean protein (vegetarian and animal products if desired), and a lower intake of higher sugar, fat and salt/processed foods. 
  • Regular exercise – this can help lower blood pressure. Recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week (such as fast walking) + at least 2 strength training sessions a week to work muscles.
  • Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can increase risk of kidney disease if taken for longer than needed. 

Yes you will still be able to enjoy meals out! You may just have to be mindful about some factors such as salt & fluid intake and opting for certain choices more than others. This can be discussed with your dietitian for more detail and support.

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