You’re probably worried your doctor’s not telling you everything. And yes, apparently, you’re not the only one who thinks so.
Most patients believe they’re not getting all the information they need or instructions they can act upon.
In fact, the USRDS Annual Data Report for 2015 states that as much as 38% of dialysis patients claim they did not know dialysis can be pre-empted.
The doctor may have said to “keep your SPPP (sodium, protein, potassium, phosphorus) levels down by changing to a kidney safe diet.” He may also have handed you a 3-fold brochure about CKD after your initial diagnosis. But it may still not feel enough.
This may partly be the reason for that...
According to the 2016 Physician Compensation Report from MedScape, an online medical resource owned by WebMD, the most common amount of time spent by physicians with their patients only range from 13-16 minutes.
But your doctor is NOT the bad guy. With the multitude of things a health practitioner does, there is barely enough time to discuss the little (but important) details about how you should manage your kidney disease.
The truth is this: it’s not ONLY your SPPP that needs to be regulated, if you ever hope to control your CKD’s progression. Check out these 4 other nutrients you need to control on your kidney diet.
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If you listen to commercials, you will have heard that calcium “mostly comes from milk, and makes your bones strong”.
What they don’t tell you: calcium also comes from dark leafy greens, tofu, almonds, okra, and canned fish like sardines, among others. It also enforces your teeth, helps in blood clotting, and is vital to neuro-muscular function.
According to Idaho Nephrology Associates website, this mineral is relevant to CKD patients because CKD causes imbalances in bone metabolism, thus increasing the risk of renal osteodystrophy (a type of bone disease).
However, the administration of this nutrient to CKD patients has to be controlled to avoid calcification of tissues, blood vessels, and the onset of heart disease.
Add to that the fact that calcium also acts as a binder to phosphorus / phosphates, and vice versa. If these two are not regulated, your kidneys’ processes will continue to go out of wack.
Calories are a measure of the energy stored in the food you eat. When you eat, your body decides whether to store or burn that energy.
(This is actually connected to the Carbohydrate section below, and is usually a major issue for an average person on a diet.)
Your body burns calories like they’re people lining up on the cashier at the supermarket: first in, first out. Use up the calories stored first, and store the incoming ones for later. The “fattening” happens when you eat more calories than what your body burns.
So, how does one with CKD control his/her calories?
As CKD progresses, people often lose their appetites because they find that foods do not taste the same. As a result, they consume fewer calories—important units of energy in food—and may lose too much weight...
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK)
Renal dietitians can then help patients add healthier sources of calories to their kidney diet, so as to keep them from losing too much weight.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition website last December 2010 found out that carbohydrates, especially energy-dense, nutrient-poor sources, can weaken kidney functions potentially through acute hyperglycemia (presence of too much sugar in the blood).
Carbohydrate sources under this category include softdrinks, sweets, chips, and other sugary and fatty snack food.
Although carbohydrates provide fuel to the body by turning into glucose, which is a type of sugar, too much of these will eventually pile up in your body as excess sugar, hence the potential of acute hyperglycemia or worse, diabetes.
On the other hand, some carbohydrate food items contain fiber, which is also an essential in maintaining the body’s health. High cereal fiber, according to the article, will even lower the risk of CKD in a person.
In short, choose the right kind of carbohydrate foods if you don’t want to worsen your kidneys’ condition.
In an article published on Oxford Academic website last November of 2013, researchers linked the presence of excess fat to the renal system’s alterations and CKD progression.
The article, titled Obesity and CKD Progression: Hard Facts on Fat CKD Patients, was published by Francesca Mallamaci & Giovanni Tripepi who are both from the Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Unit of CNR-IBIM in Reggio Calabria, Italy.
It said that apparently, excess amounts of fat in the body promotes renal dysfunction by several pathways, as well as disruptions of the blood flow in the kidneys.
These alterations also overlap with changes in the inflammatory mechanisms in your renal system. Needless to say, you are going to need to keep your fat in check if you want to strain your kidneys less.
Aside from monitoring your PPPS, these other 4 may make managing your CKD a bother. But with the right help, you just might find that living with CKD isn’t so hard at all.
So, to start with that, here's a free eBook that you can get by signing up below!