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Diet for Kidney Patients

Dr. Nishi Mathew, Consultant Nephrologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

The number of people affecting kidney diseases is increasing day by day. This is mainly due to the prevalence of lifestyle diseases. Kidney failure is one of the life threatening conditions. Proper diet and timeliness of treatment can detect kidney disease in the initial stage, which helps to prevent the initiation of dialysis to some extent.

  • Water – Patients prone to dehydration should limit fluid intake. The amount of water should be adjusted according to the amount of urine formed. Kidney patients who pass urine frequently in small amount can drink water according to their thirst.
  • Salt – Reduce salt intake to one teaspoon a day. Avoid adding table salt to rice and curries while eating. Fried, processed, and canned foods contain high amount of salt and should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Protein – Protein is essential for muscle building and immunity. It also helps to improve kidney condition and nutritional status. Protein rich food like egg whites, pulses, chicken and milk can be included in the diet as per the advice of doctor.
  • Potassium – Abnormal or low kidney function adversely affect the excretion of potassium through urine. So those who have more potassium in their blood should avoid coconut water, juice and leafy vegetables.
  • Phosphorus – As kidney failure worsens, phosphorus builds up in the blood and weakens the bones. In such cases the consumption of milk and curd should be limited.