The kidneys are a pair bean-shaped, fist-sized organs that are located below the rib cage near the middle of the back. In adults they filter about 200 quarts (190 L) of blood every day to remove waste products that result from the normal activities of tissues in the body. These wastes circulate in the blood. and if not removed they would damage the body. The kidneys also play a crucial role in regulating the amount of water and chemicals (electrolytes) in the body such as sodium, potassium and phosphorous.
Our kidneys are responsible for getting rid of waste products, regulating the levels of chemicals in the blood and producing certain types of hormones. When any of these functions are affected the resultant condition is termed as a renal or kidney disease. To elaborate, it is a condition wherein an individual suffers from a progressive loss of kidney functions over a period of time. This could happen over the period of a few months to years.
The term kidney disease should not be confused with the term kidney failure. The latter refers to a condition that includes either total or partial loss of the kidney function, that may require the patients to be put on a dialysis or it may even call for a transplant. This condition is the last stage of a kidney/renal disease.
A large number of people that have a kidney disease may not even know it, as the signs in the early stages could be very mild or subtle. It could take several years for it to progress from a kidney disease to renal failure. Some of the symptoms of a kidney disease are a constant need to urinate, presence of blood in the urine, difficulty while urinating, fatigue, swelling in certain parts of the body, skin breakouts (such as a rash), dizziness, and shortness of breath. There can be various types of kidney disease depending on what function of the kidneys has been affected.
A diet that is low in protein, sodium and potassium is usually recommended for individuals suffering from kidney ailments. This particular diet is normally suggested for the following reasons. (a) Reduced protein levels in the food help in lowering the load on the kidneys, preventing the condition from getting any worse. (b) A reduced or restricted sodium intake helps improve the control of blood pressure and prevents fluid accumulation. (c) Finally, low potassium levels in the food are advisable, if it is not being excreted efficiently from the body. There may also be a fluid restriction for those that are placed on this diet.
Further more a renal disorder coupled with diabetes may also necessitate a diet low in carbohydrates. Dietary requirements will differ from person to person depending on the nature of the kidney disorder, existing medical conditions etc. There is no ‘one’ specific diet that can be recommended. Hence consulting your doctor to map a diet based on the nature of the problem would be recommended.
Login to add comments on this post.