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    Nutrition

    - by admin

    Proper nutrition is especially important to you now that you have been diagnosed with decreased kidney function. By maintaining a proper nutritional plan, you may be able to extend the function of your kidneys and your overall health. A proper nutritional plan can help build muscle, prevent infection and can help you feel and look better. Remember that no single nutritional plan is right for everybody. Your blood work will reflect what nutrients you need to increase and which nutrients you need to limit. Your doctor will recommend a well-rounded nutritional plan that is individualized for your needs. Well-rounded nutrition means that you focus on getting key nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals and calories.

    Protein Should be Monitored.

    Starting now, you will probably hear a lot of talk about protein. Protein is needed by the body in order to help build muscle, repair tissue and fight infection. With kidney disease, you may need to eat less of certain types of proteins. By regulating the amount and types of protein you eat, your kidneys process less protein waste, which reduces the amount of waste build up in your blood. Excess protein wastes in your blood can also cause nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, taste changes and itching. Your doctor will help you determine how much and which types of protein should be in your diet. Higher quality proteins can be found in animal products such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. If you have high cholesterol or heart disease, your doctor may recommend eating protein rich foods that are more heart friendly. Heart friendly proteins include chicken breast, lean red meats, low cholesterol egg products, low fat soy products, and low fat dairy products. Lower quality proteins are found in vegetables and grains. You may be advised that a well-rounded diet should include both kinds of protein.

    Vitamins and Minerals are Essential.

    Most people get the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a variety of foods each day. However, the limitations that may be required in your diet due to your decreased kidney function can make getting adequate amounts of some vitamins and minerals challenging. You may need to take vitamin and mineral pills in order to supplement what is not in your nutritional plan. Ask your doctor before taking any herbal supplements or herbal remedies! When taking vitamins and minerals you should be sure that you only take what your doctor recommends! Just because you may find the vitamins, minerals, and popular herbal supplements in a store does not mean they are safe, especially for people with kidney disease. Most people with CKD already take multiple medications. Adding any additional medication, especially herbal supplements, raises the risk of drug interactions and possible harmful effects.

    Manage Your Cholesterol By Choosing Healthy Fats!

    Cholesterol is important for some of our bodily functions, but it is unhealthy if we have increased amounts of the bad cholesterol. Too much bad (LDL) cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that can build up on the insides of your blood vessels. The buildup can cause stroke and heart attacks. Too much cholesterol in your blood may be the result of a high-fat diet. It is important to work with your doctor to choose foods that are lower in fat and cholesterol.

    Diet and Exercise Will Help Manage Triglycerides.

    Another form of fat in your bloodstream is triglycerides. People with CKD often have high triglyceride levels which can also increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. Your triglyceride level will be checked along with your cholesterol level in a lipid profile. Elevated triglycerides can be due to obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates. Therefore, it is also important to limit your alcohol intake and increase your exercise.

    Sodium (Na) Should Be Limited.

    Sodium is found in table salt and many processed foods. Too much sodium in your diet can contribute to excessive thirst and high blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure is important in managing kidney disease. Sodium restriction is recommended if your blood pressure is high or if you are retaining water in your body. Retaining excess water in your body can cause high blood pressure, swelling of the ankles, and swelling of the fingers and eyes. Controlling your sodium intake can help to slow your kidney disease and keep your kidneys healthier longer. Your doctor may advise you to lower your sodium intake. Here are a few common items with high sodium content:

    •Processed meats (ham, bacon, sausage, and cold cuts)

    •Canned food and frozen dinners (unless marked as low sodium)

    •Certain seasonings (salt, soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and onion salt)

    •Salt substitutes should not be used because they contain large amounts of potassium which can also be dangerous

    Potassium (K) May Need to Be Regulated.

    Potassium is used by the body to help your nerves and muscles (especially the heart) work properly. Potassium is found in leafy vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, tomatoes and potatoes. Excess amounts of potassium are removed by the kidneys. The wrong amount of potassium in the body can be dangerous.

    Too much potassium can make your heart beat irregularly or even stop without warning. Some medications can also increase the potassium levels in those with CKD. Your potassium level may be normal and will not require any limitations. Your doctor will monitor your potassium level by looking at your blood tests and making adjustments if needed.

    Phosphorus is a mineral that works with calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong. It is also needed by the body to maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Phosphorus is found in most foods but is mainly present in cheese, milk and meat. Phosphorus is usually regulated by the kidneys. With renal failure, the kidneys are not able to remove excess amounts of phosphorus that may build up in your blood. If your blood tests reveal excess amounts of phosphorus, your doctor may adjust your diet to decrease phosphorus intake. As your kidney function decreases, you may also be prescribed a phosphate binder to help remove excess phosphorus so that it does not move into your blood. High phosphorus levels also cause an increase in the parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. High PTH levels may cause bone damage.

    Calcium (Ca) Should Be Monitored

    As you may know, we all need calcium to build strong bones. When the kidneys fail, your body’s ability to absorb and use calcium properly is decreased. Your doctor may have you take a special form of vitamin D and/or a calcium supplement to help keep your bones healthy. If your calcium level is too high, your calcium intake may need to be reduced. The combination of too much calcium and too much phosphorus makes you itch and may be damaging to your arteries as well. Remember, you should never take over-the-counter calcium or vitamin supplements unless directed to do so by your nephrologist.

    Fluids Should Be Monitored

    Depending on how much function you have in your kidneys, you may or may not need to limit your fluid intake. Your kidneys help to control the amount of fluid that leaves your body. As your kidney disease progresses, your kidneys may be unable to remove the excess fluid from your body. Too much fluid may cause swelling, shortness of breath, or high blood pressure.

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    How the Kidney Functions

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    About the kidneys

    Most people have two kidneys. Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to filter out about 2 quarts of waste products and remove extra water. The waste and extra water become urine. The urine flows into the bladder through long thin tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom and pass the urine.

    What do the kidneys do?

    •Make urine

    •Filter and remove waste

    •Regulate body water and other chemicals in the blood such as sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus

    •Release of hormones that assist in the following functions: Control your blood pressure

    Helps to keep your bones healthy

    Stimulate the bone marrow to make red blood cells

    The main task of the kidneys is to remove the potentially harmful waste products from your blood. Waste is formed when your body breaks down food, toxins, and drugs. Your body uses the food you eat for energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, the waste is released to the blood. If your kidneys do not remove these wastes, the wastes build up to harmful levels in the blood and damage your body.

    The actual filtering of wastes occurs in tiny units inside your kidneys called nephrons. Every kidney has about one million nephrons. In the nephron, a glomerulus—which is a tiny blood vessel, or capillary—intertwines with a tiny urine-collecting tube called a tubule. A complicated exchange takes place, as waste materials and water leave your blood and enter your urinary system.

    At first, the tubules receive a combination of waste materials and chemicals that your body can still use. Your kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. They give back to the blood what is needed by the body. The rest will be eliminated in the urine. In this way, your kidneys regulate the body’s level of these substances. The right balance is necessary for life, but excess levels can be harmful.

    What is renal function?

    When your kidneys are working properly, and are free of disease, you have adequate renal (kidney) function. You can even live a normal, healthy life with just one kidney. It is important to understand that chronic kidney disease happens slowly and is usually caused by damage to the kidneys in the form of a disease. It may take months or years before your kidney function declines to the point of needing dialysis or a transplant. During the early stages of your kidney disease, your nephrologist (kidney doctor) will monitor the function of your kidneys. His or her goal is to keep your kidneys working as long as possible. Your doctor will prescribe certain things to help your body adjust to the slowing down of your kidney function.

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    Renal Failure – A Cause of Kidney Disease

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    Other Causes of Kidney Disease

    Renal failure is not always caused by a disease. Renal function can decline as the result of poisons, illegal drug use, or trauma, for example, a direct and forceful blow to your kidneys.

    Renal failure is not always caused by a disease. Renal function can decline as the result of poisons, illegal drug use, or trauma, for example, a direct and forceful blow to your kidneys.

    Defining Types of Renal Failure

    What is Acute Renal Failure?

    Acute renal failure occurs suddenly and is usually the result of an external insult such as accidental trauma, drug overdose, illness and/or severe blood loss. Acute renal failure may lead to permanent loss of kidney function; however, acute renal failure can often be reversed.

    What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

    Most kidney problems, however, happen slowly over a long period of time. You may have “silent” kidney disease for years. Gradual loss of kidney function is called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or chronic renal insufficiency. Those with CKD often go on to permanent kidney failure. The damage that results from chronic kidney disease cannot be reversed.

    What are the signs of kidney disease?

    When you are in the early stages of kidney disease, you usually do not feel sick at all. As kidney disease progresses you may feel one or more of the following symptoms.

    Symptoms of kidney disease

    Kidney disease may affect individuals differently depending on the cause of the kidney disease and the stage of your kidney disease. You may not experience all of the symptoms on this list but you may experience any combination of these symptoms:

    •Frequent thirst

    •Urinating more or less often

    •Passing very small amounts of urine

    •Swelling in the hands, feet and face

    •Puffiness around the eyes

    •Unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odor to the breath

    •Feeling tired

    •Trouble breathing or short of breath

    •Loss of appetite

    •High blood pressure

    •Pale skin

    •Dry, itchy skin

    •Nausea and vomiting

    •Headache

    •Drowsiness or confusion

    •Darker color to skin

    •Muscle cramps

    •Trouble Sleeping

    •Inability to concentrate

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    Chronic Kidney Disease

    - by admin

    Many people with reduced renal function have a kidney disease that will get worse. Health problems will develop and worsen as renal function declines. If your renal function drops below 15 percent, you cannot live long without some form of renal (kidney) replacement therapy—either dialysis or transplantation.

    Why do kidneys fail?

    Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons, causing them to lose their filtering capacity. Damage to the nephrons may happen quickly, as the result of injury or poisoning, but most kidney diseases destroy the nephrons slowly and silently. Only after years or even decades will the damage become apparent. Most kidney diseases attack both kidneys at the same time.

    The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If your family has a history of any kind of kidney problems, you may be at risk for kidney disease.

    Diabetes

    Diabetes is a disease caused by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which results when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin. Insulin is needed to maintain healthy glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. If glucose stays in your blood instead of breaking down, it can act like a poison. Over time, diabetes changes the blood vessels in the body, including the blood vessels that deliver blood to the kidneys. When the nephrons don’t get enough blood they are severely damaged. As a result, the blood can’t pass through the kidneys and the nephrons can’t filter wastes from the blood, or perform their other functions. Damage to the nephrons from unused glucose in the blood is called diabetic nephropathy. If you keep your blood glucose levels down, you can delay or prevent diabetic nephropathy. Monitoring your glucose (sugar) level and keeping your glucose (sugar) level in the normal range is the best way to prevent damage to the kidneys.

    High Blood Pressure (also called hypertension)

    High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” and can lead to kidney disease. It can also be a sign that your kidneys are already impaired. The damaged vessels cannot filter wastes from your blood as they are supposed to. The only way to know whether your blood pressure is high is to have a health professional measure it with a blood pressure cuff. The result is expressed as two numbers. The top number, which is called the systolic pressure, represents the pressure when your heart is beating. The bottom number, which is called the diastolic pressure, shows the pressure when your heart is resting between beats. Blood pressure for healthy adults should be below 120/80 (expressed as “120 over 80”). In order to get your blood pressure within the target range, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication.

    Glomerulonephritis

    Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease that involves the glomeruli. The glomeruli are small, essential structures in the kidneys that supply blood flow to the small units in the kidneys that filter urine, called the nephrons. Glomerulonephritis is when the glomeruli become inflamed and impair the kidney’s ability to filter urine. As a result, the nephrons can’t filter the blood and the kidneys can’t carry out their other functions. There are many causes of glomerulonephritis.

    Polycystic Kidney Disease (also called PKD)

    Polycystic kidney disease is usually a genetic disease in which many grape-like, fluid filled cysts grow in the kidneys. These cysts slowly take over and replace much of the kidney. This causes reduced kidney function leading to kidney failure. Most patients with PKD have family members with PKD.

    Kidney Infection or Pyelonephritis

    Pyelonephritis is an infection most often caused by a germ that travels from the bladder to the kidneys. Severe or frequent infections of this type can cause damage to the kidneys leading to kidney failure.

    Kidney Stones

    A kidney stone is a hard mass that develops when calcium oxalate or other chemicals in the urine form crystals that stick together. These crystals may grow into stones ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Kidney stones can form in the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and block the flow of urine. Then urine collects in the kidneys, which causes pressure and sometimes infection in the kidneys. Over time, this damages the kidneys and causes them to fail.

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (also called Lupus)

    Lupus is an “autoimmune” disease. The immune system, which usually protects the body from disease, turns against the body, causing harm to organs and tissues. The immune system can cause inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels and organs of the body including the kidneys. If the kidneys become involved, they lose the ability to filter wastes out of the blood or carry out their other normal functions.