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  • Kidney diet

    I have been following a fairly strict kidney diet for nearly 4 years. My GFR has remained stable between 60-65 after being as low as 47, possibly due to NSAID use. We recently moved and I am seeing a new Dr. who doesn't necessarily see diet as an important tool in keeping my kidneys healthy. So now I a wondering if it would hurt to add in some of the restricted foods such as potatoes, cheese, etc. All of my other numbers are within normal range. Wondering if anyone else has changed diet without problems.

  • #2
    Hi krgaffney! I was diagnosed with CKD about 9 years ago. My GFR was already 33, but my doctor didn't say a thing about diet. So I went online, found davita.com, and put myself on the renal diet. My lab results stayed stable for several years, until a few years ago, when my cardiologist discovered my potassium level was much too low! He was appalled & told me to modify the diet. Since then I have added one high potassium food a day, and my potassium level has stayed normal.

    However... I am convinced that the reason I have done so well for so long is because I followed the diet pretty carefully. I know it's a tough diet--my daughter and I joke that "if it's healthy I can't eat it"--but it's worth it to avoid dialysis. If you have stayed around GFR 60-65 for 4 years, I'd say you're doing something right, so stick with the diet! As long as your counts are all within normal, don't change anything. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I know different doctors have different ideas about the diet--my first one said to restrict protein, second one says don't--but I believe we must take charge of our own bodies and follow what's best for US. After all, our bodies haven't read the manual! I say good for you that you are doing so well! God bless you! mary (poozy1238)

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    • #3
      Have you taken the kidney smart class? They talk about the importance of normal lab work so if you are low in potassium to switch to some higher potassium choices. They go over the low potassium foods, high potassium foods, low phosphorus foods, etc. I have read study after study on how this diet can really help in slowing the progression of the disease. If you are doing well and having no symptoms; sure on Christmas Day or Christmas eve allow yourself a forbidden food. But day after return to your kidney healthy diet. We are all here with you doing the same thing. I saw my father in law on dialysis and I am not ready to put myself through that any time soon. I am only 49 years old. It is hard; but it is doable. Depending on your stage, I don't think potatoes or cheese are forbidden. My recipes from this site include them; you just have to eat them sparingly.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Poozy1238 View Post
        Hi krgaffney! I was diagnosed with CKD about 9 years ago. My GFR was already 33, but my doctor didn't say a thing about diet. So I went online, found davita.com, and put myself on the renal diet. My lab results stayed stable for several years, until a few years ago, when my cardiologist discovered my potassium level was much too low! He was appalled & told me to modify the diet. Since then I have added one high potassium food a day, and my potassium level has stayed normal.

        ....
        At a GFR of 33, you really don't need to follow a 'kidney diet', other than to avoid extreme amounts of protein intake. That's why your doctor didn't say anything. Following a restrictive diet will do NOTHING to extend the lifespan of your kidneys, and will only deprive you of foods that you like years before you will have to start limiting them. In certain cases where following one is medically inadvisable (like yours), low potassium can happen, causing cardiac issues.

        So, unless you enjoy the hardships of living on a restrictive diet, don't bother following one until you need to, usually somewhere in stage 4. If you progress, you will have YEARS of denying yourself foods that you used to like to look forward to. I can't imagine why somebody would want to start doing that early.

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        • #5
          I have recently discovered that I have stage 3 kidney disease - a GFR of 39. Since then I followed the DaVita food plan 97% of the time. Within 1 month my GFR went from 39 to 48; my glucose went from 102 to 90 and my Creatine went from 1.3 to 1.1. I believe that the DaVita menus are the cause of this improvement. My potassium went from 4.7 to 3.9 so I will watch this and maybe add more potassium to my diet if this downward trend continues. The menus are delicious I will continue using them.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by elfee34 View Post
            I have recently discovered that I have stage 3 kidney disease - a GFR of 39. Since then I followed the DaVita food plan 97% of the time. Within 1 month my GFR went from 39 to 48; my glucose went from 102 to 90 and my Creatine went from 1.3 to 1.1. I believe that the DaVita menus are the cause of this improvement. My potassium went from 4.7 to 3.9 so I will watch this and maybe add more potassium to my diet if this downward trend continues. The menus are delicious I will continue using them.
            Thank you for sharing! That's great news. Happy to hear that you are enjoying our kidney-friendly recipes and diet tools!

            Have a great weekend

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            • #7
              I have stage 5 pre dyalisys,looking for menus hard to find. I have lupus nephritis do I follow kidney diet or what? I don't have diabetes thank god. Every diet I looked are no sugar or artificial sugar. I am only 88 lbs. how do I get calory. Please help

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              • #8
                Originally posted by khursani View Post
                I have stage 5 pre dyalisys,looking for menus hard to find. I have lupus nephritis do I follow kidney diet or what? I don't have diabetes thank god. Every diet I looked are no sugar or artificial sugar. I am only 88 lbs. how do I get calory. Please help
                Hi there. It sounds like it'd be a good opportunity to speak with your local nephrologist and dietitian to determine the best diet for your needs. Wishing you the best, have a nice weekend!

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                • #9
                  I am a stage 3 as what my doctorr told me, but your scale put me as stage 1. Whichever I been stable for six years.I would like to go the kidney diet to stay stable.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rokow29 View Post
                    I am a stage 3 as what my doctorr told me, but your scale put me as stage 1. Whichever I been stable for six years.I would like to go the kidney diet to stay stable.
                    Hi there, welcome to myDaVita! It's best to listen to your doctor as everyone's medical needs and situation is different. If you're interested in the kidney diet, I'd suggest trying the DaVita Diet Helper! It's a great tool that helps you plan and track kidney-friendly meals that will adhere to your nutritional goals: http://bit.ly/2hLeEZz.

                    Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any further myDaVita questions. Have a great night!

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                    • #11
                      My G.F.R. rate was 87 in 2015. October 2016 it went down to 60, and up to 72 in one week later ,not tested since.My creatinine is from 66-94 since May 2015 umol/L. October 7,2016 it was 94 and October 15,2016 it was 81. Sometimes both are the same numbers, sometimes G.F.R. is higher by 10, sometimes creatinine is higher by 10. How do I use your calculators? This does not make your chart accurate for me,is one number more accurate then the other. In 2 years on both charts there is a range of 30,which I think is a lot.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dac0214 View Post

                        At a GFR of 33, you really don't need to follow a 'kidney diet', other than to avoid extreme amounts of protein intake. That's why your doctor didn't say anything. Following a restrictive diet will do NOTHING to extend the lifespan of your kidneys, and will only deprive you of foods that you like years before you will have to start limiting them. In certain cases where following one is medically inadvisable (like yours), low potassium can happen, causing cardiac issues.
                        I'm surprised. I've never seen advice that following an extra healthy kidney diet early on will have no benefit in adding to renal longevity. Quite the contrary, I've seen many people here and elsewhere reiterate that diet has been a contributing to both better labs and quality of life.

                        Of course, it's possible for anyone, let alone for those of us on a diuretic and potassium, to undereat potassium. The point isn't to go all out eating a strict kidney diet in early CKD. We have to moderate appropriately...

                        Last night, when I made hamburger wraps for supper, I used 1/2 ounce of total cheese, instead of double to several times that much! I want to get myself trained now to know that such foods are garnishes, not entrees.

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                        • #13
                          Hello Gafeny,

                          Just chimming in My hubby newly diagnosed the past couple months with GFR 44. His Dr. told him at this stage 3 a low sodium diet is very important. But unless his other numbers change he doesn't have to worry about the potasium or phosporous as much.. or all right now. Even though we don't have to count it out, I am limiting and keeping numbers lower along with the sodium. But I want him to be able to enjoy the variety as long as he can.. and hopefully with the sodium restriction and doing very well on that.. the DeVita menus are so helpful and wonderful.. I am enjoying not having to think what to make. Just looking at my daily options and choosing ! Good luck on your numbers and healthy eating along the way! *I do tend to wander the grocery store like a lost sheep at times not knowing what to put into my cart.. besides the meal plan.. I hope that gets easier. I am in the store over an hour reading labels, my knees are killing me, and I check out with less than a dozen items ( I get my veggies and fruit from local produce stand).

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                          • #14
                            Beachwalkmm - meal planning can be difficult but after awhile it becomes easier when you are familiar with the foods that are better for you. I have found many recipes on the Davita recipe site that are great. I also make all of my salad dressings, taco flavoring mix, chili mix, Italian seasonings, pizza sauce, etc from scratch using little or no salt and buy very few premade or processed food - try to make as much from scratch as possible. When I was first diagnosed I cut out all potatoes, tomatoes, dairy etc but I have gradually added some of those things back into my diet - always watching portion control, etc. For example, 1 or 2 small slices of homemade pizza with homemade pizza sauce (small amt of tomato paste) and small sprinkling of cheese is pretty darn good and much better that going out for pizza that is loaded with salt and heavy cheese sauce. Good luck and good eating!

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                            • #15
                              Thank you Maomiaow for your response to dac0214's response to my post! My GFR is better than it was when I was diagnosed 13 years ago. I figure I will follow the renal diet NOW and possibly prevent the CKD from getting worse, rather than waiting for it to get worse! I'm convinced that following a few restrictions is, indeed, why I am doing so well. An ounce of prevention, y'know!

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