Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.
When you discover that you’re in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), it’s time to make some lifestyle changes, particularly dietary ones.
Kidneys still work well in stage 1 and stage 2 CKD; they have the ability to remove waste and extra fluid, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. The focus of this type of kidney diet is to make changes that may preserve kidney function, reduce blood pressure and, in people with diabetes, control blood glucose.
There are risk factors associated with early stage kidney disease, many of which can be modified by diet:
Other nutritional factors to consider in stages 1 and 2 CKD include adequate vitamin and mineral intake to meet your prescribed Daily Reference Intake (DRI) goals, and decreased or increased calories for weight management. Certain herbal supplements can actually damage the kidneys, so it’s best to avoid them.
By now you may realize that the diet for early kidney disease is actually a healthy one, with fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, low- and nonfat dairy, lean proteins and low-sodium foods. This kidney diet is very similar to the recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as the DASH eating plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The main difference is the early stage kidney diet limits meat and dairy to help achieve a moderate protein intake. The DASH eating plan, along with reducing intake of salt and high-sodium foods, has been researched extensively and shown to reduce blood pressure.1 For people with stages 1 and 2 CKD, the DASH diet can help with blood pressure control. A vegetarian diet may also help regulate blood pressure, blood fats and moderate protein intake if you have proteinuria.
Once you’ve gone over the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the DASH eating plan, begin incorporating a more modest intake of protein if you have proteinuria than recommended in these plans so it is tailored to your individual needs. Follow these steps to get started.
Because there are few symptoms in stages 1 and 2 CKD, you may not feel any different. But even small changes in your diet can have a positive effect on your condition by preserving your kidney function for a very long time. Talk with your doctor and dietitian about what to eat when you are in the early stages of kidney disease.
1 According to KDOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines and Clinical Guide to Nutrition Care in kidney Disease
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician.
Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1