Renal Disease - Advice for New Kidney Patients

doctor and patient

No one wants to hear the news from their doctor, “You have renal disease,” but it’s a fact of life for one in 10 Americans. More than 20 million people in the U.S. have some form of kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if you’re newly diagnosed with renal disease, you probably have a lot of questions about what happens next.

Your healthcare team should explain everything you need to know about your condition. The most common causes for renal disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Your healthcare providers will help you understand why your kidneys are important, map out a plan to help you control your blood pressure, and give you some dietary guidelines to follow.

With limited kidney function, it’s very important to follow the nutrition plan outlined by your healthcare team. When your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, waste products can build up and you may urinate less frequently as the disease progresses. When this happens, the excess fluid can cause problems for your heart and lungs and lead to fluid retention that causes swelling. You may need to take medication to help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level (ideally below 120/80), control blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol levels. And in addition to medication, what you eat plays a big part in how your body manages this disease.

Renal disease can be a scary diagnosis. But you’re not alone. Millions of people manage the disease every day by following the advice from their doctor and adopting a diet specifically designed to minimize the effects of renal disease. You can manage renal disease in its early stages without dialysis by eating the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, and limiting foods high in sodium. It’s also important to pay attention to the amount of potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorous you’re getting in your diet. If that sounds like a lot to remember when you start thinking about meal planning, you don’t need to worry.

MagicKitchen.com specializes in serving up premade meals specifically designed to help you manage renal disease. Their Complete Meals for a Renal Diet include a wide variety of low-protein options that are healthy and tasty like braised short ribs, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans, or a Western omelet with hash browns, and cinnamon apples. Take a look at the selection, and following those dietary guidelines prescribed by your doctor will be easy and delicious.