Diet and nutrition


Article 1

For people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), following a kidney disease diet may be part of their treatment for maintaining good health. The kidney disease diet is generally based on eating high quality proteins and lowering phosphorus, potassium and sodium intake. The kidney diet is an individualized eating plan and can change depending on your stage of kidney disease. Find out the basics of a kidney disease diet.  



Article 1

Cranberries and cranberry juice have been rumored to promote kidney health. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) send millions of people to their doctors every year. Research supports that cranberry juice can help fight urinary tract infections, so cranberries help promote kidney health along with providing other health benefits.



Article 1(5)

When it comes to kidney health, it pays to eat foods high in antioxidants and other properties that support good health. Here are 15 super foods to include in your kidney-friendly diet. 



What a renal dietitian can do for a person with kidney disease

Dialysis patients are assigned a renal dietitian to help them eat properly. However, people with kidney disease who are not on dialysis can also benefit from a dietitian’s expertise. Learn what a renal dietitian can do if you have kidney disease and why you may need one to help you learn about and manage a kidney diet.


Phosphorus and early stage kidney disease

Phosphorus is found in every cell of the body. It keeps your bones and teeth strong, and regulates the heart, nerves and kidneys. But when you have kidney disease, limiting phosphorus in your diet can help keep you healthier. Learn why controlling phosphorus is important for people with early stage kidney disease, which foods are low in phosphorus and which foods are high in phosphorus.


Potassium and early stage kidney disease

Potassium is an important mineral that regulates heartbeats and promotes muscle movement. But when you have advanced stage kidney disease, the kidneys may not be able to remove excess potassium, which can be harmful to the body. You will need to lower the potassium in your diet when your kidneys can no longer remove excess amounts help keep blood levels of potassium normal. Learn about potassium and how your stage of chronic kidney disease may affect your potassium level, high potassium and low potassium foods and where your potassium level should be when you have early stage kidney disease.


Protein and early stage kidney disease

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps keep your body healthy. But too much protein for people with early stage kidney disease may contribute to progressive loss of kidney function. On the other hand, inadequate protein intake causes malnutrition. People with kidney disease should monitor the amount of protein they eat on a kidney diet, and can do so with the help of their renal dietitian.


Sodium and early stage kidney disease

Sodium, sometimes known as salt, is a necessary mineral in a healthy diet. However, too much sodium can result in high blood pressure, the second leading cause of kidney disease. Reducing the salt in your diet is the first step to taking control of your early stage kidney disease. Learn about sodium, how it affects people with kidney disease and what a dietitian can do to help you learn about a low-sodium, kidney-friendly diet.


Prevention


Article 6

Diabetes is a metabolic condition that results when the pancreas either does not make enough insulin or the body is not properly using the insulin it does produce. The result is that sugar builds up in the blood. Blood sugar control and following a treatment plan is important for someone with diabetes in order to avoid or delay health complications.


Article 7

Exercise should be part of your treatment for kidney disease in addition to being part of a healthy lifestyle. Kidney disease patients can get both physical and psychological benefits from exercising. There are many types of activities that count as exercise for kidney disease patients. Learn about some activities as well as the benefits that can be derived from proper exercise for people with kidney disease. 


Article 8

People with diabetes are at risk for kidney disease. High blood sugar or glucose levels build up in the bloodstream. If uncontrolled, this can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Over time, diabetes damages blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys. Find out how to help prevent diabetes from leading to kidney disease.


Article 10

Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. today have high blood pressure, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses including kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure control, including lifestyle and dietary changes, can help bring your blood pressure levels within healthy ranges. 


High blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Maintaining blood pressure at recommended levels is important in both the prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the slowing of its progression. There are several measures that can be taken to control high blood pressure, such as adopting healthy lifestyle habits, taking prescribed medications and working with your doctor. Learn more about high blood pressure and how it relates to CKD.


Type 1 diabetes and kidney disease

Type 1 diabetes occurs less frequently, but people who have it are at risk for kidney disease. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes and the connections it shares with kidney disease.


Type 2 diabetes and kidney disease

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and millions of people in the United States may not realize they have it. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and how it relates to kidney disease.


What is diabetes?

In a person with diabetes, the pancreas does not function properly. If you have diabetes, your body either makes too little insulin or cannot appropriately use the insulin it does make, resulting in increased blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can harm your body and result in serious complications, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD).


Kidney infections

When bacteria or other tiny organisms make their way into the kidneys, a kidney infection can develop. Talking to your doctor at the first sign of kidney problems is important so that a kidney infection does not permanently damage your kidneys and lead to chronic kidney disease. Discover ways to prevent kidney infection and how your doctor can treat a diagnosed infection.


Symptoms and diagnosis


Article 11

People with kidney disease are often at risk for anemia. Women with kidney disease may be more susceptible to anemia. Learn what anemia is, the symptoms of anemia and some of the possible treatments for anemia.



Article 13

Acute kidney failure, or renal failure, happens when someone's kidneys suddenly stop working. It is different from chronic kidney failure, which happens slowly over time and is irreversible. 



Article 14

The urinary system is your body’s sophisticated system for making, storing and eliminating urine. It works to maintain the balance of chemicals and water in your body. There are certain disorders that can greatly interrupt the normal functioning of the urinary system. Learn what they are and when urinary system disorders could lead to kidney disease.


Article 15

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measure of how well kidneys are cleaning the blood and is used to establish a person’s stage of kidney disease. The DaVita GFR Calculator helps you determine the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Once GFR is known and the stage of chronic kidney disease is determined, a treatment plan can be formulated. 


Bone disease and kidney disease

When a doctor determines that bone disease is related to kidney disease, it usually means that the kidneys are not doing their job well enough to balance the body’s minerals. This condition is called renal osteodystrophy.


What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may not be present when someone has early stage kidney disease. Kidney disease progresses over time and its symptoms usually appear when a person is in the later stages and needs dialysis. Find out about the symptoms of chronic kidney disease and the lab tests your doctor can use to detect it early.


Who is at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, the possibility for getting chronic kidney disease (CKD) is high. Kidney disease can happen to anyone, no matter their race, age or gender. But certain minority groups are at greater risk for kidney disease than others. Learn more about who is at risk for chronic kidney disease.


Your heart and kidney disease

What does the heart have to do with kidney disease? Factors such as blood pressure, anemia and diabetes also influence kidney function and the heart. When you have kidney disease, you also have a high risk of developing heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease. Learn more about your heart and kidney disease.


Childhood nephrotic syndrome

If your child is urinating less frequently and experiencing swelling in the hands, feet or abdomen, you should have your doctor check your child for nephrotic syndrome. The treatment for childhood nephrotic syndrome will depend on the underlying cause, but most cases do not lead to permanent kidney damage. Learn more about childhood nephrotic syndrome.


Cystitis: a common urinary tract infection

Having a urinary tract infection (UTI) can be an uncomfortable experience. When bacteria get into the urinary system, they can cause UTIs. The most common UTI is inflammation of the bladder called cystitis. Left untreated, UTIs can lead to a kidney infection, potentially damaging the kidneys. Learn more about the symptoms and treatments of UTIs.


Polycystic kidney disease

An estimated 600,000 Americans have polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and half of them will face kidney failure. Discover the various forms of PKD, the symptoms, and how to manage the disease after diagnosis.


zo-3


The basics


Overview of the kidneys

Kidneys may be small (each one is about the size of a fist), but they are important and hard-working organs. Each kidney contains a million tiny filters that clean your blood and balance the chemistry of your body. They remove waste and excess water, help control your blood pressure, produce the hormone erythropoietin to make red blood cells and balance the minerals in your body. Learn more in this overview of the kidneys.


Questions to ask your doctor

When you find out you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you will understandably have many questions. This is a guide to help you organize your thoughts and decide on questions to ask your doctor about kidney disease and get the answers you need to go forward.


What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is defined as a permanent loss of kidney function. It can happen slowly and silently over months or years. Chronic kidney disease progresses from mild to severe and in the early stages there may be no warning symptoms. A CKD diagnosis means that tests have shown your kidneys are not functioning to remove wastes and extra water from your body as efficiently as they should. Learn more about chronic kidney disease, from symptoms and diagnosis to slowing its progression.


Stages of chronic kidney disease

There are five stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and they are determined by using guidelines from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). In order to measure how well kidneys are cleaning the blood, doctors use a measure called glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This is an overview of the stages of chronic kidney disease and how each stage determines the kind of treatment you need as kidney function decreases.


What kidneys do

These bean-shaped organs of your body work very hard – they are the kidneys and each one is about the size of an adult fist. But what is it that kidneys do that makes them so important? Kidneys balance the body’s chemistry by cleaning the entire blood supply every 5 minutes. They filter waste products and extra water out of your body through your urine. Those are just a couple of the many examples of what kidneys do.


Early stages of chronic kidney disease

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have few symptoms. Your kidney health care team will compute your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and compare it to established guidelines by the National Kidney Foundation to determine if you are in the early stages of kidney disease (also known as stages 1 and 2). Once you’ve been diagnosed, a kidney treatment plan for your specific needs can be developed.


What causes chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) comes on slowly over the years. But did you know that certain conditions you have now can develop into kidney disease? Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease. So what else causes chronic kidney disease? Learn more in this overview about how you could develop kidney disease.


How kidneys fail

Kidneys balance the body’s chemistry by regulating fluid, removing wastes and maintaining mineral balance. But kidney failure can happen due to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases that affect the kidneys. Learn how kidneys fail and the treatments you can receive if you have kidney disease.


Smoking and kidney disease

Smoking has long been identified as a health risk to everyone, but for people with kidney disease, it can be especially problematic. Read about some of the complications that arise for smokers with kidney disease.


What is a nephrologist?

A nephrologist is a licensed medical doctor who has trained to become an expert in the function and diseases of the kidney. Commonly referred to as kidney doctors, nephrologists treat many kidney diseases, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute renal failure, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), kidney cancers and kidney stones. Nephrologists also help manage kidney patients who are on dialysis. Learn more about nephrologists.


Treatments


Article 21

When a person is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), it can be overwhelming. There are kidney disease support groups and other resources available to help. Connect online with others who are living with kidney disease through websites, discussion forums, blogs and email lists. National kidney organizations are excellent sources for information and support. Learn more about how you can get the kidney disease support you need when you have chronic kidney disease. 


Article 22

A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease can cause anxiety and stress. It is important for people with kidney disease to attend to the emotional and mental challenges that come from being diagnosed with kidney disease. Find out how to become more educated about kidney disease, how to connect with other kidney disease patients and how to improve your emotional outlook.


Article 25

It may be overwhelming to learn you have kidney disease, but it is more manageable when you feel you are in control. Getting organized and learning the facts about chronic kidney disease (CKD) are the first steps to becoming the head of your kidney disease health care team. No one is an expert on your body and health like you. It’s easier than you think to take charge.  


Living a full life after a chronic kidney disease diagnosis

After you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), there are several things that you can do to slow its progression. This includes learning about the disease, communicating with your health care team and following kidney care plans carefully. Here are some fundamental tips on how to live a full life after you’re diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.


What to expect at your first nephrologist visit

If you are having problems with your kidneys, you may be referred to a kidney doctor known as a nephrologist. A nephrologist has been trained in general internal medicine and specializes in disorders of the kidneys. Learn what you can expect on your first visit with a nephrologist.


Health tools

DaVita Diet Helper

Need help sticking to the kidney diet? DaVita Diet Helper can help.
DaVita.com/DietHelper »

GFR Calculator

Learn about the stages of kidney disease with our easy-to-use GFR calculator, store results and track a GFR over time.
DaVita.com/GFR »

Report Comment
Reason that you feel the post is inappropriate:
yk79