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Diet to Help Repair Kidneys

If you, a friend or family member has chronic kidney disease, you may be wondering if there is any diet that can help repair kidney damage or reverse the disease. While some forms of kidney disease referred to as "acute kidney injury" or "acute kidney disease" can get better, most kidney disease, known as "

If you, a friend or family member has chronic kidney disease, you may be wondering if there is any diet that can help repair kidney damage or reverse the disease. While some forms of kidney disease referred to as "acute kidney injury" or "acute kidney disease" can get better, most kidney disease, known as "chronic kidney disease" cannot be cured or reversed.

There are dietary therapies, however, that will slow down the progression of kidney disease, giving a chronic kidney disease patient more time before needing life-sustaining dialysis therapy which is often very expensive and time-consuming.

Early kidney disease often produces no symptoms, so your physician may have surprised you with the news that you have reduced kidney function. But chronic kidney disease affects up to 26 million Americans, most of whom do not know they have the condition, according to the National Institutes of Health. It may not be possible to repair your kidneys, but a diet designed for your condition can help you prevent total kidney failure.

Causes and Kidney Function

Your kidneys, small organs in your abdomen, keep your blood clean by filtering waste products out of it and eliminating them through urine, according to the National Institutes of Health.

If you have a reduction in kidney function, it means your kidneys cannot perform their jobs as well, and waste products remain in your bloodstream too long.

Diabetes and high blood pressure both can damage your kidneys, causing chronic kidney disease.

Diet Principles

To keep your kidneys as healthy as possible, avoid stressing them by requiring them to work too hard, according to the Medical College of Wisconsin. This means eating a diet that is low in protein, since too much protein creates excess waste in the blood as the body breaks it down.

It also means drinking less fluid, since the kidneys have to process every ounce of fluid that travels through your body.

Protein Advice

Your physician likely will recommend a target level for protein consumption based on your specific medical tests and kidney function level, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center.

But in general, you will probably be eating less protein than you are used to consuming. You should replace protein in your diet with carbohydrates, which your body can digest easily and which do not stress your kidneys as much.

Salt

You will also need to avoid added and hidden sources of salt in your diet, according to Drexel University College of Medicine. Too much salt can cause higher blood pressure and make you want to drink more.

Your physician will tell you how much salt you should have, but you should always choose low-salt options. In addition, avoid meats with added salt, such as bacon and ham, and place your salt shaker out of sight so you will not be tempted.

Considerations

Kidney disease generally cannot be reversed, but it can be halted if you eat carefully to avoid any more damage, according to the National Institutes of Health. Even if you are at risk for kidney disease or if you have been diagnosed with the condition, you should not start a kidney health diet without first checking with your doctor.

The Wrap Up

If you, a friend or family member has chronic kidney disease, you may be wondering if there is any diet that can help repair kidney damage or reverse the disease. It may not be possible to repair your kidneys, but a diet designed for your condition can help you prevent total kidney failure. Your kidneys, small organs in your abdomen, keep your blood clean by filtering waste products out of it and eliminating them through urine, according to the National Institutes of Health. It also means drinking less fluid, since the kidneys have to process every ounce of fluid that travels through your body. In addition, avoid meats with added salt, such as bacon and ham, and place your salt shaker out of sight so you will not be tempted.

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