Dietetic Management for Kidney Diseases

Kidney diseases – An introduction

The kidneys excrete waste products from the body and in particularly the end products of the protein metabolism. The main end product of the protein metabolism is the urea. The daily excretion of the urea is about 30 g. There are some kidney diseases which can occur in any one of the three forms. The three forms are acute glomerulonephritis, Nephrotic syndrome and renal failure.

In the acute glomerulonephritis, the kidney disease is characterized by swelling of the body, red blood cells, and casts. It is also characterized by high blood pressure. The common cause of this type of kidney disease is the allergenic reaction in the kidneys. The nephrotic Syndrome is characterized by a massive loss of proteins in the urine. It also causes gradual swelling of the body.

In nephrotic syndrome, the quantity of the urine that is excreted will be normal and only the protein content will be more than 3.5 g. In the chronic renal failure, it is characterized by decreased urine flow, dehydration, mental confusion and high blood pressure.

Dietetic management of kidney diseases

Dietetic management of kidney diseases is essential and plays a vital role in quick recovery. For acute glomerulonephritis, a high carbohydrate, low protein, low sodium and low potassium diet is usually preferred. The diet usually contains the food substances like cereals, vegetables, milk and milk products. For the patients having this kind of disease, the calorific intake should be restricted to 1700 kcal.

In acute glomerulonephritis, the proteins are reduced to the minimum. This is done when the urine flow decreases. At this stage, glucose can be administered orally to compensate the needs. When the urine flow returns to normal, then 0.5 g per body weight can be allowed. Fats can be given without any restriction because the end products of fats are no way connected with the kidneys.

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Carbohydrates are the main energy sources for a body. These are given in calculated amount. In the acute nephritis, vitamin deficiencies are noted so, 100 mg of vitamin C is administered each day to compensate the deficiency.

In normal conditions, the kidneys regulate sodium and potassium levels. But in kidney disorder, these levels are not regulated properly and hence the electrolyte balance is disturbed and hence the potassium and sodium intakes are reduced.

The food substances that are allowed for the patients with kidney diseases are bread or chappatis made of wheat, rice or maize, breakfast cereals made of wheat, rice or maize, fresh vegetables, cooked rice, milk and milk products, jaggery, jam, pastries, sweets, desserts, and beverages.

Lastly, the food substances that are excluded from the diet are pulses, vegetable salads, and soup, meats, eggs, fresh and dried fruits, nuts and condiments.