Chronic Kidney Disease and Nutrition

December 6, 2022

Has your doctor told you that you have chronic kidney disease, and you would like to know how to adapt your diet? Here are some tips to help guide you! Note that the following advice does not apply to people who are undergoing dialysis.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a syndrome characterized by structural and functional abnormalities of the kidneys that are present for more than three months, with specific health consequences. It is classified into four stages according to the value of the glomerular filtration rate. CKD is widespread (10-13% of the population), irreversible and progressive, and associated with a high cardiovascular risk. The main causes of CKD are diabetes, high blood pressure, acute or inflammatory kidney diseases, and autoimmune diseases. People often remain asymptomatic until complications reach an advanced stage. The aim of medical and nutritional therapy is to avoid dialysis or possible kidney transplantation.

Nutritional recommendations

The nutritional treatment of a patient with CKD has three main objectives:

  • Slow the progression of CKD;
  • Prevent and control metabolic changes in CKD (including, for example, anemia, bone disease, and cardiovascular disease);
  • Achieve and maintain an optimal nutritional status.

Various nutritional approaches have been analysed, but those that are considered to be the most effective are the Mediterranean diet and the vegetarian diet. These types of diets are recommended to improve the lipid profile, control blood pressure, and control metabolic acidosis – a condition characterised by excess acids when compared to bases, in this case due to reduced kidney function. A diet rich in animal foods can increase metabolic acidosis and other metabolic complications.

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Author

Antonella Giordano
Antonella has 2 professional titles in nutrition because she graduated in Food Sciences (University of Genoa) and holds a master's degree in Nutrition (University of Bologna). She is also a biologist (University of Florence). She is a member of the Order of Biologists (ONB) since 2013 and a SINU member. Passionate about psycho-nutrition issues, her goal is to help her clients find a balance and a healthy and correct relationship with food and with their body.

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