Renal Diet

People with kidney disease need to follow a strict diet to reduce the amount of waste in their blood. Renal diets help to promote kidney function and delay the progression of kidney failure. Dr. Maryam Dadkhah is a registered dietitian in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. metro area guiding patients with renal diets.

Renal Diet Q & A

by Maryam Dadkhah, Ph.D., RDN, CPT

Why did my doctor recommend a renal diet?

A renal diet is usually incorporated into the treatment of chronic kidney disease. This diet has been modified from general USDA recommendations to improve the performance of the kidneys for people with kidney disease or for those on dialysis. People with kidney disease or in kidney failure often have excess waste in their bloodstreams. Following a renal diet addresses this issue and may even slow the progression of kidney disease. Dr. Dadkhah has had experience working with renal patients in Virginia, and New York over a span of many years. During your initial consultation, she will explain why you require a renal diet, what the diet consists of, and how to follow the diet effectively.

What is included in the renal diet?

In general, the recommendations of a renal diet are put in place to closely monitor the fluid, mineral, and electrolytes that go into your body when you have chronic kidney disease or when you are on dialysis. The diet helps minimize the buildup of waste in the body so that fluid does not build up on important organs like the heart and lungs.

A renal diet may consist of limiting fluids, reducing protein sources, reducing minerals like salt, potassium and phosphorus, and consuming adequate calories if you are trying to lose weight. Modifications may have to be made if your kidney condition worsens so that you are not putting undue stress on your body and its organs.

Will I have to follow a renal diet for the rest of my life?

If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure, your doctor will explain to you the specific medical procedures you need to undergo to manage your condition. In some cases, you may have to complete dialysis only for a short time. However, if there are concerns about the functioning of your kidneys, it is best to continue following a renal diet for the foreseeable future. This ensures that your fluid, electrolyte, and mineral levels can be safely processed by your body.

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