Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Renal Pre-Dialysis

When your kidneys start to fail, you don’t immediately go on dialysis.  You have a period of time before your kidney function gets to the point that you have to resort to that step.  If you have concerns about renal pre-dialysis, you need to understand it first of all. 

When you have kidney problems, you are in need of understanding about how your kidneys work and what you need to do to improve their function.  Maybe you also need to understand that you CAN improve their function.  All is not lost.  Kidney disease is a highly complicated disease that affects a lot of the systems of the body.  Depending on the "stage" for kidney disease, you not have to control your protein as tightly.  Stages 1 & 2 are going to be less restrictive on protein but as you get to Stage 3 & 4, you will need to limit the protein you eat to not continue the damage that is being done to your kidneys.  You see, you have a window of time to improve your kidney function with diet.  

What is kidney function?  It’s what your doctor is talking about when he measures your BUN and creatinine clearance to see how well your body is able to handle the food that you are eating.  Your kidneys are your body’s filter.  Think about a filter, it is made to let some things through and other things remain unable to go through.  Just like any other filter, your kidneys let the “bad things” – blood urea nitrogen (urine) and extra salts and fluid out, while keeping in your red blood cells and other “good things” that are in your blood.  It does this at a very microscopic level.  It has done this your entire life, but things like diabetes, high blood pressure, amongst other things, do damage over time at the cellular level where the filter is working and your filter stops working as well.
What that means is, as your cells are damaged, they either let out too much or don’t work at all and levels of certain types of blood chemicals – like blood urea nitrogen (BUN) – get higher because your kidneys can’t filter them out.  This is how you know that your kidneys are damaged.  And as the amount of protein they let out and BUN that they keep in goes higher, you get your stage of kidney disease.  Which means, what percentage of your kidneys are working or not.  

Now, to the best part – when you are here – before you have dialysis, you can stop the damage, possibly reverse the damage, but at the very least you can stop it.  If you are cooking for someone who needs help with their renal pre-dialysis understanding, you can cook your way to better health.  Healthier meals are what you need.  You can limit the amount of salt and protein that you eat, and yet still eat enough of other foods so that you are not starving.  

You see, a pre-dialysis renal diagnosis is like a wake up call.  It’s a chance to change things that are going in the wrong direction, even if you have not managed to do it before.  You may be on medications to lower your blood pressure and even control diabetes if you have it, but this will not be enough if you have a need to stop the progression of renal predialysis.  You need to change some things about your diet to improve your health.

If you want to learn more about a renal predialysis diet, then you can read more in our article on renal pre-dialysis diets at our website –

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