Nutrition Care in Early CKD Stages Helps Maintain Kidney Health


Mar 27, 2023

Nutrition Care in Early CKD Stages Helps Maintain Kidney Health

Nutrition Care in Early Stages of CKD Helps Maintain Kidney Function

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often related to a person's diet. Traditionally, healthcare providers have focused on preventing complications by limiting certain nutrients, such as potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. However, for many patients, these restrictions aren't necessary until the late stages of CKD, when dialysis is often the only option left.

A new approach to CKD treatment aims to preserve kidney function by emphasizing the importance of nutrition throughout the disease. Research has shown that a low-protein diet, personalized mineral recommendations, gut health support, and adequate vitamin intake can help maintain kidney function and reduce the risk of progression.

Low-Protein Diet Benefits

A diet low in protein, supervised by a dietitian, has been proven to support kidney health in various ways, including:

  • Increasing kidney function and slowing progression to end-stage kidney disease
  • Improving blood filtration, reducing waste, and lessening the workload on the kidneys
  • Reducing protein in the urine
  • Improving cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Enhancing the quality of life
  • Decreasing dietary acid load

It's essential to have consistent medical supervision to avoid potential risks like malnutrition or an imbalanced diet.

Customized Mineral Recommendations

Recent studies suggest that patients with CKD should have individualized potassium, sodium, and phosphorus guidelines instead of the traditional blanket restrictions. This change allows for a more flexible diet that supports heart health, blood pressure management, micronutrient intake, and gut health.

The Gut-Kidney Connection

The connection between gut and kidney health is a relatively new area of study. A healthy gut can help reduce inflammation and kidney workload. A diet rich in healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, and low in protein can promote a healthier gut microbiome. Some medications can negatively impact gut health, so finding alternatives through diet and nutrition can be more cost-effective and beneficial for the patient.

Vitamin Intake and CKD

Although research on the ideal vitamin intake for CKD patients is limited, it's clear that many patients have low vitamin levels, which can increase their risk of disease progression. Adequate vitamin intake is important for managing inflammation, hormone balance, metabolism, immunity, and other chronic conditions. Dietitians can help assess and ensure that patients with CKD have proper micronutrient intake.

Incorporating Nutrition Care in CKD Treatment

To effectively use nutrition care for CKD patients, healthcare providers should:

  • Recognize that dietary interventions require time and ongoing support from both providers and dietitians.
  • Network with renal dietitians to find partners for patient care or consider including a dietitian in the healthcare team.
  • Implement a screening tool to identify patients who could benefit from nutrition care.

Encourage and refer patients to see a renal dietitian. Many patients with CKD are interested in seeing a dietitian, but few get the chance before starting dialysis. By focusing on nutrition care, healthcare providers can help CKD patients not only prevent complications but also preserve kidney function.

Related Articles

What Do Your Kidneys Do?

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Phosphorus and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Potassium and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Sodium and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Updating the Approach to Potassium Management in Nephrology Care


Early Nutrition Care in CKD Preserves Kidney Function

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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