Stage 3 Kidney Disease and Diet: What can I eat?

Posted by carnes @carnes, Jun 11, 2018

It seems there is very little you can eat that is healthy for the Kidneys. The web site Davida has plenty of food on it but contradicts what other sources say. Anyone know anything for breakfast, lunch and dinner that does not have any sugar or flour bodies the obvious boring or bland foods good for Kidneys and I’m allergic to sugar of any kind of sweetener and flour. Thank you.

Rosemary, My neph. cancelled my 6 mos April 3rd apptmn't. While I am not shopping or having deliveries, I feel pretty well stocked with frozen, canned, boxed and bottled. I miss the fresh produce which made up so much of meal plans but have frozen and canned…the canned are being well rinsed. I'm using more rice, pasta and legumes than usual and working to follow my basic Stage 3 lab value guide for restrictions of salt, potassium, etc. Thanks for asking. Will be good to hear from others with CKD.

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@rosemarya

Hi All,
This morning I am thinking about all of you who have been participating in this discussion. You have mentioned and shared about kidney disease, diets, GFR's, shingles, and so many more topics that are affecting your own health journeys. While I am not experiencing kidney disease, I am living with a kidney transplant and I am interested in hearing from you about how you are doing with your dietary needs.

How are you doing? How are you able to manage your numbers during this current era of 'healthy at home' restrictions? What advice do you have for someone who is just beginning their own life with Stage 3 Kidney Disease?

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@rosemary My best advice is to listen to your nephrologist and follow guideline set for you. If your dr does not offer the information you need, ask! Also there is information on rsnhope.org or National Kidney Foundation. Basically limiting phosphorous-, sodium- and potassium-rich foods, maintaining healthy blood pressure and weight, will assist you in keeping optimum health. Each person is unique, each case has its own nuances. In these days of healthy-at-home, you may have to be more creative, but it can be done!
Ginger

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@fiesty76

Rosemary, My neph. cancelled my 6 mos April 3rd apptmn't. While I am not shopping or having deliveries, I feel pretty well stocked with frozen, canned, boxed and bottled. I miss the fresh produce which made up so much of meal plans but have frozen and canned…the canned are being well rinsed. I'm using more rice, pasta and legumes than usual and working to follow my basic Stage 3 lab value guide for restrictions of salt, potassium, etc. Thanks for asking. Will be good to hear from others with CKD.

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@fiesty76, I am happy to hear that you have a ready supply of foods on hand to meet your personal nutritional needs. I am learning to be more more aware of and creative with using the stock of food that I have on hand to reduce the grocery trips for my husband. I also realize that we are all in different regions of the country/world and have a wide range and variety of restrictiona based on the area where we live.
My own-mid April appointment with my liver and kidney transplant teams has been postponed, and I fully support that decision. Since I am feeling good, I am comfortable with that delay. I do have routine labs due in late April, though. How do you feel about a delayed appointment with nephrologist?

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Rosemary, thanks for your response. I am feeling more relieved than disappointed because the threat of going to a busy lab and then to a multi-practice neph. office waiting room is much more concerning to me than what lab reports might indicate. We are indeed fortunate to have food on hand and you are so right that conditions and restrictions vary widely depending upon where we live. Our small TX city has reported 57 confirmed cases and its 1st death as of yesterday.

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Yes, it is a scary time. Last week I was in the hospital twice, had lab work at a lab, and had two separate visits to doctors. I can stay home all this week, but next week I have two more appointments with doctors.

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Haven't posted much due to dealing w/shingles and yeast infections and a drop from stage 3 to stage 4 CKD but have managed to stay in my apartment since before the stay-home measures were recommended partly because I'm pretty much homebound to begin with and partly because I felt so awful. I don't have tele-health capability but fortunately I was given my docs' personal emails and also can address issues with them through patient portals. Took photos of shingles and subsequent yeast infection areas and emailed the pix so neph could prescribe meds and treatment. Both pcp and neph nurses call frequently to check on me and I very much appreciate how my care team members go out of their way for their patients.

The town I live in is pretty much shut down. Even our pharmacies are operating on a closed-door basis – local docs fax scripts and someone picking up an Rx goes to the door, phones the pharmacy from outside the building to let store personell know s/he has arrived, an employee comes to the door, masked and gloved, opens it a crack to hand the electronically paid-for prescription to the customer. Similarly, for customers too ill or disabled to physically go to the pharmacy, delivery drivers will bring the medicine to the person's door wearing mask and gloves. They sanitize the delivery vehicle and anything in it which could have been exposed after every delivery.

Handicap transport employees and regular route bus drivers sanitize at least once an hour, handivan drivers after every drop-off. It makes getting somewhere quite time-consuming but no one here is complaining that I know of.

Since I used to cook for a hay crew (on a wood stove) and for a hubby, a bro, a dad, 6 kids and their friends, I'm incapable of making anything less than 6 to 8 servings, no joke! So of course I always freeze extra meals to have on hand for emergencies. Thank goodness for the hay crew experience because I'm going into week 6 with shingles and their complications and have barely enough energy to microheat something already cooked for a quick meal.

For some time now I have grocery shopped online at our local Hy-Vee and the store delivers whatever I need. They carry a wide range of vegetarian and vegan foods and a multitude of kidney-friendlies. I made it a habit to order 2 of an item even if I only needed one. Just in case. . .

I'm old enough to remember outhouses and corncobs and Sears catalogs. And before there were disposable everythings I used and washed cloth diapers for my children as well as cloths for feminine hygiene. It's not a lot of fun laundering used toilet cloths (do wear gloves to rescue them from the diaper bucket) but it beats being unable to perform personal hygiene. Not long ago I even tore an old dress into soft rags to have on hand, again, just in case.

My parents went through the Depression so a lot of my upbringing had to do with waste not, want not, and with improvise or do without. As one born right as WWII and rationing ended, I think adjusting to the present day Corona "normal" was easier for people my age than for some of the younger generation. We didn't have tv when I was a kid and when I was raising my own kids a computer took up an entire building so we entertained ourselves – read, played games, made our own music, made up plays. So for those of us who are older may be less stressed by staying in than younger ones are.

SO this has been my lockdown experience so far. As a natural-born hermit I don't mind not goiing anywhere but my heart breaks for all who are ill or have lost loved ones or who are in harm's way. The whole world cries for compassion and unity and strength.

Please, all of you, be well and stay safe.

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Hi, Kamama, while it is very good to hear from you, I am so sorry you are still battling shingles and with complications on top of that. 'taint fair at all!
Great to hear that your health team is keeping tabs on you.

My parents went through the Depression and began early teaching me to be frugal. I think those early lessons have borne fruit during this virus pandemic.
Additionally, living alone as a single for many years, I early learned to buy back-up foods, medicines and household supplies so that whenever ill, I could rely on my "stock" and not have to impose on others for basics.

I never had to prepare regularly for a large crew like you but I quickly learned the merits of having soups, casseroles and frozen fruits in the freezer for those times when just warming up something was all I could manage.

Our small city sounds much like yours. Except for essential services, but oh, how grateful I am that those are still functioning. While I can be very content at home, I also need and miss the outside interactions with others. Staying in touch electronically has helped me feel less isolated.

My neph's office called to offer a phone visit scheduled for tomorrow but having self-quarantined for nearly 3 weeks, I asked to reschedule. Going to one lab location and then to another multi-doc practice the following day just presented risks I was unwilling to take. My Jan. annual CKD labs were stable and my ashma/chronic bronchitis is my main concern right now.

So hoping that you are over the worst of the painful shingles and that you are taking best care of yourself.

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@darlingtondoll

Yes, it is a scary time. Last week I was in the hospital twice, had lab work at a lab, and had two separate visits to doctors. I can stay home all this week, but next week I have two more appointments with doctors.

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Hi, Jane, how are you doing? Hope feeling much better and resting up for those 2 appts next week.

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I need to call my nephrologist to see if he is still seeing patients. I will have check with my cardiologist too.

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@darlingtondoll

I need to call my nephrologist to see if he is still seeing patients. I will have check with my cardiologist too.

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Good idea. Whatever is best for you is what we want.

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@rosemarya

Hi All,
This morning I am thinking about all of you who have been participating in this discussion. You have mentioned and shared about kidney disease, diets, GFR's, shingles, and so many more topics that are affecting your own health journeys. While I am not experiencing kidney disease, I am living with a kidney transplant and I am interested in hearing from you about how you are doing with your dietary needs.

How are you doing? How are you able to manage your numbers during this current era of 'healthy at home' restrictions? What advice do you have for someone who is just beginning their own life with Stage 3 Kidney Disease?

Jump to this post

@rosemarya As a volunteer mentor who has been following this thread for quite a while, you have already seen what we are going through. My strongest suggestion to you is to identify, if possible, the cause(s) of your kidney disease and build your life plan from there. Secondly, read labels and know what you are ingesting–find out what those words you cannot pronounce actually are. And lastly, make sure you can live according to your plan for life. If you cannot see yourself eating this way 10 years from now, you need to do some adjusting.

For instance, my kidney degeneration is caused by oxalates and has been greatly impeded by my adherence to a low oxalate diet. Additionally, I still maintain: 1) a low carbohydrate diet from long-term brittle diabetes; 2) low fat diet after finding out I do not assimilate fats; 3) low dairy diet; and 4) low fiber diet after diagnosis of gastroparesis, gastric retention and rapid transit. There is some crossover between the diets, but as you can imagine my diet is quite limited. However, after six years it has become habitual.

When I look at a recipe or menu I first look to see if it includes anything I cannot eat. With the current emphasis on healthy eating you might think it would be easy, but, here is a list of current popular trends that I cannot use:

any green leafy vegetable (includes spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.)
root vegetables (potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips)
smoothies (dairy base)
nuts (except walnuts)
peanut butter
all berries (except strawberries)
high fiber fruit (apples, pineapple, etc.)
raw vegetables (salads, carrot sticks, celery, radishes, etc.)

Also, in my opinion, sugar is sugar. Honey, agave, cane sugar, stevia, molasses, brown sugar, raw sugar, and whatever other trendy names they are using now; all convert to dextrose, which I count as sugar.

I had to reset my mind about food. I had used it as a socialization tool. Now I have learned to eat for sustenance. If I am not hungry and a meal is not overdue, I don't take a pastry with my coffee just to make the other person/people feel more comfortable. I may have a fruit cup if one is available.

Blessings to you on your journey.

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Goodness, Panc, you do have dietary limitations that guide your food choices. Good for you for choosing the goal of nutritious sustenance over the temptations that occur with socialization. I am working to keep as much as possible to my kidney diet and hoping that when next lab test results happen, I'll have been true to my goal as well. I've been moaning my lack of fresh veggies and fruits, relying on frozen and canned. Your report humbles me and makes me more grateful that my diet can encompass more choice. No more whining on my part! Thanks.

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@fiesty76

Goodness, Panc, you do have dietary limitations that guide your food choices. Good for you for choosing the goal of nutritious sustenance over the temptations that occur with socialization. I am working to keep as much as possible to my kidney diet and hoping that when next lab test results happen, I'll have been true to my goal as well. I've been moaning my lack of fresh veggies and fruits, relying on frozen and canned. Your report humbles me and makes me more grateful that my diet can encompass more choice. No more whining on my part! Thanks.

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@fiesty76 Thank you. I am grateful that I do not have to limit sodium potassium or phosphates as many kidney patients do. When I get desperate I do eat off the naughty list, but make it something that will have a small impact. I use potato chips, crunchy Cheetos, popcorn, ginger cookies, original Cheerios (with rice milk) or vanilla ice cream for my "weak eat" treat.

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@fiesty76 and @2011 panc. The coronavirus has thrown a large monkey wrench into my diet. It helps to know I'm not alone. Since my husband has Alzheimer's, food preparation is my sole responsibility. Since I'm also high risk for the virus, I'm dependent on delivery for groceries. Unfortunately, our stores continue short on deliverable items. So, I juggle a kidney/diabetes/IBS diet while trying to find something my husband will eat. But I think we are all tough folks and, with a little cheating, we'll make it. Take care, everyone!

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@trishanna I am sorry you are having more trouble with your diets. Looking at your post, I would focus on rice, pasta, canned vegetables and skinless/boneless chicken. You can make many different meals with just those staples.

Here are a couple tricks I have learned about rice, normally high in carbs. Cook up a big kettle using a 3 fluid/1 cup rice. As soon as the rice is done, spread it on a sheet pan or in a cake pan, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the rice (not the pan, directly on the rice) and put it in the refrigerator. Nutritionists have found that this method reduces the glycemic index. Also, check out Ann Burrell's mushroom risotto recipe and tweak it to your taste. I use the method but not her exact ingredients. I love it.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. I tend to cook larger amounts and refrigerate or freeze excess for another meal later.

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