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.

@fiesty76

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

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During the last several weeks I have been having a difficult time trying to urinate. Has anyone had this who is in Stage 3 ? I have to drink a lot of water in order to urinate a little bit.

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@trishanna

@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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My late husband had Alzheimer’s for the last 13 years of his life. He used to love to cook and he ate everything I made for him. As he lay dying, the hospice nurse was with me and he requested his usual breakfast. The nurse said that he could have some water, but he looked at me and asked me to make his favorite breakfast. He was about to go into a coma, but I made him an omelet, orange juice, sausages, bacon, coffee and a croissant. He ate everything and talked a little and then he closed his eyes and went into a coma. He died the next morning. It’s been 11 years and I still miss him every day even though I remarried two years after he died.

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@2011panc

@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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Hi panc, I am very new here, this is my first time. So please excuse me if I make some silly mistakes and tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm so glad that I found this group. It's the first time I'm talking to anybody who is a kidney patient. I feel less lonely and I thank you.

I'm in stage 3 but I don't think my numbers are looking good. I had a telemedicine visit with my nephrologist today who pretty much said not to worry too much about the numbers, same as what he told me previous visit in December. I've only been with him since my first appt in November because I only learned in August that I have kidney disease.

So my egfr dropped 7 points to 31 (was 38 in December) and my creatinine went up. I have been eating mostly according to what I've been reading. A nutritionist visit did not yield much info. I feel so insecure about my diet and my numbers. Really scared. Being able to talk here has been more helpful than anything else during this journey.

I like the helpful list you have included of off limit foods. But I have conflicting info about berries (I do eat blueberries and raspberries), kale (this leafy veg appears on an okay list), I make tuna salad with 1 stalk raw chopped celery and one can goes 5 lunches, and I thought apples and pineapple are okay to eat. Now I'm really worried about my diet. I also have to follow lo carb especially lo sugar, lo fat, lo sodium. (I have had heart attacks and hard to control cholesterol and triglycerides). So now, with the new info from you, I'm so glad that I will have some specific questions for my next nutrition visit.

But I'm concerned about how my nephrologist thinks. (He does have top credentials and he teaches at the university). He seems very relaxed about my numbers, saying that numbers should be looked at as "part of the whole picture" in his words. But since August, my egfr went from 42 to 38 to 31 (3 different blood work dates) and creatinine from 1.32 to 1.44 (missing Dec. number). These number are going in the wrong direction, I thought. Am I all wrong and should just trust what he says?

Thanks and please take care and stay safe, everybody.

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@2011panc

@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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Panc, I'm a big self-rewarder for completing dreaded tasks so restricting/eliminating some favorites in the food groups is a challenge. However, I too occasionally celebrate my food restraints by nibbling on a "weak eat" treat.

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@darlingtondoll

My late husband had Alzheimer’s for the last 13 years of his life. He used to love to cook and he ate everything I made for him. As he lay dying, the hospice nurse was with me and he requested his usual breakfast. The nurse said that he could have some water, but he looked at me and asked me to make his favorite breakfast. He was about to go into a coma, but I made him an omelet, orange juice, sausages, bacon, coffee and a croissant. He ate everything and talked a little and then he closed his eyes and went into a coma. He died the next morning. It’s been 11 years and I still miss him every day even though I remarried two years after he died.

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Jane, what an utterly fine benediction you gave your late husband just before he lapsed into coma! Loving someone and missing them doesn't stop after death. Nor does it detract in anyway from new loves that come our way.

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@ausie

Hi panc, I am very new here, this is my first time. So please excuse me if I make some silly mistakes and tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm so glad that I found this group. It's the first time I'm talking to anybody who is a kidney patient. I feel less lonely and I thank you.

I'm in stage 3 but I don't think my numbers are looking good. I had a telemedicine visit with my nephrologist today who pretty much said not to worry too much about the numbers, same as what he told me previous visit in December. I've only been with him since my first appt in November because I only learned in August that I have kidney disease.

So my egfr dropped 7 points to 31 (was 38 in December) and my creatinine went up. I have been eating mostly according to what I've been reading. A nutritionist visit did not yield much info. I feel so insecure about my diet and my numbers. Really scared. Being able to talk here has been more helpful than anything else during this journey.

I like the helpful list you have included of off limit foods. But I have conflicting info about berries (I do eat blueberries and raspberries), kale (this leafy veg appears on an okay list), I make tuna salad with 1 stalk raw chopped celery and one can goes 5 lunches, and I thought apples and pineapple are okay to eat. Now I'm really worried about my diet. I also have to follow lo carb especially lo sugar, lo fat, lo sodium. (I have had heart attacks and hard to control cholesterol and triglycerides). So now, with the new info from you, I'm so glad that I will have some specific questions for my next nutrition visit.

But I'm concerned about how my nephrologist thinks. (He does have top credentials and he teaches at the university). He seems very relaxed about my numbers, saying that numbers should be looked at as "part of the whole picture" in his words. But since August, my egfr went from 42 to 38 to 31 (3 different blood work dates) and creatinine from 1.32 to 1.44 (missing Dec. number). These number are going in the wrong direction, I thought. Am I all wrong and should just trust what he says?

Thanks and please take care and stay safe, everybody.

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@ausie, Welcome to Mayo Connect. You are among friends / patients from many backgrounds and experiences. We are all patients, and many of us have had similar experiences as you are having. We are here to support you and learn with you. You are not alone!
You have not made any mistakes, and your entry is a good one.

If you want more information about Connect –
Pages>About Connect: Who, What & Why>Tips for Participating in an Online Community
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/3rd-stage-kidney-disease/
Again, Welcome.

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@ausie

Hi panc, I am very new here, this is my first time. So please excuse me if I make some silly mistakes and tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm so glad that I found this group. It's the first time I'm talking to anybody who is a kidney patient. I feel less lonely and I thank you.

I'm in stage 3 but I don't think my numbers are looking good. I had a telemedicine visit with my nephrologist today who pretty much said not to worry too much about the numbers, same as what he told me previous visit in December. I've only been with him since my first appt in November because I only learned in August that I have kidney disease.

So my egfr dropped 7 points to 31 (was 38 in December) and my creatinine went up. I have been eating mostly according to what I've been reading. A nutritionist visit did not yield much info. I feel so insecure about my diet and my numbers. Really scared. Being able to talk here has been more helpful than anything else during this journey.

I like the helpful list you have included of off limit foods. But I have conflicting info about berries (I do eat blueberries and raspberries), kale (this leafy veg appears on an okay list), I make tuna salad with 1 stalk raw chopped celery and one can goes 5 lunches, and I thought apples and pineapple are okay to eat. Now I'm really worried about my diet. I also have to follow lo carb especially lo sugar, lo fat, lo sodium. (I have had heart attacks and hard to control cholesterol and triglycerides). So now, with the new info from you, I'm so glad that I will have some specific questions for my next nutrition visit.

But I'm concerned about how my nephrologist thinks. (He does have top credentials and he teaches at the university). He seems very relaxed about my numbers, saying that numbers should be looked at as "part of the whole picture" in his words. But since August, my egfr went from 42 to 38 to 31 (3 different blood work dates) and creatinine from 1.32 to 1.44 (missing Dec. number). These number are going in the wrong direction, I thought. Am I all wrong and should just trust what he says?

Thanks and please take care and stay safe, everybody.

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@aussie I can relate to your concern about your Dr.’s response to your kidney lab numbers. I am a 63 year old with Diabetes and stage 4 CKD. (I had a pancreas transplant in 2005 to try to avoid/prevent diabetic complications like blindness & kidney failure). Over the past 4 years my GFR & creatinine have bounced around but seem to be gradually worsening. My Dr. has told me at most of my appointments that they are stable. It occurred to me that he probably has patients in way worse shape than me. I told him that my condition may not seem all that bad to him but I am trusting him to help me stay as well as I can for as long as I can. We’ve developed a good working relationship. He knows my feelings about dialysis, transplant and even my spiritual beliefs about my Christian faith. I told him I view him as a gift from God to help take care of me since I have put my life in God’s hands. I also asked him if he had a kidney to donate to me! He said most of his patients want that! 😂

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@ausie

Hi panc, I am very new here, this is my first time. So please excuse me if I make some silly mistakes and tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm so glad that I found this group. It's the first time I'm talking to anybody who is a kidney patient. I feel less lonely and I thank you.

I'm in stage 3 but I don't think my numbers are looking good. I had a telemedicine visit with my nephrologist today who pretty much said not to worry too much about the numbers, same as what he told me previous visit in December. I've only been with him since my first appt in November because I only learned in August that I have kidney disease.

So my egfr dropped 7 points to 31 (was 38 in December) and my creatinine went up. I have been eating mostly according to what I've been reading. A nutritionist visit did not yield much info. I feel so insecure about my diet and my numbers. Really scared. Being able to talk here has been more helpful than anything else during this journey.

I like the helpful list you have included of off limit foods. But I have conflicting info about berries (I do eat blueberries and raspberries), kale (this leafy veg appears on an okay list), I make tuna salad with 1 stalk raw chopped celery and one can goes 5 lunches, and I thought apples and pineapple are okay to eat. Now I'm really worried about my diet. I also have to follow lo carb especially lo sugar, lo fat, lo sodium. (I have had heart attacks and hard to control cholesterol and triglycerides). So now, with the new info from you, I'm so glad that I will have some specific questions for my next nutrition visit.

But I'm concerned about how my nephrologist thinks. (He does have top credentials and he teaches at the university). He seems very relaxed about my numbers, saying that numbers should be looked at as "part of the whole picture" in his words. But since August, my egfr went from 42 to 38 to 31 (3 different blood work dates) and creatinine from 1.32 to 1.44 (missing Dec. number). These number are going in the wrong direction, I thought. Am I all wrong and should just trust what he says?

Thanks and please take care and stay safe, everybody.

Jump to this post

@ausie Welcome to Mayo Connect! You no doubt will read several stories from different patients, and it might make you wonder if we are even talking about the same dis-ease. Everyone is different, and how we respond/work with kidney issues is tied in to the rest of our health concerns. For example, I am in Stage 3b, with an eGFR about 32, but I also have underlying co-morbidities like fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple myeloma. Your labwork may show variances due to how you are feeling at the time to of blood draw, how your hydration level is, even time of day. Doctors have a tendency to look at "trends" in your results, not necessarily each set of tests as their own product, if that makes sense.

@cehunt57 had a very good way of reminding a medical professional that while you might be one of several patients with the same condition, in his practice, you are still an individual, and you are concerned. If you can get a consultation with a renal dietician, that would be great. There are also some websites like davita.com and rsnhope.org that offer a lot of information and recipes.

If I was in your shoes, I would have a frank discussion with your dr next time, and let him know you and he are on the same team, but you would like clear information in order to be as good a patient as he is a doctor! Face it, we gotta stroke their egos every so often!

We're here for you!
Ginger

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@darlingtondoll

My late husband had Alzheimer’s for the last 13 years of his life. He used to love to cook and he ate everything I made for him. As he lay dying, the hospice nurse was with me and he requested his usual breakfast. The nurse said that he could have some water, but he looked at me and asked me to make his favorite breakfast. He was about to go into a coma, but I made him an omelet, orange juice, sausages, bacon, coffee and a croissant. He ate everything and talked a little and then he closed his eyes and went into a coma. He died the next morning. It’s been 11 years and I still miss him every day even though I remarried two years after he died.

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Jane,
What a blessing to have had such a wonderful partner.
God bless you for bringing him comfort and care as he passed.
Sharing your story today made me stop and count my blessings.
Jolinda

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Thank you for your kind words, Jolinda

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@darlingtondoll

During the last several weeks I have been having a difficult time trying to urinate. Has anyone had this who is in Stage 3 ? I have to drink a lot of water in order to urinate a little bit.

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@darlingtondoll, I must have overlooked this post. I experienced decreased urine output prior to kidney failure.
Have you talked to your nephrologist about your diminished urine output? I encourage you to do so.

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@rosemarya

@darlingtondoll, I must have overlooked this post. I experienced decreased urine output prior to kidney failure.
Have you talked to your nephrologist about your diminished urine output? I encourage you to do so.

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I told his nurse today. The doctor will call me next week and I will tell him then. He’s not seeing patients unless they are having a serious problem. The virus is running rampant here in Florida. I don’t want to go to the doctor unless necessary. I have to get my carotid arteries checked next week.

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Just general info:

Blueberries are a fine anti-oxidant and are low in the not-so-kidney-friendly minerals phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

Cranberries are a natural diuretic and a mild urinary tract anesthetic, good for kidneys.

Drinking more water will lower SERUM creatinine levels but basically does not alter renal deterioration.

Tea, esp green tea, also can limit free radicals and protect the kidney though drinking too much can have an adverse affect.

Eating blueberries and taking cranberry supplements (or drinking cranberry juice) and taking green tea are hall healthy choices for CKD patients and might even slow CKD progression.

The above statements are derived from studies by DaVita, Hindawi, medscape, kidney.org, and the NIH.

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@ausie

Hi panc, I am very new here, this is my first time. So please excuse me if I make some silly mistakes and tell me what I'm doing wrong! I'm so glad that I found this group. It's the first time I'm talking to anybody who is a kidney patient. I feel less lonely and I thank you.

I'm in stage 3 but I don't think my numbers are looking good. I had a telemedicine visit with my nephrologist today who pretty much said not to worry too much about the numbers, same as what he told me previous visit in December. I've only been with him since my first appt in November because I only learned in August that I have kidney disease.

So my egfr dropped 7 points to 31 (was 38 in December) and my creatinine went up. I have been eating mostly according to what I've been reading. A nutritionist visit did not yield much info. I feel so insecure about my diet and my numbers. Really scared. Being able to talk here has been more helpful than anything else during this journey.

I like the helpful list you have included of off limit foods. But I have conflicting info about berries (I do eat blueberries and raspberries), kale (this leafy veg appears on an okay list), I make tuna salad with 1 stalk raw chopped celery and one can goes 5 lunches, and I thought apples and pineapple are okay to eat. Now I'm really worried about my diet. I also have to follow lo carb especially lo sugar, lo fat, lo sodium. (I have had heart attacks and hard to control cholesterol and triglycerides). So now, with the new info from you, I'm so glad that I will have some specific questions for my next nutrition visit.

But I'm concerned about how my nephrologist thinks. (He does have top credentials and he teaches at the university). He seems very relaxed about my numbers, saying that numbers should be looked at as "part of the whole picture" in his words. But since August, my egfr went from 42 to 38 to 31 (3 different blood work dates) and creatinine from 1.32 to 1.44 (missing Dec. number). These number are going in the wrong direction, I thought. Am I all wrong and should just trust what he says?

Thanks and please take care and stay safe, everybody.

Jump to this post

@ausie You are still very new to your diagnoses and treatments. Please try to follow your doctor's advice and not worry too much. What I have found is that I need to watch my trending more than each individual test. According to your numbers, your egfr is trending down, which is good; while your creatinine is trending up, which is not so good. The good thing about your creatinine is that (for me) normal is 1 and you are still under 1.5. My creatinine, for example, trends between 1.75 and 2.30. Fluids affect my creatinine strongly. My daily fluid intake goal is 80 ounces or more. If I do not get my 80 ounces in for several days, or have diarrhea during that time, my creatinine will be higher.
Please remember that your have also changed your diet and may be eating foods with less fluid in them. A few comments about diet. I do not eat berries because my kidney damage is caused by oxalates and berries have a great deal of oxalates in them. If oxalates are not your problem, berries are a very good food choice for you. I do not eat the green leafies, raw vegetables, pineapple and apples because of the high amount of fiber they contain. I am on the low fiber diet because of gastric issues; again, may not be one of your issues. I do like celery and onions sautéed and often add them (as well as minced carrots) to recipes for flavor.
Please remember how new this all is for you. I see that you are taking this seriously and doing your best, trust that over time you will work into your new life plan with a few tweaks along the way to get to your best self. Blessings on your journey.

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@2011panc

@ausie You are still very new to your diagnoses and treatments. Please try to follow your doctor's advice and not worry too much. What I have found is that I need to watch my trending more than each individual test. According to your numbers, your egfr is trending down, which is good; while your creatinine is trending up, which is not so good. The good thing about your creatinine is that (for me) normal is 1 and you are still under 1.5. My creatinine, for example, trends between 1.75 and 2.30. Fluids affect my creatinine strongly. My daily fluid intake goal is 80 ounces or more. If I do not get my 80 ounces in for several days, or have diarrhea during that time, my creatinine will be higher.
Please remember that your have also changed your diet and may be eating foods with less fluid in them. A few comments about diet. I do not eat berries because my kidney damage is caused by oxalates and berries have a great deal of oxalates in them. If oxalates are not your problem, berries are a very good food choice for you. I do not eat the green leafies, raw vegetables, pineapple and apples because of the high amount of fiber they contain. I am on the low fiber diet because of gastric issues; again, may not be one of your issues. I do like celery and onions sautéed and often add them (as well as minced carrots) to recipes for flavor.
Please remember how new this all is for you. I see that you are taking this seriously and doing your best, trust that over time you will work into your new life plan with a few tweaks along the way to get to your best self. Blessings on your journey.

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I have been on a strict kidney diet for over a year. I watch my potassium and phosphorus as well as proteins (35 gr maximum) and sodium. My nephrologist just had my blood tested and I have been too stingy with my intake of potassium. So now he told me to eat some forbidden foods that I love. He told me to eat some avocados, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes. Yum!!! I had mashed potatoes and gravy with a roasted chicken today. I didn’t overdo it, but it was delicious. I went from stage 3 to stage 2 kidney failure. Like you, I can’t digest fiber or fresh fruits and uncooked vegetables. My intestines are affected by my paralysis, so diarrhea is a major issue. I feel pretty healthy though. I am so happy to be out of stage 3.

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