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.

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@susanna82

You can raise your GFR.
You are correct that there is no cure, however, there are solutions.
I found out I had Kidney Disease by accident, and the nephrologist was not interested in offering guidance or suggestions. – my GFR was 50. On my own, I fought my way to the hospital nutritionist. However, I am not sure she is a kidney nutritionist. What I have done has been on my own. Apparently, being in Stage 3 when you are older, means you won't reach dialysis so you are on your own.

Nine months later, my GFR is 65-69. I have progressed from State 3 or b, to Stage 2.

This is because I began to self educate and I changed my diet. Alone in a virtual ocean of information, you can still figure out the proper course to take, and by comparing and analyzing the help out there, you can take giant strides in kidney management.

It is all about diet and that is how you will slow down, stop or reverse your condition. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years, so the meat was not an issue. The big four you need to consider are meat, dairy, salt, and sugar. There is a lot of help and guidance online, and by studying various diet advice and kidney-friendly help, you can become very well informed and begin to work on raising your GFR.

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Hi There,

I’m specifically interested in what you did to improve your GFR. I’ve been a vegetarian/ vegan for over 30 years. My GFR currently is 59, up from 53-54 2 years ago. I started acupuncture and Chinese herbs prescribed by a practitioner who deals with kidney function. My potassium is under control and not elevated. Are you limiting sugar, alcohol? Has that made a difference with increasing your GFR? Would appreciate knowing how you improved. I have no other medical conditions, other than age (which I understand can contribute to lower kidney functioning). Thank you.

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@collegeprof

I have read Lee Hull's book and visited his website. Among his testimonials at his site, his dietitian claimed that with his program and Albutrix that dialysis can be prevented for up to a year. This means from 2 weeks, 2 months, or even 12 months, this program will help you be free of dialysis or a short term solution. If you can show me through scientific medical evidence from any leading kidney health organizations that Albutrix works for the long term, then he should be applauded for his work. At $200/month for his Albutrix, this is a steep price to pay for a short term solution. I love the science, but unfortunately. could not find the research for Albutrix use by a recognized kidney organization. I truly hope you succeed with his program and Albutrix.

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Nice to hear back from you——–Most everyone who checks this out says much the same thing–that is this is not really "proven". When I first started W/Albutrix, I experimented with amounts per/day—settled on 2 tablets per/out of 180ct. Wasn't sure if this amount did much of antyhing for me—-ran out about 10 days ago[ @ 2-per] in 2 days, I found myself really missing the "energy"It was providing me. I know this is kind of "playing around"–but–aren't we all? This seems to work for me, amounts to 3 months supply for the $200.00. AS to adding a year B-4 dialysis—the program actually aims for 18 to 24 months–then adding more non-diet foods!. I'll keep going and keep you posted–ps. I'm 84 yrs. old—Again, nice to "talk" W/you—DPG

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@gingerw

@collegeprof Your description of kidney disease is "right on", as us oldsters would say! I first became aware of my kidney disease as early as 2006, when my primary care doctor at that time mentioned it. I began a very long search for information, but did not have any typical contributing factors. Being my own health advocate since 1988 when I was diagnosed with an autoimmmune disease called Systemic Lupus, I recalled hearing a doctor tell me in 1999 there might be kidney involvement. Everything was like molasses in January, moving slowly along. My chronic kidney disease is due to a very rare autoimmune condition [less than 50 in world ever diagnosed with it!] diagnosed in 2015, but showing on tests as early as 1999, when the condition was first recognized in 1996!

Fast forward to now, and I will tell you that similar to you, I have watched podcasts, read numerous articles, and done my research to answer my own questions and gain education. What is so great about Mayo Clinic Connect, is that we can share with other people, what has worked for us, or not worked. Everyone is different, and each patient has their own take on health. I am now Stage 5, and will start dialysis soon. It has been 16 years since I heard CKD from my doctor. But, because I decided to be proactive and follow what was for me, the best course of action, I have delayed dialysis for many years. It was the result of lifestyle changes, diet changes [following a renal diet way before anyone suggested it], and monitoring my lab numbers, watching the trends.

My apologies for this long response. Education is self-empowerment. Be an active, engaged patient. Have dialogues with your medical team. Truly, it makes a difference.
Ginger

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Ginger, I never knew your story, and I thank you for sharing. As our mentor, you have guided me and this forum with so much useful information. As you approach dialysis, all of us will follow you and learn from your wisdom.

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@dogpoundginger

Nice to hear back from you——–Most everyone who checks this out says much the same thing–that is this is not really "proven". When I first started W/Albutrix, I experimented with amounts per/day—settled on 2 tablets per/out of 180ct. Wasn't sure if this amount did much of antyhing for me—-ran out about 10 days ago[ @ 2-per] in 2 days, I found myself really missing the "energy"It was providing me. I know this is kind of "playing around"–but–aren't we all? This seems to work for me, amounts to 3 months supply for the $200.00. AS to adding a year B-4 dialysis—the program actually aims for 18 to 24 months–then adding more non-diet foods!. I'll keep going and keep you posted–ps. I'm 84 yrs. old—Again, nice to "talk" W/you—DPG

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Advertising through media by book, Internet, TV, etc. can be so daunting to someone in need, that often perspective is lost. Case in point is when I talk to proper Mayo Clinic medical personnel about Prevagen, they roll their eyes as there is no scientific evidence that memory can be improved with this supplement. In my opinion, Prevagen and Albutrix fall into the same category of those in need seeking a solution without looking at the science behind it. But if you believe that it is helping you, and see your values improve, I wish you the best of continued success. I believe the best tool is a qualified renal dietitian and getting your labs done every 6 to 12 weeks rather than seeing a nephrologist every 6 months with delayed labs. Meet with your nephrologist every 6 months or sooner, but suggest getting your labs done at least twice in 6 months. Your PCP can help with this. You are 84 years young and deserve the best care possible.

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I've had Stage 3 CKD for about 7 years now and my numbers are good. However, I'm having trouble getting in enough calories. I monitor sodium and potassium very closely, and when the calories go up, both of those go up as well. I'm wondering if I'm being too rigid. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Stage 3 and I've been unable to nail down exactly how much potassium I should limit myself to on a daily basis. Any help would be appreciated.

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@soofeenee

I've had Stage 3 CKD for about 7 years now and my numbers are good. However, I'm having trouble getting in enough calories. I monitor sodium and potassium very closely, and when the calories go up, both of those go up as well. I'm wondering if I'm being too rigid. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Stage 3 and I've been unable to nail down exactly how much potassium I should limit myself to on a daily basis. Any help would be appreciated.

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Great question. I think it’s tough to really know, especially as everyone’s condition can vary. I have stage 3b CKD and though I believe I’m getting enough calories, potassium remains a challenge. Getting enough of the right calories while also watching potassium levels is challenging at best. I’m at 5.6 now, so have cut out fresh fruits, short of pears and apples. I’ve read 2000mg potassium on a renal diet but again, everyone is a bit different. Best wishes.

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@soofeenee

I've had Stage 3 CKD for about 7 years now and my numbers are good. However, I'm having trouble getting in enough calories. I monitor sodium and potassium very closely, and when the calories go up, both of those go up as well. I'm wondering if I'm being too rigid. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Stage 3 and I've been unable to nail down exactly how much potassium I should limit myself to on a daily basis. Any help would be appreciated.

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Hey, soofeenee and randyr, I was diagnosed with stage 3b CKD in late 2021, caused by a urine retention issue that has now been resolved. I am under the care of a nephrologist and her team whom I am happy with–they are satisfied with my various test numbers and have advised me to watch certain things, like sodium intake, etc. Just wondering what you do to manage potassium and phosphate intake? I am a bad eater–meaning I like red meat and Coca Cola, but have cut down on my intake of those by using smaller portions, etc. I am meeting with a renal dietician for the first time later this summer. I would appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you.

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@soofeenee

I've had Stage 3 CKD for about 7 years now and my numbers are good. However, I'm having trouble getting in enough calories. I monitor sodium and potassium very closely, and when the calories go up, both of those go up as well. I'm wondering if I'm being too rigid. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Stage 3 and I've been unable to nail down exactly how much potassium I should limit myself to on a daily basis. Any help would be appreciated.

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Welcome @soofeenee. You'll notice that I moved your post along with the helpful replies from @randyr and @paul55 to this existing discussion:
– Stage 3 Kidney Disease and Diet: What can I eat? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/3rd-stage-kidney-disease/

I did this so you can read past posts and connect with members like @carnes @gingerw @kamama94 @collegeprof @dogpoundginger who know the challenges of getting enough calories, potassium requirements, and diet recommendations with CKD stage 3.

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Thank you for your response. I have 3a CKD and have limited my daily potassium intake to 2000mg. I'm averaging about 1200mg, so I'm not overly concerned about it. I'm at the point where I'm going to dry some foods I have not tried in the past to see if I can get my calories up where they belong. I appreciate your feedback.

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Hi, I am eirrol. Over 3 years ago I had acute kidney injury from rare autoimmune disease.Was on dialysis but able to come off ,thanks to God.My GFR has come from 10 to 32. I do not do fasting before blood tests so maybe different. My diet is strict. Much of Devita recipes I can’t have. I have a dietician. I got shingles at original hospitalization and have post shingles nerve damage, painful areas around waist and burning ,itchy,very dry skin. Any advice ? Also what blood pressure meds have worked ok for kidney patients at my level ? – without hurting kidneys ? Sure would appreciate any help. I am constantly googling on the internet but experience like you folks have is priceless.

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