People with chronic kidney disease need to reduce the amount of potassium they consume because their kidneys cannot process potassium properly, causing it to build up in the blood.
Medications used to treat kidney disease can also increase potassium levels. One of the best ways to manage potassium levels is by making changes in the diet. This can mean avoiding foods high in potassium and replacing them with low potassium.
Foods high in potassium should be avoided
People with chronic kidney disease or CKD should avoid or limit food that is high in potassium. High potassium levels can cause major symptoms, including irregular heartbeat and muscle tension. Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness. A doctor or dietitian may be able to help you determine the right amount of potassium for each individual to eat.
Other foods high in potassium people with CKD should limit or avoid including:
- beans and legumes
- many dairy products
- salty foods
- fast food
- processed meat, such as lunch meat and hot dogs
- bran and whole grains
- cantaloupe and honeydew
Dietary restrictions can help prevent further kidney damage in those with CKD.
Low-potassium foods to add
Low potassium diets are a safe alternative for people with CKD. According to the American Kidney Foundation, a diet high in potassium allows 2,000 milligrams of potassium daily. However, the doctor or dietitian is in a good position to advise the person on his or her needs.
There is a lot of low potassium intake. Food, half a cup with the recommended feed size. More than one diet can convert a low potassium option into a high potassium supplement, so it is important to stay within the recommended guidelines.
Low potassium foods include:
- apples, apple juice, and apples
- many berries, including berries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
- grapes and grape juice
- pineapple and pineapple juice
- white rice, noodles, and bread (not whole grains)
- zucchini and yellow squash
People should not cut potassium altogether, as it is an important nutrient that helps manage many bodily functions.
Potassium has many important roles in the body, including:
- helps muscle contract
- to maintain electrolyte balance
- which regulates blood pressure
- to keep the heart working properly
- to assist in garbage removal
- to promote cell growth and health
- to bring oxygen to the brain
- to stabilize the body-changing process
What is CKD?
According to the National Kidney Foundation, CKD affects more than 30 million Americans and is the result of a gradual decline in kidney function over time. Causes of CKD include high blood pressure and diabetes.
CKD can get worse over time. The kidneys may have stopped functioning altogether, but this is rare. With proper treatment and changes in diet, people with CKD can lead a healthier life and avoid complications.
There is no cure for CKD, but treatment can treat the symptoms and keep the kidneys functioning. Most people treat their illnesses with a healthy lifestyle, management of underlying conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and symptomatic medications.
In the early stages of kidney disease, a person may have no symptoms.
As CKD progresses, it can cause:
- fatigue and tiredness
- swollen ankles and feet
- shortness of breath
- I felt nauseous
- blood in the urine
Because CKD is a lifelong condition, it is important that you get regular checkups to monitor kidney function.
People with CKD have an increased risk of cardiovascular events, including heart disease and stroke. Regular checkups can help diagnose problems early and prevent complications.
Reducing potassium by CKD
When the kidneys fail, they are unable to remove excess potassium from the body. This allows more potassium to build up and create problems. High levels of potassium in the blood are called hyperkalemia, which is common in people with advanced CKD.
High levels of potassium tend to grow slowly. Signs of high potassium levels include:
- muscle weakness
If potassium levels rise suddenly and rapidly, a person may experience the following:
- nausea and vomiting
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
These symptoms can indicate a life-threatening condition, and a person should seek immediate medical attention.
Are eggs bad for kidneys?
Although egg yolks are very nutritious, they contain high amounts of phosphorus, making egg whites a better choice for people following a renal diet. Egg whites provide a high-quality, kidney-friendly source of protein.
Is chocolate high in potassium?
People who love chocolate may find the kidney diet difficult because chocolate contains a significant amount of phosphorus and potassium. In addition, many chocolate candies also contain nuts – another high potassium, high phosphorus ingredient.
Are potatoes bad for kidneys?
Certain high-potassium foods, such as potatoes, can be soaked in water to reduce their potassium content for people on the kidney diet. For years, renal dietitians have instructed patients on low-potassium diets to cut up and leach or soak potatoes to reduce the potassium load.