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What diet should a diabetic kidney patient follow?

Q: I am a 62 years old diabetic male suffering from chronic kidney disease. My doctor has asked me not to take meat, eggs and all types of saags. Do I really need to cut all these foods from my diet? What kind of a diet should I follow?

A:Poor glycaemic (sugar) control may contribute to risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), nephropathy (kidney disease), retinopathy. Improving the treatment of hyperglycaemia (high sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure), and hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol/triglycerides) will help you control these complications. Symptoms of Chronic kidney disease (CKD) may tend to develop when it becomes more severe. The symptoms at first tend to be vague and nonspecific, such as feeling tired, having less energy than usual, and just not feeling well. Advancing further, the CKD may result in-

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • A poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fluid retention which causes swollen feet and ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Need to pass urine more often than usual
  • Being pale due to anaemia
  • Feeling sick
You may have increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease, stroke. This is why reducing any other cardiovascular risk factors like high saturated fat intake (as in red meats) is so important. Medication to lower your cholesterol level may be needed. You must-
  • Stop smoking if you smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet which includes a low salt intake.
  • Keep your weight and waistline in check.
  • Take regular physical activity.
  • Cut back if you drink alcohol.
Also, in the patients having advanced CKD, it becomes difficult to remove the potassium from the body as kidney loses its functions. So, controlling potassium is very important. The following foods supply potassium to our bodies and therefore must be limited- milk, yogurt; fruits like avocado, kiwis, oranges, papayas, banana, cantaloupe; Legumes - nuts; vegetables like beans, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach and fellow leafy vegetables, sweet potato and animal protein. Potassium-based salt products, winter vegetable juices and squash should also be strictly avoided. For better control and management, please refer to your dietician.

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