Kidney Disease Nutrition Strategies Help Reduce Symptoms

As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and for individuals with kidney disease, it’s even more vital that a proper nutritional plan be put into practice in order to reduce symptoms, such as nausea, pain, swelling and others, and to perhaps even slow down the advancement of the disease. Oak Brook, IL home care provider, Home & Hearth Caregivers advocates for the following kidney disease nutrition strategies to consider (pending approval from your physician):


Elevated amounts of sodium in the diet can cause the body to retain fluids, raise blood pressure and make the heart work harder. Sodium consumption should be restricted to 2 grams daily. Avoid foods that include large levels of salt such as:

  • Canned food
  • Processed meat and smoked meat
  • Pretzels, crackers and chips
  • Nuts
  • Pickled foods including olives and pickles
  • High-sodium condiments such as barbecue sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup

NOTE: Be aware of salt substitutes and “reduced sodium” foods, as many salt substitutes are high in potassium.


Potassium is a mineral found in almost all foods. We do require a certain amount of potassium in order for our muscles to work, but during dialysis, potassium levels have to be monitored very closely. Having too much or too little potassium can result in muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness. A nutritionist can help figure out how much potassium is appropriate for an individual.


Even though protein is an essential nutrient, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, surplus protein begins to build up in the blood. People with kidney disease need to consume no more protein than is needed by the body. When treatment is started early, a low protein diet and a balanced formula of essential amino acids at each meal has been shown to delay the time to dialysis and perhaps reverse some kidney issues.

Vitamins and Minerals

Individuals with kidney disease may need vitamin supplements to help prevent some common side effects of kidney failure like bone disease or anemia, but these should only be taken as recommended by a physician.

At Home & Hearth Caregivers, we’re helping seniors throughout Oakbrook, IL to manage kidney disease, through our in-home care services which include careful meal planning and preparation services, assistance with following doctors’ orders, and providing the pleasant companionship that lifts up spirits and brings comfort and joy into the home. Contact us to learn more at 630-654-4663.

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6432 Joliet Road
Countryside, IL

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