Diet in CKD
CKD non-dialysis diet is for people diagnosed with an early stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD). There are 5 stages of CKD-stages 1 through 4 are before dialysis is needed, and stage 5 is when dialysis or a transplant is required. The CKD non-dialysis diet is designed to help the kidneys keep as much of their remaining function for as long as possible. This diet also helps reduce the buildup of excess fluid and waste products.

On the CKD non-dialysis diet, you can eat a variety of foods. Depending on your size, symptoms, stage of chronic kidney disease, age, activity level and other health conditions, your renal dietitian will make sure you are on an eating plan that is best suited for you. This nutritious eating plan will feature a prescribed amount of high quality protein, along with carbohydrates and fats to provide adequate calories

The major objective of dietary treatment is:
  To prevent protein catabolism and minimize toxicity due to uremia.
  To avoid dehydration or over hydration.
  To correct acidosis.
  To correct electrolyte depletion and avoid excesses.
  To maintain optimal nutritional status.
  To avoid complications such as hypertension, bone pain and central and nervous abnormalities to retard progression of renal failure.

Dietary therapy for CKD involves variable nutrient adjustments primarily in Protein, Sodium, Potassium, Phosphate and Water, according to individual needs.

On the CKD non-dialysis diet, eating less protein is recommended. Eating more nutritious carbohydrates, such as those found in grains, fruits and vegetables is encouraged. The amount depends on your body size and kidney function. Although you may be instructed to eat more carbohydrates and fats to meet your calorie needs, those with little nutritive value should only be a small part of your diet. If you have other health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or blood pressure, you may be advised to restrict the amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt you can eat.

At stages 3 and 4 CKD your protein intake may be limited. Lowering the amount of protein you eat will allow your kidneys to work with less waste buildup. When you eat protein, your body creates protein waste products, which are eliminated from the body through urine. Damaged kidneys have a difficult time getting rid of protein waste products. As kidneys become overworked, more damage occurs. Cutting back on protein means kidneys process less protein waste and are able to work without additional stress.

High blood pressure can make kidney disease worse. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can also cancel out the benefits of a restricted protein diet. Choosing foods low in sodium can help manage this condition and help keep kidneys healthy. Taking blood pressure medicines prescribed by your doctor will also help

Fluid intake
In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you will be able to drink your normal amount of fluid. If you notice swelling, this may be a sign of fluid retention. Your doctor and renal dietitian will monitor your condition and recommend adjustments to your diet and medications as needed.

How long do I have to follow the CKD non-dialysis diet?

You will need to follow the CKD non-dialysis diet as long as your doctor and dietitian recommend. The diet may be changed over time to meet your health needs and reflect any changes to your condition.

If I follow the CKD non-dialysis diet will my kidneys keep working?

The CKD non-dialysis diet will help your kidneys by slowing the progression of kidney disease. The diet, however, is not a cure for kidney disease, nor can it reverse the damage already done. Chronic kidney disease continues over time. There may come a point in the disease when your kidneys will stop working. Following the CKD non-dialysis diet and your doctor’s advice may help delay that from happening. By not following the CKD non-dialysis diet, however, your kidneys may lose function more quickly and advance to the later stages of kidney disease. Following the diet will help manage blood pressure and blood glucose control, which can help preserve kidney function.