Key Messages for good Kidney Health
- Increase your vegetable intake massively (at least 5-a-day, better 9-a-day!)
- Reduce salt in your diet (kidneys have to get rid of all salt from the body)
- Reduce your protein intake significantly (protein clogs up kidneys).
- Reduce fats and sugar in your diet (general drivers of obesity)
- Reduce pesticides and environmental contaminants in your diet (again a lot of what both kidneys and liver do is getting rid of those)
- Eat fresh food, cook yourself (avoid additives and bad fats, know what goes into your dinner!)
- Avoid food additives, the list is endless.
- Drink Plenty (unless you have very advanced kidney disease, here you need fluid restriction)
- Be active, do plenty of exercise (general fitness helps your kidneys, too)
- Stop smoking (always toxic, vaping is less toxic overall)
- Alcohol in moderation.
- Loose weight (obese people have a higher risk of kidney problems)
- Be very careful with painkillers (i.e. Ibuprofen is a real enemy of good kidney health)
- Research your kidney friendly diet, CKD etc online, start here
Kidneys and CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease)
Kidneys are amazing organs. They detoxify our bodies on a daily basis and get rid of most things the liver and bowels cannot get rid off. And many people have healthy kidneys until their old ages. However, an increasing number or people in the UK have Chronic Kidney Disease. (CKD), similar to blood pressure is actually a condition rather than a disease as most people dont really suffer with it. Many people do not have any symptoms or only have minor symptoms until the condition is relatively advanced.
Doctors in the UK tend to warn patients when their eGFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate = the rate at which your kidneys work) drops below 60, which is an arbitrary, yet probably sensible line according to todays knowledge. NICE classifies most people with a
Diagnosis of CKD 3
Usually, patients need 2 readings of an eGFR (the rate at which your kidney works) below 60, 3 months apart, to be diagnosed with CKD stage 3. A single reading is not enough. Stage 3 means that you have now moderate disease (stage 2 is mild and stage 1 is normal and these stages are medically only important for people with pre-existing kidney damage).
Prevention of CKD3
However, I would encourage everybody with CKD 2 to already take measures to avoid their kidney function to drop. Aging drops kidney function anyway, but it is the acceleration of this drop we need to avoid. Simply go to the top of this page for the key messages.
I have got CKD 2 or 3 – What next?
- Dont panic – most people with CKD 3 will NEVER end up on dialysis or need a kidney transplant
- Get informed – the internet is your oyster. There is so much written about a kidney friendly lifestyle.
- Prepare – Change your diet, get fitter, try to be positive and happy if you can, drink plenty of water, implement the key changes listed above.
- Be critical – Protein clogs kidneys up, yet a lot of recipes even on really good websites contain too much protein and too little vegetables. Also, remember, replacing animal protein such as meat and dairy products with plant proteins such as beans, lentils and tofu is better for your kidneys. Learn about kidneys. Make up your own mind. And do what you think is right.