Information courtesy of Nina Kolbe, RD, CSD, LD.
Chronic kidney disease is a huge health problem in the United States. Approximately 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease. The major causes are diabetes and high blood pressure. Many individuals may be in the early stages of kidney disease but have no symptoms. The kidneys are remarkable in their ability to compensate for problems in their function. That is why chronic kidney disease may progress without symptoms for a long time until only very minimal kidney function is left.
There are five stages of kidney disease, in the first three stages there may be no noticeable symptoms. In stage 4 it is possible for the patient to notice fatigue, shortness of breath or swollen ankles. In late stage 5, the kidneys may not be filtering sufficiently and renal replacement therapy may need to considered. The diet for dialysis is very different than the diet for stages 1-4, when researching, please be mindful that you are not using a dialysis diet as a guide.
The National Kidney Foundation has a good web site with good resources for both the dialysis and non dialysis patient.
I also suggest my web site, Kidney Health Gourmet. I try to update weekly and provide diet information, general kidney news and recipes.
I also have a Facebook page here which also has kidney news and recipes. I focus on the pre dialysis patient and hope to prevent the progression to end stage renal disease.
For the person on dialysis some great gift ideas are: anything to help pass the time on dialysis such as puzzle books, magazines, books. A snuggly blanket to keep the patient warm during treatment.
A snuggly blanket or comfortable slippers such as the Dr. Comfort slippers to keep the patient warm and comfortable during treatment.
For the person who has kidney disease but is not on dialysis I would suggest my two books which are meant to be companion books to managing kidney disease. The first book 10 Step Diet & Lifestyle Plan for Healthier Kidneys, Avoid Dialysis. This book teaches about the diet, walks through the calculation of protein and instructs how to interpret lab values so the patient or caregiver knows if a potassium or phosphorus restriction is indicated. Food lists and sample menus are also provided. The second book is Kidney Health Gourmet; this is a cookbook full of delicious recipes which have been modified for the pre dialysis renal patients.
Ms. Kolbe is considered an opinion leader in the field of renal nutrition. She is the current chairperson of the Council of Renal Nutrition serving the National Capital Area as well as a board member on the Medical Steering Committee of the National Kidney Foundation, serving the National Capital Area. Ms. Kolbe is on the board of the National Kidney Disease Education Program of the National Institutes of Health ( NIH) and provides lectures at Georgetown University on renal nutrition to "Renal Fellows," young Doctors choosing to specialize in kidney disease. Nina Kolbe promotes improving kidney health by implementing cutting edge research on diet, supplementation and lifestyle.
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