I have been working with CKD patients since I started my career as a dietitian. The "diet" or lifestyle can be very difficult. The kidneys filter out minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. When the kidney's don't function properly these levels can build up in your blood. A CKD patient may need to avoid or limit these minerals in their diet. There are certain medications that can help to keep these levels controlled. One of those medications is called a binder. A binder binds to phosphorus in your food. You take the binder every time you eat. This can be difficult and taxing on a person. The amount of pills that some CKD patient's take can be a lot. This is why it is so important to control one's diet. If a patient is able to navigate the renal diet they can often decrease the amount of pills that they take. In addition to decreasing pills if they control their diet they also feel remarkably better. When CKD patient's control their diet they have more energy, have less edema, and fatigue. This however isn't always the easiest thing to do. For example phosphorus is used as a preservative in our food. Phosphorus is hard to identify in foods, and is in foods that people typically enjoy such as cheese. Potassium is another difficult mineral to control because it is in fruits and vegetables which people tend to enjoy. It is important to find someone to help guide and support you through the diet. It can be overwhelming, but not impossible! People that live with CKD can enjoy their lives! It may take some initial diet counseling and on going support from your practitioner, but can be accomplished!
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