Out of the total number of people who suffer diabetes in the United States, more than 50% are also diagnosed with decreased renal function. Diabetes is the culprit. Major fluctuations in the blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the kidneys and reduce their ability to filter the blood properly. The insulin imbalance also affects the nerves that signal when the bladder is full. Accumulation of urine in the bladder can cause severe urinary tract infections. The infection can spread to other organs if not treated. To add, improper emptying of the bladder has a negative impact on the excretory organs.
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Chronic kidney disease and diabetes is a tricky combination because there are diet restrictions for both. You need a diet plan that will strike a balance between the two; one that stabilizes blood sugar levels while simultaneously ensuring a minimum buildup of waste and fluids in the body. Not only this, it should also be such that it fulfills your nutritional and caloric requirements.
So, what should you eat and what shouldn’t you? We’ll help you decide.
If you have both diabetes and kidney disease, you should eat low glycemic foods. Controlling the blood glucose levels helps prevent further damage to kidneys. This is more essential if you’re currently on hemodialysis. Foods with low glycemic index keep a tab on blood glucose and thereby control thirst and fluid gain.
Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, potassium, phosphorus and sodium should be consumed in limited quantities. It all depends on your specific health condition. You should decrease the use of salts, salty foods and salt substitutes. Limiting salt intake decreases the amount of fluid retained by the body. Avoid adding salt to your food when at the dining table. Read food labels carefully and choose lower sodium options. You should cutback your intake of deli-meats, canned foods convenience meals, sauces, coatings, marinades and toppings as they have large amounts of hidden sodium.
Diet for kidney patients recommend less protein while a diabetic diet focuses on lean protein. The amount of protein you can consume depends on the stage of CKD. Those on dialysis can eat a larger proportion of protein. Protein foods you can eat include lean meats, fish, poultry and skimmed or fat free milk. Try as much as possible to avoid diet colas, lemonades and herbal teas as they are rich sources of phosphorus in addition to salt. Diabetes and chronic kidney disease patients can take a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates. Eat fresh fruits and vegetable instead of the canned varieties. Avoid water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Portion control is an important aspect of diabetic renal diet. You should control the amount of food you eat at every meal. A nutritionist will guide you on appropriate portion sizes and also help you identify portion sizes. Many-a-times what we believe to be one serving (restaurant serving) actually measures as three servings. You can divide the total calorie intake into several smaller meals. Eat meals at regular intervals to maintain blood glucose levels.
This is a basic idea of the foods to eat and avoid if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and CKD. It is advised you work with a dietician to design an eating plan that’s right for you. Do not make any changes to your diet without a doctor’s knowledge.
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