According to a story from aawsat.com, a recent analysis suggests that nutrition therapy is an effective tool for slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease and delaying the need for patients to begin dialysis. Unfortunately, the researchers also found that this approach is rarely considered as a way to help these patients.
About Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a type of long term kidney disease in which the kidneys’ ability to function is slowly and steadily lost, typically over a period of months or years. Chronic kidney disease can be caused by a variety of other health problems; the most common causes are diabetes, glomerulonephritis, and high blood pressure. In a small percentage of cases, the cause is not known. The disease can cause a variety of complications and symptoms, such as anemia, high blood pressure, hyperkalemia, edema, acidosis, bone damage, loss of sex drive, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, confusion, and leg swelling. In its early stages, chronic kidney disease usually does not cause symptoms. Screening is recommended for people who are at higher than normal risk. Treatment usually involves managing blood pressure and blood lipid levels in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease. As kidneys fail, patients will have to begin dialysis or get a kidney transplant. To learn more about chronic kidney disease, click here.
Dieting Can Help
It is fairly well established that a diet that is low in salt and protein can have significant benefits for chronic kidney disease patients. Aside from simply slowing the progression of the disease, it can also manage complications like proteinuria and can keep the symptoms of advanced disease at bay. This can give patients more time before having to begin dialysis, a time consuming and unpleasant treatment that severely reduces quality of life for patients.
An Underused Strategy
Despite this, only about ten percent of patients with chronic kidney disease who have not had to start dialysis have actually met with a dietician who could advise them on how to eat better. The illness is already one of the most expensive chronic diseases to treat, even for patients that are not on dialysis. In a sense, it is valuable to look at chronic kidney disease as a nutrition disorder, and meeting with a dieting professional can help patients strike the best balance for their individual case.