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Five Steps to Good Kidney Care

kidney health vitamins

What can you eat and drink when you have kidney disease, to stay as healthy as possible? All kidneys need a diet that is low in salt and sugar to be as healthy as possible. As kidney disease progresses, extra diet and fluid restrictions may be needed to keep a person living with kidney disease healthy. Here are some tips on how to take charge of kidney health and nutrition following diagnosis and beyond.

1.      Learn about a healthy diet for you

Working with a dietician is advisable if you need to lose weight, or if your doctor recommends that you need to change your fluid, phosphate, protein or potassium intake. Getting expert advice on what to eat and drink from an expert will take a load off your mind and also ensure your individual needs are met. Speak to your doctor about getting a referral to your preferred local dietitian.

2.          Your first appointment with a dietitian

Before your appointment, write down what you eat daily and take the list with you. Take a list of your medications. If someone else normally cooks for you, ask them to go with you. Prepare and ask questions so that you feel confident about what you need to do, and why. Organise regular follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.

3.      Kidney-friendly foods and what to avoid

As your kidney disease progresses, your doctor may recommend you change your intake of protein, phosphate, potassium, sodium/salt and fluids. For example too much salt and fluid may cause high blood pressure, swelling of ankles, feet, hands and puffiness under the eyes, shortness of breath and increased protein in urine.

Foods that have a lot of sodium include seasonings, sauces, canned foods and some frozen foods, processed meats, snack foods, stock mixes and packaged soups and take-away food. Beware of salt substitutes as some contain potassium instead of sodium. You can find kidney-friendly recipes in our resources library.

 4.     Maintaining a healthy weight

Weight loss and weight gain can be a major issue when trying to look after yourself and your kidneys. Obesity may cause complications for dialysis causing unsuitability for a kidney transplant. Your dietitian can help you maintain a healthy weight, with kidney vitamin supplements and ways of preparing food that will be palatable, no matter if you feel ill, or experience a loss of appetite. 

5.     Vitamins, minerals and supplements

Your usual vitamin regime may not be adequate or suitable once you have been diagnosed with kidney disease. Speak to your kidney health team about whether a multivitamin, such as KidneyVital, might be helpful for you.

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I’m a carer for a 74-year-old patient with kidney disease, who has been on peritoneal dialysis for over a year now. His kidney specialist recommended Kidney Vital and we have definitely noticed benefits; we would not want to stop taking it. I would definitely recommend this product to other people with kidney disease.

Lynette, NSW

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Formulated by kidney specialists specifically for people living with all stages of kidney disease, KidneyVital contains the correct daily doses of essential vitamins and minerals - and excludes those that can be toxic for kidney patients - in one tablet. KidneyVital can be purchased online, or by calling 1800 454 363.

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