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Showing posts from 2014

Diet for patients with kidney disease: A little sweet, a little salty, and what to eat more/less of?

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You are what you eat. Your kidneys are no different. Diet and lifestyle have a huge influence on the development of kidney disease, as well its rate of progression once it develops. Hence, in my practice, and especially in patients with early stage chronic kidney disease (CKD)  or stage 3/early stage 4,  I place a strong focus on diet (in addition to treating the cause of CKD) which may sometimes go a long way in preventing disease progression. This does not mean that the right diet is not important in advanced stages of CKD. It very well is; however, you will probably need more aggressive medical management in those stages. I have emphasized before that, like many other things in life, prevention is not only better than cure, it is much much easier too. Once GFR (glomerular filtration rate, a measure of your kidney function) permanently declines, it is unlikely that it will increase. Hence GFR decline is often a "one way highway".

The effect of artificially sweetened soft drinks/colas on kidney and cardiovascular function: Are diet sodas as harmless as they appear?

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Most of us, even the fitness freaks, feel good about consuming diet soda...that harmless, calorie-free, sugar-free indulgence. What could ever be wrong about a can of zero calorie, carbonated, flavored water?!
Possibly a lot, it seems. The potential for harm stems from the various ingredients that go in to conjuring your favorite diet soft drink. Lets break down a typical artificially sweetened beverage (diet soda) in to its bare ingredients that are pertinent for this discussion : artificial sweeteners, caffeine, caramel color, and phosphoric acid.

What is a good target blood pressure for someone with kidney disease?

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Besides being a huge risk factor for heart disease, strokes, etc, high blood pressure can also lead to kidney disease. People with high blood pressure are at risk of developing changes that lead to scarring inside the kidneys, that could ultimately cause the kidneys to "burn out". Patients with existing chronic kidney disease (CKD), are at a higher risk of progression to end stage kidney disease when they would need either dialysis or a kidney transplant, should their blood pressure stay high/uncontrolled. In fact, after diabetes, high blood pressure is the commonest reason that people develop kidney failure. So what is the target blood pressure for someone with underlying CKD to minimize their risk of progression to end stage kidney disease?