The kidneys are an extremely important organ, exposed to many different diseases, including acute and chronic ones. In their treatment, it is important not only to take specific medications, but also to follow specific nutritional rules – a diet in kidney diseases is a very important element of therapy!

From the text you will learn:

  • what the diet should look like in renal failure,
  • what is the recommended diet for kidney stones.

The kidneys are a paired organ which – to put it simply – is responsible for filtering out harmful substances from the body, e.g. a side effect of metabolism. They filter the blood around the clock, removing toxins, urea and excess salt from it. At the same time, processes take place in the kidneys that allow the body to retain valuable substances.

The kidneys are prone to many diseases, such as acute and chronic nephritis, kidney failure, nephrolithiasis and glomerular diseases. People of both sexes and ages can struggle with them, including seniors. Proper nutrition plays a very important role in their treatment. A diet in renal failure or a diet with renal colic is based on adherence to strictly defined rules.

Kidney failure – diet

Kidney failure is a very dangerous disease that causes gradual damage to all anatomical structures that build these organs and the loss of the kidneys' ability to filter blood and remove unnecessary substances from the body.

Diet with sick kidneys should take into account the following rules:

  • reducing the amount of protein in the diet – the daily protein requirement of a healthy adult is about 1 gram for every kilogram of body weight if in the course of renal failure the glomerular filtration rate is greater than about 30-40 ml per minute, you can eat wholesome protein in normal amounts, however, in severe stages of failure it is necessary to limit it to 0.6-0.8 grams for each kilogram of the body per day ,
  • restriction of sodium in the diet – the diet for kidneyfailure should take into account less salt than in healthy people, so you should strongly limit or even completely eliminate ready-made meats, cheese, ready-made soups and sauces from the diet, you should also give up salting dishes,
  • restriction of phosphorus in the diet – kidney failure negatively affects the ability to excrete phosphorus, which is found in large amounts, among others in sunflower, almonds, yellow and melted cheeses, oatmeal or legume seeds – consumption of these products should therefore be strongly limited,
  • reducing the amount of potassium in the diet – in very advanced stages of kidney failure, it may be necessary to limit the consumption of potassium, which in chocolate, dried fruit, bananas, tomatoes or buckwheat.

Kidney stones – diet

If a patient is diagnosed with kidney stones , diet is also an important part of treatment. First of all, it should include large amounts of fluids so that the volume of urine output is about 2 liters per day. Water is of course best to drink, but it can also be teas, natural compotes or juices. Liquids should be drunk in small portions throughout the day to avoid feeling thirsty.

The kidney diet with urolithiasis depends on what kind of stones are formed in the patient’s kidneys:

  • With oxalate stones, you should avoid sorrel, spinach, chard, strong coffee and tea, chocolate and legumes.
  • With urolithiasis, it is better to avoid soups based on meat stocks, meat sauces, mutton, giblets, nuts, mushrooms, lentils and peas.
  • In the course of cystine stones, it is recommended to limit the consumption of meat and meat products, as well as fish, eggs and wheat.

If a patient with kidney disease requires the introduction of other specialized dietary rules – e.g. a diet to reduce cholesterol – it is worth asking a doctor or a dietitian for help. The specialist will help to compose the menu so that it provides all the necessary vitamins, microelements and nutrients, and at the same time has a positive effect on health.