confused about renal diet - Welcome to the myDaVita Kidney Disease and Dialysis Forums


Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

confused about renal diet

Page Title Module
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • confused about renal diet

    Hi. I'm new here. My husband just started dialysis 6 days ago. I understand that certain things need to be watched with his diet--sodium, potassium and phosphorus. But I'm so confused. I don't know how much of a leeway I have with the foods. My head is spinning from all of this even though I have a thorough understanding of the diabetic exchange system. All that seems to do is help me understand how many servings of each thing he can have. I am so used to just grabbing ingredients and cooking something. Almost everything I make on a regular basis has one or more avoid list ingredients. Having to watch for three things is overwhelming me. I really don't know what to do. And my selfish side isn't happy, doesn't want to be "deprived", and I'm angry and feeling guilty because of it. I'm like an over wound spring ready to blow. Cooking was so easy. It should be after 30+ years. Now? I feel like I don't know anything and I don't know what to do. I have talked with a dietician but all that did was help me understand some things. When it gets down to cooking, I'm lost. And the recipes on here confuse me even more because some of avoid list foods. Does anyone know if they have classes around the country that might help someone in my situation? I can't spend my days being angry because I'm scared to death I will keep cooking the wrong things and make my husband even sicker. And the stress isn't doing me any good.

  • #2
    Hi ArtMom28. I have been a dialysis patient since 1988 (minus 8.5 years having a kidney transplant), I still consult my dietitian when I'm not sure of certain foods. It seems as though the "can't have" list is infinite and hard to remember it all. With the exception of my occasional binges(ie: junk food and fast foods), my labs are usually great. You'll be surprised at what your husband can have if you buy and prepare fresh foods instead of frozen or canned. I've noticed that most of our non perishables are preserve with some type of Phosphorous (bad for the bones). You also want to be watchful of the foods with salt substitutes or the ones that read "low sodium", because sometimes the manufactures replace the sodium with potassium (bad for the heart). Cooking fresh vegetables and non-cured meats (meats that are not smoked or preserved with salt), greatly decreases the chance of your husband taking in too much sodium. With a few exceptions, the majority of your high potassium foods are found in fruits and vegetables, whereas, your high phosphorous foods are generally your meats and grains. MILK is a double whammy (it's high in both). If your husband is like me an he just has to have a bowl of cereal every now and then, eat it with 4 oz of milk or no more than 6. Also, when he's done with his cereal, have him to pour out the excess milk, don't drink it. One of the dumbest things I used to do was eat whatever I wanted for 3 weeks then "walk the straight and narrow" a few days before it's time to have my labs drawn. Have your husband to eat what he normally eats when it's time to draw his labs. He'll be surprised at what he might actually be able to eat from the "can't have" list. But he'll never know if he changes his diet during "lab draw" week and he might actually harm himself. I hope this advice was helpful in some way. The diet can be very intimidating and overwhelming. Give it a little time. You'll get the hang of if before you know it. Once you get comfortable, you'll actually see that you can substitute one of the higher potassium foods by maybe giving up a fruit or vegetable for lunch or dinner. Or, if husband just has to have his crab legs or lobster tails, he'll learn to take an extra phosphorous binder to protect his bones. Just breath, you're going to do just fine
    Last edited by Pearlean3; 07-20-2015, 02:55 AM.


    • #3
      Hi Pearlean3, I didn't post the original question but I had to tell you that was one of the sweetest and informative posts I have read. My mother is in Stage 4 CKD and she goes to the doctor in a few weeks. I'm printing this post for future reference in case its needed.

      **BTW, I''m new to the forum, but not new to kidney disease. My dad had was on PD a few years ago.


      • #4
        Oh my gosh, you sound just like me. For years we had to deal with diabetes meal plans, and now renal meal plans. Like you I love to cook and enjoyed feeding my husband to death (no pun please)!!! Today was another day of tears as I tried to draw up a meal plan and grocery list. Our last blood work showed high phosphorus for the first time ever so now we need to look at that also. He had 3 heart blocks due to high potassium which we now have under control. I want to keep him off of dialysis for as long as possible. I feel like I am responsible for his health 100% by what I bring into the house to eat and what I cook. This is a terrible burden for a spouse. I can't help you cause I need help myself but it sure helped to read your post, thanks


        • #5
          Hi Ladies, instead of getting all stressed over what to cook for the hubby, why doesn't HE take responsibility for what he eats? He can read his labs and decide what he needs to cut back on during the month. He can make up a grocery list for you, right? and he can read labels. Hubby can be proactive in his own health . let him help


          • #6
            Originally posted by patricia0805 View Post
            Hi Ladies, instead of getting all stressed over what to cook for the hubby, why doesn't HE take responsibility for what he eats? He can read his labs and decide what he needs to cut back on during the month. He can make up a grocery list for you, right? and he can read labels. Hubby can be proactive in his own health . let him help
            You're right in that he can help with his meal plans....he is post surgery 3 months for two broken hips, then two bleeding ulcers, and last month had a pacemaker you can imagine how much I want to take care of him...and you can imagine how stressed his body and how fatigued he has become...he is understanding that he needs to watch what he eats and is so pleased with whatever I do to help him with his meals and trying to regain his appetite. I know he's a big boy (well not right now, he's lost 40 lbs)! and I guess I have a hard time not spoiling him lots...but I will try to shift some of the responsibility....these forums are so helpful, although scarey too as we both know that dialysis is probably right around the corner and that will be another stress on his body...thanks for the advise, seriously


            • #7
              wow, your Hubby must be one strong dude to go thru all that and still be trying to stay healthy. I can not stress enough how important it is to watch the lab results. buildups of phosphorus, calcium, potassium etc. will make him feel worse and damage the kidneys further, so diet is very important. mostly it's everything in moderation and portion control. so, don't deprive him of his favorite foods, just cut back on how much. I love milk but its so bad for me, so when I eat cereal, I just put enough milk in to get the cereal wet and then when I"ve finished the cereal, I pour the milk out...I know it's wasteful but I have to do it.
              I never even touch bananas! but I get the individual cups of peaches, that's the only way I can portion control fruit! I'm diabetic also, and my numbers are mostly in range because I work at it. boring stuff but I feel better and that is my goal. losing the 40 lbs probably helped with the diabetes, right? at this point, you probably feel like a doctor, keeping track of everything! no wonder you're stressed out . Hang in there, it's all worth it.


              Back to Top