There are over two million Canadians living with kidney disease. In the Ottawa area, approximately 1000 people suffering with kidney disease are dependent on regular dialysis, hoping and waiting for a kidney transplant.
A kidney-friendly diet is one in which protein, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium levels are controlled. The body needs protein for muscle growth and tissue repair, however, people with kidney disease cannot process the waste created when the body uses protein.
In order to limit waste build up, a kidney diet may control the amount of protein consumed. Phosphorus may also need to be controlled to avoid losing calcium and weakening the bones, and sodium needs to be controlled to avoid high blood pressure.
A kidney diet usually is higher in fats and carbohydrates than a normal diet to make up for not getting as many calories from protein.
Because of these requirements, socializing, working or eating anywhere out of the controlled environment of their home, is a daily challenge for a person with kidney disease. Serious complications of kidney disease can end in total kidney failure.