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A condition of kidney failure is characterized by fluid retention in the body. Excessive fluids accumulate in the blood stream, lungs, heart cavity and various other sites in the body. This condition manifests itself visibly in the form of puffiness and swelling of the body. The fundamental aspect to be remembered by patients of kidney failure or their caretakers is that excessive quantity of sodium and fluids can lead to immensely detrimental consequences.
End stage renal disease denotes the stage where the kidney completely stops its functioning and the chances of survival are only offered by dialysis or kidney transplantation. Avoiding certain foods and taking good care of one’s diet can not only prolong the advent of this end stage but can also help to survive with dialysis for a longer period of time.
The first food component that needs to be restricted in the diet is sodium. Foods with high levels of sodium include cured meats such as ham, sausage, bacon and corned beef, most cheeses, fast foods, pickles, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, and most Chinese or oriental foods. Sodium is an essential preservative for packaging food products. Therefore, it would be prudent to avoid canned or packaged food such as cereal, bread, baking mixes and most canned vegetables. If unavoidable, one should thoroughly rinse such food to wash off the extra sodium. Patients of renal failure should opt for white cheese, unprocessed meats, poultry, fish and fresh vegetables and fruits.
The intake of fluids also needs to be regulated in patients with kidney failure. The usual limitation set by doctors for such patients is about four to 8 cups at the max each day. Apart from water, the term ‘fluid’ includes juices, ice cream, gelatin desserts and water melon. Foods rich in potassium can also be harmful for renal failure. Foods to be avoided in this category include nuts, avocados, potatoes, winter squash, inclusive of pumpkins, oranges, kiwi, peaches, apricots; and dried fruits, lentils and beans.
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