The primary objectives of a diet for stage 3 chronic kidney disease are to slow the progression of CKD and treat associated complications. A diet for CKD should support healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This typically involves limiting salt and protein intake, as well as following a diet that supports optimal blood sugar control. Because of the specialized requirements of living with reduced kidney function, a CKD diet may restrict consumption of foods containing other minerals, including potassium and phosphorus.
Blood Pressure Control
High blood pressure is both a cause and a complication of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure accelerates the decline in kidney function, so maintaining a healthy blood pressure should be a primary focus of a diet for CKD. People affected by CKD have an impaired ability to excrete sodium, which leads to an increased blood pressure. Reducing sodium intake is known to help lower blood pressure. The National Kidney Foundation recommends that people with CKD limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day.
People with stage 3 CKD should avoid excessive protein intake. The 2012 nutrition guidelines for CKD published in "Kidney International" recommend avoiding high protein consumption to minimize the decline in kidney function. Daily protein intake for stage 3 CKD should not exceed 0.6 gram per lb of body weight. Roughly 0.36 gram per lb of body weight is adequate for health, and this lower value may slow the progression of CKD. People with diabetes, in particular, should adhere to the lower number.
Blood Sugar Control
Uncontrolled blood sugar is a fundamental cause of organ damage, and diabetes is the leading cause of CKD. Good blood sugar control is important for anyone with CKD, but it is especially important for people with diabetes and CKD. Achieving and maintaining optimal blood sugar control may slow the decline in kidney function and reduce the risks for other complications, including cardiovascular disease. It is important to work with a nutritionist who specializes in CKD to determine what optimal glucose control means for you and how to achieve it.
Individualized Nutrition and Intake
CKD may require further changes to your diet such as restricting foods containing potassium and phosphorus. Your nutritionist, working with your doctor, will advise when, or if, these changes are needed. The National Kidney Foundation stresses the importance of individualized, expert nutrition counseling for people with CKD. This complex disease requires regular monitoring of kidney function, blood pressure, blood sugar and other key health indicators to determine the best diet for you. Finally, people with CKD should be aware that certain common over-the-counter pain medications, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, should be avoided. Consult with your doctor regarding safe pain management.
Is This an Emergency?
- National Institutes of Health: National Kidney Disease Education Program: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Diet -- Assessment, Management, and Treatment
- Kidney International: KDIGO 2012 Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease
- National Kidney Foundation: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease
- American Journal of Kidney Diseases: Clinical Practice Guidelines and Clinical Practice Recommendations for Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease
- National Institutes of Health: National Kidney Disease Education Program: Slow Progression and Reduce Complications
- American Journal of Kidney Diseases: KDOQI Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetes and CKD -- 2012 Update
- National Kidney Foundation: Pain Medicines (Analgesics)