What is sodium?
“Chronic Kidney Disease and Sodium” One of the most common elements on the planet is sodium. When sodium is listed, most people think of salt. The mineral compound sodium chloride is what we call salt. Sodium chloride (salt) or sodium in other forms can be present in the foods we consume. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your doctor and dietitian can recommend that you eat a low-sodium diet that restricts salt and other sodium-containing foods.
The role of sodium in the human body
“Chronic Kidney Disease and Sodium” One of the body’s three main electrolytes is sodium (potassium and chloride are the other two). Electrolytes regulate the movement of fluids in and out of the tissues and cells of the body. Electrolytes can be found in large quantities in salt. Sodium is involved in the following processes:
- Blood pressure and blood flow regulation
- Assisting in the transmission of nerve and muscle contraction impulses
- Holding the acid-base balance in the blood and body fluids in place
How sodium affects people with kidney disease?
“Chronic Kidney Disease and Sodium” While sodium is needed for the functions mentioned above, too much sodium may be harmful to people who have kidney disease because their kidneys are unable to excrete excess sodium and fluid. Your blood pressure rises as sodium and fluid build up in your tissues and bloodstream, making you feel uneasy.
High blood pressure can worsen the effects of kidney disease. Kidney function is further harmed as a result of this injury, resulting in even more fluid and waste buildup in the body.
Such sodium-related problems include:
- Edema: your legs, hands, and face are swollen
- Heart failure: Excess fluid in the bloodstream will cause your heart to overwork, causing it to become bloated and weak.
- Shortness of breath: Fluid can build up in the lungs, making breathing difficult.
The renal diet and sodium
“Chronic Kidney Disease and Sodium” Your blood pressure will be monitored by your doctor and dietitian if you’re in the early stages of CKD. If your blood pressure is elevated or you’re storing fluid, you can limit your sodium intake.
You will be asked to adopt a low-sodium diet if you have stage 5 CKD and need dialysis. Blood pressure and fluid intake can be better controlled with this diet. Controlling sodium intake during dialysis can help prevent cramping and blood pressure decreases. Your dietitian will measure how much sodium you can consume per day and instruct you about how to keep it in check in your diet.
Before you start using salt replacements, consult your dietitian. Certain substitutes can contain potassium, which should be avoided on the renal diet, especially if your potassium level is abnormally high. Inform your dietitian if you already use a salt replacement.
Guidelines for reducing sodium intake
Talking with your dietitian is one of the most beneficial things you can do. Your dietitian will help you figure out how much sodium is in your favorite foods and suggest ways to cut down on your sodium intake. You’ll discover how to season food with low-sodium ingredients and how much sodium you can safely consume.
- Keep a comprehensive food journal to chart your nutritional progress.
- Read the labels on your food to see how much sodium is in it; secret sodium can be found in foods that don’t even taste salty.
- Reduce the consumption of packaged, frozen, and canned foods.
- Keep an eye out for drinks with added sodium.
- To add flavor to your meal, try using fresh herbs and spices.
- Any changes in your weight or swelling should be reported to your doctor.
- When dining out, be cautious; ask for condiments and dressings on the side and avoid cured meats and broth.
- Stop high-sodium convenience foods by preparing your meals and freezing them for later use.