Food – Diet or Death!

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So diet is a big part of treating kidney disease.  Watching the amount of Phosphorus, Calcium and Potassium that I take in is important and must be monitored.  However I never even heard of phosphorus until my kidneys failed and I ended up in the hospital in June 2012.  I had heard of Calcium and Potassium but didn’t know they were bad for me.  Foods that are high in Phosphorus include all dairy, all dried beans, nuts, some vegetables like avocados, chocolate, whole wheat, salmon, tofu, dark soda’s (diet coke).  Foods high in potassium include salmon, avocados, spinach, and bananas.  High calcium foods include all dairy, nuts and broccoli.  So I am on a very weird diet where I can’t eat wheat bread, or some vegetables I like and  no chocolate and very limited dairy.  Buying foods has been difficult as the current nutritional information labels do not include Phosphorus or Potassium, although it does have calcium listed.  A new label is being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.  The National Kidney Foundation lobbying efforts were directed at getting Phosphorus and Potassium listed.  It looks as though only Potassium will make the new label.

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It is a step in the right direction which hopefully will make shopping a little easier.  Hopefully in the future Phosphorus will be added to the nutritional label.  Right now with all food I ingest I must take a horse pill that is a phosphorus binder that will prevent the phosphorus from going into my blood.  I take about 10 of these giant pills per day and along with my diet it is controlling the phosphorus levels in my blood.  The calcium and potassium levels go up and down and one month I am told to eat a banana and take a calcium supplement and then the next month it is voodoo.

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