Is it OK to eat potatoes if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD)? What about tomatoes or bananas? Potassium is found in abundance in all of these foods. Patients with kidney disease are frequently advised to avoid them. I’ve got some exciting news for you! These high potassium foods are safe to eat even if you have kidney problems. However, the frequency with which these items should be consumed varies. Continue reading to find more about the relationship between potatoes and renal illness.
What exactly is potassium?
One of the most prevalent electrolytes in our body is potassium. Without it, our bodies would not function! Every cell in our body contains potassium, which aids in maintaining adequate fluid balance and nutrition transfer. Because our bodies cannot produce potassium, we must obtain it from our diet. Potassium is found in almost every diet. Potassium is found in the largest amounts in fruits and vegetables. The most well-known high potassium foods are potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, and bananas. Potassium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
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Chronic Kidney Disease and Potassium
The issue with potassium and chronic kidney disease (CKD) stems from the fact that surplus potassium is normally excreted in our urine by our kidneys. Our kidneys mostly eliminate potassium through urine. If your kidneys aren’t operating properly, you won’t be able to get rid of potassium as efficiently. Potassium can build up in our systems if our kidneys can’t get rid of it, causing injury. Hyperkalemia is a condition in which the body’s potassium levels are abnormally high. Hyperkalemia affects 10-20% of persons with CKD, and it becomes more common as renal function declines.
Hyperkalemia can cause the following symptoms:
- Weakness or weariness
- Numbness or tingling sensations.
- Breathing problems
- A heart attack or a fast or irregular heartbeat
Other Potassium Influencing Factors:
Medications Potassium levels can be elevated by certain drugs. ARBs (irbesartan, losartan, Olmesartan, valsartan) and ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, enalapril, quinapril, benazepril) are often used in CKD patients and can exacerbate hyperkalemia.
Sugar Levels Hyperkalemia can be exacerbated by high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, it’s critical to do everything you can to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range while simultaneously keeping your potassium in a healthy range to protect your kidneys. A diabetes-friendly diet is essential for maintaining blood sugar control.
Acidosis High potassium levels can also be exacerbated by having too much acid in your blood (a condition known as acidosis). Your renal specialist will measure the amount of acid in your blood on a regular basis and may give acid-reducing drugs, such as sodium bicarbonate. The amount of acid in your body can also be influenced by your diet.
Constipation It’s possible that not pooping on a regular basis is causing your potassium levels to rise. Potassium is excreted in large quantities in our faeces. In fact, renal disease patients’ bodies adjust and eliminate more potassium through bowel movements! Dialysis patients lose up to 80% of the potassium they consume through faeces!
Ayurveda is a type of medicine that has been used to treat kidney illness since ancient times. As a result, one can undoubtedly help with kidney treatment in Ayurveda.
What Potassium Do You Require?
So, we know potassium is beneficial for us, but if your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, you’re at risk of developing hyperkalemia. What a person should do in such a situation? Is it possible to eat potatoes as part of a renal diet? The answer is contingent on the results of your laboratory tests.
Persons with Normal Blood Potassium- This category includes the majority of people with kidney illness. If your potassium level is normal, there is no need to reduce your potassium intake. Potatoes and renal illness are mutually beneficial! In fact, consuming a potassium-rich diet may help regulate blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
People with High Blood Potassium- If your blood potassium level is regularly high, you should lower the amount of potassium you consume. There is no set amount of potassium that persons with hyperkalemia should consume. It is preferable to just reduce the amount of potassium you consume.
Is it Still Possible for Me to Eat Fruits and Veggies?!
YES! It’s typical advice for people with high potassium levels to avoid ALL fruits and vegetables. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY! Despite the high potassium content of fruits and vegetables, there are many healthful options for people on a renal diet who have a high potassium level.
How to Make a Low-Potassium Healthy Meal:
- Vegetables and fruits should account for half of your plate. Yes! You can (and should!) still consume a lot of fruits and veggies. It’s just a matter of picking ones that are low in potassium. If you have diabetes, make non-starchy vegetables half of your plate.
- Include some protein. If you’re going to consume meat, poultry, or fish, limit yourself to 3-6 ounces (or about half the size of the palm of your hand). Plant proteins such as beans, lentils, peas, and nuts can also be used.
- Include a nutrient-dense carbohydrate. Whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, and wild rice are all good options.
- Dairy and Potassium – Dairy has a moderate potassium content. Excess potassium can be caused by eating too much. Milk, yogurt, and cheese all have a moderate amount of fat. Avoid consuming substantial amounts of these items.
- Extra potassium has made its way into our food supply as a result of food additives used in processed meals. Try to stay away from processed foods.
The Verdict on Potatoes and Kidney Disease
Potatoes can be enjoyed by people with kidney disease. This misconception arose due to the high potassium content in potatoes. Most persons with kidney disease, on the other hand, do not need to reduce their potassium intake! In fact, many persons with kidney illness require more potassium in their diet. High blood potassium levels are a problem for certain persons with kidney disease, especially those in advanced stages. If this is the case, you can still eat potatoes on occasion. You simply need to include them as one of your potassium-rich foods. For those of you who adore potatoes, here’s a suggestion. Boiling the potatoes reduces the potassium content by nearly half. Potatoes will be significantly safer to eat for persons with high potassium levels as a result of this. As usual, consult your dietitian – who knows you far better than I do – to determine how much potassium you should consume and how often you should consume it. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine that has been used to treat kidney problems since ancient times. As a result, anyone can help with kidney treatment in Ayurveda.
Consult now and get relieved naturally!