Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is the progressive loss of kidney function. The kidneys attempt to compensate for renal damage by hyperfiltration (excessive straining of the blood). Over time, hyperfiltration causes further loss of function.
Chronic loss of function causes generalized wasting (shrinking in size) and progressive scarring within all parts of the kidneys.
In time, overall scarring obscures the site of the initial damage. Yet, it is not until over 70% of the normal combined function of both kidneys is lost that most patients begin to experience symptoms of kidney failure.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure
Chronic renal failure (CRF) usually produces symptoms when renal function — which is measured as the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) — falls below 30 milliliters per minute (< 30 ml/min). This is approximately 30% of the normal value.
When the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) slows to below 30 ml/min, signs of uremia (high blood level of protein by-products, such as urea & creatinine) may become noticeable. When the GFR falls below 15 ml/min most people become increasingly symptomatic. Uremic symptoms can affect every organ system in the body.
Chronic renal failure nutrition should have a balance of fluids and electrolyte and adjusting the diet to prevent accumulation of toxic waste product to the minimum possible level.
Chronic renal failure nutritional needs are as follows:
- The food should be high in calories and low in protein.
- Avoid canned, baked, processed and preserved foods.
- Salted cheese, butter and nuts should be avoided.
- To reduce potassium content, vegetables should be cooked with more water and excess should be drained off.
- Avoid fruits, fruit juices, and coconut water.
- If potassium is restricted avoid tea, coffee, bajra, maize, ragi, wheat flour, pulses and legumes, chocolates, vegetables, fruits, sauces, jam, jellies.
Treatment for renal failure
Prevention is always the goal with kidney failure. Chronic disease such as hypertension and diabetes are devastating because of the damage that they can do to kidneys and other organs. Lifelong diligence is important in keeping blood sugar and blood pressure within normal limits.
Specific treatments are dependent upon the underlying diseases. Once kidney failure is present, the goal is to prevent further deterioration of renal function. If ignored, the kidneys will progress to complete failure, but if underlying illnesses are addressed and treated aggressively, kidney function can be preserved, though not always improved.
Information provided in this article is for the sole purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.