I’ve been diagnosed with early stage kidney disease. How do you know what kinds of fruits and vegetables to eat? There isn’t nutrition information at the store.

Dietary modifications such as phosphorus and potassium restrictions are usually not necessary in the earlier stages of CKD, but this will vary person to person and depend on your lab values. You should speak with a Registered Dietitian. He or she will be able to work with you to customize a meal plan that will meet your specific needs, including your weight, health history, medications, activity level, lab values and level of kidney function.

If you do not have a Registered Dietitian, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has an online referral system which may help you find a qualified practitioner in your area. Click on the link below to access the database. In addition, your health care provider should also be able to refer you to a Registered Dietitian in your area.  http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/

Click on the link below to read more about nutrition and CKD in stages 1-4:  http://www.kidney.org/atoz/pdf/NutriKidFail_Stage1-4.pdf

I’ve been diagnosed with stage 4 CKD. I’ve had kidney disease for five years. My last two lab results show a slight increase in kidney function. I wanted to know if diet had a lot to do with the slight improvement (gfr 21 to 27) in my kidney function. The test showing GFR 21 was done in February. I had another test two months later. What do you advise?

This question is difficult to answer without more information regarding your health history, diet prescription, medications and other pertinent information. It would be best if you ask your nephrologist about changes in your lab values. Speak to your health care provider and he or she should be able to better address your question.

Why are whole grain products to be avoided with stage 4 CKD? I have been diabetic for over 35 years and have always eaten whole grain foods for that. I hate white bread and love sandwiches for my kidney-friendly lunch.

Whole grain foods like whole wheat bread, bran cereal and brown rice are typically higher in phosphorus and potassium than refined white bread. Depending on your lab values, you may be able to include some whole grain products in moderation. Work with your Registered Dietitian to decide what is best for you based on your lab values and dietary needs.

I’m newly diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy and I am trying to figure out what would be the best diet. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

You may want to ask your health care provider for a referral to a Registered Dietitian if you have not already done so. He or she should be able to work with you to create a meal plan that would meet your specific needs based on a variety of factors including weight, health history, medications, lab values and current level of kidney function. In some cases of IgA Nephropathy, a health care provider may recommend a diet limiting protein or a renal diet. Other treatments may include consuming omega 3 fatty acids or controlling blood pressure through diet and medications if necessary. This will vary person to person and you should speak to your health care provider before making any changes to your current diet or taking any type of dietary supplement. Click on the link below to read more: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/iganeph.cfm