Kidney Diet Tips

Low Potassium Diet: Necessary for all People with CKD?

Potassium restriction is not required by all people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Usually those on hemodialysis or in late stage kidney failure, but not yet on dialysis are prescribed a lower potassium diet by their doctor or dietitian. People with early stage chronic kidney disease or daily dialysis may require a more liberal potassium intake unless their lab values are high.

This is often confusing when first diagnosed with CKD. Doctors and dietitians monitor potassium lab values to determine when their patient needs to start limiting foods high in potassium. As kidney function declines, more potassium is retained in the blood, so dietary intake must be reduced to prevent high potassium levels. Too much potassium is dangerous and can cause heart failure.

People who are unsure can check with their kidney doctor and dietitian to confirm an individual daily goal for potassium as well as other diet parameters.

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.