Personalized Nutritional Therapy: How It Can Help CKD Patients
Approximately 14 percent of American adults are affected by the daily complications and burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD). While a kidney-specific diet can help better manage comorbidities and mitigate disease complications, the diet can be confusing and difficult for patients to navigate. Personalized nutritional therapy with a renal dietitian can help patients address the dietary challenges specific to their disease and eat foods that can help manage their conditions better. We’ve highlighted the most significant benefits that patients may experience with the therapy below.
1. Improved clinical outcomes and comorbidity management
Medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which includes personalized nutritional therapy as well as nutrition diagnostic and counseling services, can impact kidney-specific lab values. For example, a study that focused on nutrition intervention for patients with CKD stage 4 or 5 pre-dialysis found that:
- Serum phosphate levels were lower in the nutrition intervention group than the control group despite the fact that the use of phosphate binders was greater in the control group patients.
- The use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents therapy was considerably lower in the nutrition intervention group than the control group.
- Albumin was higher in the nutrition intervention group.
MNT can help patients manage chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. One study found that patients who met with a dietitian at least two times to receive MNT for diabetes had a one to two percent lower hemoglobin A1c level than patients who had received only basic nutrition education. Another study focusing on low sodium diets for hypertension found that patients who received dietary counseling by a dietitian and followed the sodium-restricted diet had a statistically significant improvement in blood pressure and hydration status.
Diabetes and hypertension are the leading cause of CKD, so often CKD exists with at least one, if not both, of these diagnoses. When an expert in the nutrition field, such as a registered dietitian, provides dietary information, patient labs may be positively impacted and, ultimately, clinical outcomes and overall health may improve.
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