Study shows that losing weight helps preserve kidney function especially in obese people with kidney disease. In fact, taking off a couple pounds may be an overlooked task that kidney disease patients can practice. Kidney disease affects about 26 million people in the United States and threatens another 73 million who have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of the disease. It is also proven that poor eating habits, smoking, and obesity add to the risk of Kidney disease.
According to a report by the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, people were at an elevated risk for developing kidney problems if they ate lots of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and sodium, and did not eat much in the way of fruit, legumes, or nuts. Their risk of developing kidney disease doubled if their body mass index was 30 or higher, and it was 60% higher if they smoked.
About one third of US adults are either obese or overweight. Weight loss in general can improve a number of health problems, help control diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and bring down the effects of heart disease. An analysis revealed that weight loss achieved through diet and exercise helps reduce proteinuria (excess excretion of protein in the urine; a hallmark of kidney damage) and may prevent additional decline in kidney function in obese patients with kidney disease.
Weight Loss Tips
Losing weight may be hard work, but it doesn’t need to be complex. Every day, people miscalculate how much they really eat, which can contribute to gaining weight. For people dealing with kidney problems, it may benefit you to limit high calorie food choices and high sodium foods. Here are some weight loss tips for anyone looking to shed some pounds.
Every time you eat and drink each day, try to keep a journal or food log. Consider serving sizes so you can recognize when and where you’re overeating. There are lots of mobile apps that can keep track of all the calories you take in. If you’re someone following a diet for kidney disease, make especially sure to keep track of potassium, phosphorus and sodium, in addition to calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat.
- Workout Plan
Plan your physical activity ahead of time and it will be easier to stick with. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. To determine calories burned, utilize mobile apps, websites and charts to find an estimate based on your weight and type of workout.
- Make Changes
By that, I mean switching the high calorie foods that you enjoy to lower calorie alternatives. Like instead of frying favorite foods try baking, grilling or broiling. Limit yourself to smaller portions and control your sodium and phosphorus intake.
How Weight Loss Helps Control Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. According to the CDC, 34 million people had diabetes in 2019 alone.
Reducing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight may help you better manage your diabetes and keep blood sugar levels under control. Sustaining a healthy weight has its apparent health benefits, but it can also help you control your diabetes.
In reality, weight loss can strengthen your blood sugar control and drastically lower your chances for diabetes complications like high blood pressure and plaque buildup in the arteries. Doctors always prioritize weight loss for those dealing with diabetes. In addition, with type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t properly respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas, and your blood glucose levels rise. That’s said to be insulin resistance and it’s linked to excess weight, therefore weight loss helps your body become more efficient and can use the insulin more easily. Because insulin sensitivity improves with weight loss, you’ll also see better results when you do an A1C test, which supplies a picture of your blood glucose levels over the previous three months.
Excess weight adds to the problem of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease, but losing weight can lower your risk. Another reason to work out is that obesity and insulin resistance are linked with vascular inflammation, which can lead to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Losing weight also helps increase energy and improve people’s mood.
Weight Loss during CKD
37 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). People fail to understand how serious chronic kidney disease is, this disease means enduring damage to the kidneys that can get worse over time. If the damage is immensely bad, your kidneys may stop working. This is called kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If your kidneys fail, you will require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live. The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. When these two are controlled by treatment, the associated kidney disease can often be prevented or slowed down.
Some people experience fatigue, some have leg cramps, too much urine or not enough urine, trouble sleeping but what I want to focus on here is the loss of appetite. Yes, it’s possible to experience the loss of your appetite or when you’re constantly in a mood where you don’t feel hungry. This symptom is not encouraging weight loss rather the opposite. An individual should not mistake this symptom as a means to reduce weight. A healthy Kidney-friendly diet is recommended for CKD.
Overall, weight loss is ideal for the kidneys. Losing weight helps maintain kidney function in obese people with kidney disease and in some cases, it may even halt or slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease and other kidney related diseases. Are you at an impasse trying to make sense of your diet and what the best way to lose weight would be? Take a look at our complete diet guide for easy-to-follow meal plans and recipe ideas sure to satisfy even the most finicky palates while keeping your normal kidney function well-supported.