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Early CKD Support
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CKD and Salt, please explain

I have noticed a lot of advice to reduce salt intake. I am trying to figure out the exact reasoning.

I appreciate that a high salt intake can cause/exacerbate high blood pressure and how that pressure can damage your kidneys further....but what if you do not have any blood pressure problems. Is the reduction just a precautionary measure or does the salt/sodium itself directly affect your kidney's health?

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Hi, Fred. If you personally don't watch your sodium intake and don't have high blood pressure, then you are indeed lucky. The new American Medical Association guidelines for daily sodium intake are 1,500 mg per day for a 100% healthy person and everyone else - they used to be 2,300 mg per day.

Why should you watch your sodium intake even if you don't have high blood pressure? I'm sure you can Google it and read a bunch of articles or posts. But I believe the main reason is that besides the extra work on your kidneys (to filter out the excess sodium) and heart (I'm sure high sodium intake makes your heart beat faster) eating excess sodium on a regular basis can LEAD to high blood pressure. It's not worth the risk.

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So just how much sodium are people here generally aiming for a day (I know it varies) but just trying to get an idea of what to aim for

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One's renal diet is based on other factors so mine might be different, as no high blood pressure. I am limited to 2000mg of sodium and usually have around 1500mg.

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Hi, orange. The new AMA guidelines for sodium are 1,500 mg per day for the healthiest persons. I personally believe (and there are lots of articles) that people with CKD should keep it under 1,000 mg per day, especially if you have high blood pressure. The less sodium the better - just like with sugar and please, eliminate high fructose corn syrup.

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I checked my week average (Davita tracker) on sodium and is 900 mg. I try not to go above 1500. I do not have high blood pressure. I watch sugar also.

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Hi, orangecity,

Great job on your sodium control, especially without high blood pressure, which might be why you don't have high blood pressure! LOL I need to start watching my sugars more closely. My last A1C was 5.1% which is great, but I got my second Gout attack of my life on 4/22/19 because I had been gorging on fruits and Jelly Bellies (high fructose corn syrup) before I found out that they could be triggers for Gout.

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Good job to you too, in knowing what you need to watch. Yes that could be why do not have high blood pressure.

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Hi, Fred. The new guidelines are 1,500 mg per day for the healthiest person - I shoot for under 1,000 mgs per day. The less the better - just like with sugar and please, eliminate high fructose corn syrup.

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More salt means your body retains more fluid which means extra work for already compromised kidneys. It would be self-defeating to be taking diuretics and having a high sodium intake.

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Hi, Mysticlad,

Great advice. Well written!

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I think each person is different. I’d follow your doctors advice. Many doctors do not believe a renal diet helps with long term prognosis and does not lengthen life expectancy of CKD. The doctor I consulted with from the Cleveland Clinic advised he recommends dietary advice based on each individual patient. For example. If a patient. Is leaking lots of protein then he restricts protein. If a persons phosphorus levels are elevated he restricts phosphorus. If someone has high blood pressure he restricts sodium. And so on. In my opinion ya gotta balance quality of life vs practicality. Me personally, I’m not willing to eat cauliflower and pineapple all my life to extend my life by a few months. I’m gonna have pizza and beer. Just not much of it! It’s all about portion control. Renal diets are absurdly restrictive.

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Thank you all for your comments. I guess it all boils down to doing the best you can for your body. I will be aiming for a lower sodium intake

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