CKF 3 Plant based diet: My Creatinine... - Early CKD Support

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CKF 3 Plant based diet


My Creatinine level is 1.72. My GFR currently is 43. ( has been below 60 for the last 5 years and primary care doctor never mentioned any concern until I emailed about the consistently high creatinine levels, referred to nephrologist who put me on complete plant based diet along with no sodium, no processed foods, no dairy. (I have no history of diabetes or HBP) my sodium, potassium levels are within range and my phosphorous is actually low. I also have low vitamin D. Not sure why the plant based diet vs a renal diet. On a renal diet you should not eat potassium, avocado and certain other plants but allowed limited meat dairy. On plant based diet you can eat nuts, bananas etc which is limited on renal? NO other tests results indicative of CKF except the GFR and Creatinine ( not downplaying them). Concerned that diet is too restrictive. Would rather follow renal diet and think it is more appropriate. Also concerned that GFR has been low for 5 years and no one said anything. Small adjustments could have been made back then possibly limiting major adjustments now. Any thoughts on these test results? Thank you.

10 Replies

Hi Nsm,

There are so many different forms of diets that one should be tailored for you. Did you speak with a renal dietician or did the doctor actually go over food groups with you? A plant based diet for someone who is not a kidney patient is different than one for without kidney issues. The other thing about working with a dietician is they can help you figure out what swaps of foods you can have so that you can live with the diet. A diet that is too restrictive for the patient is going to fail.

I would speak again to the doctor because your two levels indicate stage 3 CKD.

Quite often patients are not diagnosed until stage 3 and sometimes stage 4. The good news is that you can maintain your levels with diet and healthy living and a good attitude.

We can also improve levels through dietary changes, ongoing hydration and moderate exercise. Just thought I would mention that.

Marvin8 in reply to lowraind

What is "moderate" exercise, and why not "vigorous" exercise?

lowraind in reply to Marvin8

My understanding is that vigorous exercise can raise creatinine levels, which shows in a lower egfr.

Hi nsm5813

There is so much new research coming out to support Plant Based diets and Kidney disease. It can take about 20 years sometimes for the latest research to hit mainstream medical care though. It's hard changing your diet. I would consider myself 'transitioning' to Plant based. I reckon it is worth giving it a go if you know what your blood results are so you can tweek appropriately.

Good Luck

lowraind in reply to Mojomo

I would say "plant-based", with consciousness of those fruits and vegetables that are not the healthiest for us.

I am all for following your individual doctors advice. But some things seem a little odd to me. For example you say your potassium levels are fine. Yet your diet recommendation is to not eat any potassium?? Your level has been constant for 5 years. Most of your blood test results show things are in normal range (except creatinine). Your low in others such as phosphorous. And you say a renal diet does not allow nuts, etc. If seems you are in a position that you should not do either renal or plant based completely. You need to simply adjust your current diet (which has worked for 5 years) and add a couple of things to raise the levels that are low (a handful of nuts daily, something high in vitamin D). As well as you are doing (5 years) I would be fearful to change completely.

nsm5813 in reply to RickHow

Thank you.. I must have written something incorrectly.. my GFR has been steadily decreasing for 5 years and has dropped about 30% in the last 8 months if I am reading it correctly...

I have mild CKD (GFR ranging from 49-59) and a NHS dietician told me to eat a healthy balanced diet and not to go too drastic and cut out loads of food groups otherwise I might miss out on vital nutrients. The general advice I always give (I follow this and my kidney function has improved) is eat plenty of whole fresh foods, including veg, avoid processed food, salt and fizzy drinks. Moderate dairy, red meat and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and avoid drugs that can cause kidney problems like NSAIDs. Also do a moderate level of exercise and keep a good weight. I, like you, have low potassium levels, so I eat plenty of potassium rich foods, which a lot of kidney friendly diets tell you to avoid. The key is to talk to a dietician (preferably a renal one) who can review your blood results and give you some advice that is tailored for you as everyone is different.

Thank you! This sounds like a reasonable thing to do and something that can be sustained.

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