What do you do for renal diet at stage 3 when traveling?


I find I am very stressed when I need to leave my home and have to travel elsewhere for appointments, visits and or funeral or wedding etc. I get so perplexed as to what to eat and how to stay on renal diet. I find that my calorie count is low, protein is low and really find it difficult with restaurant dining for three meals each day. I bring fruit, cereal and water from home to have something available. Have not had the opportunity to speak with dietician as to any suggestions. For example I attended memorial service today and at luncheon there was absolutely nothing there that I would be able to eat, so just had water. Also what do you do when unable to eat due to dental problems? Have had kidney disease for a year and I just don't know where to find some advice as to what others do in these situations. Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you.

25 Replies

  • Have ypu seen a diatician yet? It depends it your blood results whst diet you need to follow. When out my partner just does his best je is now stage 5 but at stage 3 he would just not worry for the times he was out and his diatician was fine with this. But everyone is different. He to has bad teeth but this does bot seem to bother him much. What is your potassium and phosphate levels like. If ypir phosphate is high ypu can ask for binders my partner takes them if he is going out for a heavy meal so he does not have to worry so much.

  • It's been over a year since I have seen a dietician. Doctor has refused a referral. Last labs phosphorus and potassium were within normal range. Thank you for your response.

  • traveling has nothing to do with renal diat , as long as u are a renal patient it is better you continue to have the prescribed renal diat

  • I think you have misunderstood what Grams70 is saying. They are saying that they find it difficult to get food that is compatible with a renal diet whilst they are away from home attending a function. I am sure we have all been somewhere and found the food on offer completely unsuitable for us. I know I have. I went to a new years eve party and nearly all the food was very high in salt so I had to be very careful with what I ate.

  • Thank you for your response. Yes you understood what I was saying. Sometimes the options we have for food choices can be difficult to choose on a renal diet and if we elect not to eat anything that is not a good choice for our nutrition either.

  • Thank you. That is my issue I am trying to follow a renal diet but in some situations that is difficult to follow as you may not have many choices.

  • Thank you. That is what I am trying to do is to follow a renal diet but sometimes we don't have many choices to chose from that are healthy.

  • Hi Grams70

    I have been stage3 EGFR for 20 years and not followed a special diet. My kidney specialists have advised to drink lots of water. Recently what's helped me is getting my thyroid treated and going from EGFR 48 last year to EGFR 88 recently. I am incredulous and pleased. My kidney function stayed the same for 20 years without a special diet. I'm sure you husband will be fine if he drinks lots of water. Have a nice time xx

  • So pleased that your GFR has increased! Thank you for your response.

  • That's fantastic news! Congrats!

  • When I was diagnosed (at stage 4!) a couple of years ago I went in to a diet frenzy much the same way as you are describing. I gave up all meat, was on zero salt, no fizzy drinks, no coffee, no bananas, no alcohol and would sit and sulk at restaurants and round friends houses if their food did not suit me. Over the last year or so whilst I am really good with what I eat at home, I am more chilled about what I eat when I go out. Think about it, for most of the time you are going to be able to prepare and eat only the food that you have read is not bad for people with kindly disease and the odd time you have to have food prepared by someone else that is not going to have a material impact on the health of your kidneys. I would urge you to make the time to see a renal dietician as we are all different. For example, I am at late stage 4 (16%) and my potassium and phosphate levels are absolutely fine so I have no fruit restrictions. Above all just try to be positive and don’t get stressed which is more harmful to us than most foods!. I cant help on the dental problems front.

  • Thank you for your response. Am going to see my doctor at end of July and hopefully will get a referral to a dietician. Unfortunately in these situations I get very stressed so need to come up with a plan to prevent some of this stress. Sometimes I feel discouraged and just want to give up on this diet completely.

  • I have been stage 3 for about 6 years&have also never been told to follow a renal diet yet so I wouldn't worry too much...I think sticking to a generally healthy diet is ok at stage 3?!

  • I really haven't been given much advice other than I had to lose weight and I am going by the advice from the site davita for the different stages. Really need to see a dietician so will ask for a referral again. You are correct that following a healthy diet is ok.

  • Hi. I stick to a diet that restricts protein intake to 45grams per day. For example I keep to about 100 grams of meat or 125 grams fish (preferably omega 3 fish ), chicken and turkey. Fresh veg or salads etc. Apart from losing weight have moved my GFR from 39 to 66. So it works!

  • Thank you.

  • Hi! I agree with you sometimes it is very hard to travel, when I am gone for a week or so I don't eat near as much, because sodium is in everything and I get so so swollen. But I think the advice from others here is really good, see a dietician based off your own labs, everyone is different :) I have high potassium, so I do always stay away from those foods, and then I have a protein gram restriction for each meal. So it's not as bad as if you were to just google renal diet. Maybe it won't be for you too. Anyway, for traveling, I just look at it like a vacation / treat. I usually pack larabars that I like and order lower sodium foods as much as possible, a lot of times I order seeet foods that I wouldn't normally eat at home, and the sodium isn't as bad, and then I'm actually looking forward to eating it. Haha!! But overall you just have to not stress about it too too much while traveling. Enjoy life and just do what you can while away, worry about being stricter at home.

  • Thank you for your advice. I am going to plan on trying to relax and try to enjoy my life more. I have stayed at home while husband travels because of food issues. Will purchase cooler and pack foods that I am allowed. I am trying to get a referral to a dietician as it is difficult to find a renal dietician for private consult.

  • Just out of interest what is your eGFR?

  • My GFR is 54.

  • If your levels are all in normal range you just need to stick to a normal healthy diet plenty of fluids & no added salt you are making your life a misery from the start my husband didn't need to alter his diet untill stage 5 when things are out of synch he was stage 3 for many years about 16 at least he ate normal stuff if your neph thinks you need to see a renal dietitian they will refer you don't make your life a misery you can do more harm than good you other organs also need proteins,phosphates etc heart,lungs,liver etc thats why you would be referred if you needed to be my husband although has high phosphates but also low protein so he needs the high protein phosphate food (which is high in phosphates) to counteract that he takes phosphate binders! please follow your nephs advice asmuch asyou can x

  • Thank you for your advice. Right now my labs are within normal range. I am taking potassium supplements. My nephrologist gave me no advice on diet other than protein and that was a year ago. So am using davita as my guidelines. Wishing the best for you and your husband.

  • you must be a little low in potassium which is unusual as renal patients often follow a low potassium diet beware of smoothies as they are high in potassium Davita pages are excellent i've tried a few recipes x

  • Well, it appears you've gotten a lot of great advice from others about not worrying too much if you now and then veer off your diet. I'm offering a word of sympathy and understanding as well and completely understand your anxiety!

    I have an extremely hard time eating out. I am gluten free as it gives me horrible stomach and other issues. I'm also very intolerant to soy, lemon and , carrot and slightly intolerant to a long list of other foods as well as allergic to several foods which give me hives. My neph is convinced my IGA Nephropathy is caused by my food intolerances because they cause inflammation. Then add trying to eat low sodium and a moderate amount of protein. Plus I've been seeing a holistic kidney doctor who has me cutting out all oils except olive and coconut oil,nuts except walnuts, and some other restrictions. You can imagine my panic! Needless to say, I dropped a bunch of weight at first. Luckily I went gluten free years ago and discovered the food intolerances before the kidney disease so I was able to make changes in baby steps.

    Believe it or not, I have come to view the whole thing as a blessing because I eat a lot healthier now. I am a huge foodie and would stress eat really high fat sugary foods when stressed which was a lot. Now, I'm actually fulfilled by Whole Foods and enjoy them.

    I am away from home a lot as my husband and I are artists so we do vending out of town at art shows. Sorry this is so long, but wanted you to know my issues.

    Here's what I do:

    1. I have a thermos that holds several compartments of foods. I can pack hot and cold items in it-chopped up fruits, salads, gluten free sandwiches etc. It's compact, you don't have to worry about taking a cooler and usually has a strap for carrying like a purse. They aren't big, so you can easily take it to a function.

    2. I have a bullet blender. I pre-make smoothies packed with kale, fruit, flax oil (. High in omega 3 and reduces inflammation- adds calories and fat so helps fill you up) and hemp powder which adds protein. Pop it into a tumbler thermos and you've got a whole meal on the go. Plus, it tastes like a milk shake to me as I use mostly frozen ingredients. Yum!

    3. Take along mini tubs of those on-the-go packs of applesauce or peaches.

    4. Friends and family all know my issues so they let me pick restaurants. I always check out menus ahead of time so I know what I'm going to order. You can often ask for steamed veggies and rice without seasoning and I sometimes bring along my own dressing.

    Just takes some planning and prep work, but it keeps me feeling well.

    Many blessings and great health to you in the year ahead!

  • Hi Zazzel

    Thank you so very much for your detailed information. I appreciate it. It sounds like you are doing well with your diet and it does take preplanning. I like the idea of making smoothies. Glad you are feeling well and many blessings to you too!

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