Diet for CKD level 3

Hi all, I'm a 51 year old female just been diagnosed with CKD level 3. GFR of 53 with elevated creatinine, but no protein in urine. I don't have diabetes, high blood pressure or any of the other risk factors, so not sure of cause and my doctor just wants to monitor me, I'm not being sent to a nephrologist.

She just told me to cut out salt from my diet, but my diet is already low salt. I'm lactose soya and alcohol intolerant so I asked if she could refer me to a dietician. She said it's unlikely unless I get to level 4. I've had a look online and have read that phosphates should be avoided which is fairly tough as I eat a lot of nuts, dried fruit and whole grain stuff. My doc didn't seem overly bothered by diet at this stage but my feeling is that I'd rather do something now to prevent damage rather than leave it till the damage is done. Am I overthinking it? Anyone else change their diet at level 3 or have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

26 Replies

  • I don't believe you're overthinking it. I am 86. Two years ago, my primary care doctor saw the results of a routine blood test showed early CKD. Although she was willing to treat my condition, I consulted a nephrologist whom I continue to see on an infrequent and regular basis. I have remained at state 3 for more than two years. My private health insurance paid for my one-hour consultation with a renal nutritionist. I learned from her that incorporating eggs in my diet was a positive move. I don't know enough about phosphates to comment. Keep reading, researching and asking questions.

  • Thanks I will. I did see a private nutritionist and she was very good for general health but not a renal specialist and I left with more questions than answers. I think I'll go back to my doctor and find out if there is any way of getting to see a specialist dietician. I will continue to question!


  • Not only your doctor , doctors world wide not bothered about their patients, they are only worried about$$$.

    How ever avoid eating high protein foods , high potasium foods, do not eat banana . Green apple i good eat a green apple every day, my GFR is 32 even after 2 heart attacks, im male N 72 YEARS OLD


    DRINKK AT LEAST A Litre o water every day . do not drink bottled beverages which contain additives .

    do little walking

    if u are not hypertensive do not worry much..

    go to the link"GFR Calculator – Glomerular Filtration Rate- Davita " u will get more information n many other link too.

    Hope u will write me back.


  • Thanks for your reply, my potassium levels are actually very low so I don't think I need to restrict that at the moment. This is why I think I'd like to see a dietician as there's a lot of general advice online but each person is different and has different needs.

    I never drink bottled drinks anyway and I do walk twice a day for about 45 minutes each time and I also swim 2-3 times a week, so am relatively healthy which is why, at 51, this has come as a bit of a shock!

  • My nephrologist at Kaiser (who is fabulous) sent me to a "specialist" nutritionist, but she specializes in Dialysis diets, which are very very different than Stage 3 or 4 diets, so be careful.

  • Hi Jodelina.

    I've ckd stage 4 & heart failure had a pacemaker fitted Dec. 2016 also osteoporosis & pernicious anemia,regularly monitored by hospital & Doctor. But would like a varied diet to follow I'm overweight so it obviously dosent help my conditions. .i have a weakness for cheese 🧀 but would appreciate any advice .

    Have a lovely day all 🌹🌹🌹

  • I can't begin to advise you since I'm not a doc or nutritionist and since you have several different conditions. My own diet is now low-protein, low-phosphorus, and of course low-sodium, but you really need to ask what is best for your unique situation. We're all so different.

  • Hi ... I am already very careful with salt /. Sugar / biscuits & cakes etc. but really fed up at my age should be able to look forward to a treat,I don't drink or smoke ,I'm nearly 80'& seem so controlled by medication .oh well enough moaning ,can I thank you again for replying .be happy .

    Peggy 🌹🌹🌹

  • Hi Julesboz, well the first thing to say is it's good that you know your kidney function is a bit lower than it ought to be because there must be hundreds if not thousands of people walking around thinking they are OK because they haven't had a blood test looking for their eGFR (kidney function level). I am 67 and only found out recently from the GP - in Sep last year that I was at eGFR of 59 and they started to monitor me, firstly at 3 months, then as the level started to drop, weekly, until it reached a low of 28 in February (level 4). I was suffering from a chest infection at the time, but until then I had no idea I had actually been at around 60 eGFR from at least Feb 2011, but the doctor didn't inform me. I was referred to a Nephrologist due to the dropping levels and when I asked why I wasn't told by the GP in 2011 about only being at level 60 - he said that as you grow older your function does fall anyway, so a eGRF of 60 at age 60 is not an issue. I do see why you would be worried about it being around 50 at age 51 though. I agree it's best to try and protect the function you still have. Diet is important, but my nephrologist has just said eat a healthy balanced diet. I've cut down on red meat to about 3 - 4 times a month, I have cut out any added salt and avoid processed foods. I have also reduced sugar by cutting out sugary breakfast cereals, just have porridge oats which I enjoy but do still eat fruit. I do have a bit or irritable bowel so have to avoid fruit and veg with skins on, and now don't eat raw apples or cauliflower or brocolli but that's just me. My kidney's are damaged by something I've taken, and although the Neph says it's probably due to using ibuleve gel (NSAID's) for my joints and taking vits and mineral supplements I believe the problem was caused by taking Omeprazole (stomach acid suppressant) as the drop in function came 6 months after I started taking it and has since picked up since I stopped taking it (and the supplements and gel) in Feb. I'm now up to eGRF 40. Neph said if I'm still at eGRF 40 when he sees me in Oct then he'll sign me off. So I'm not an expert on diet but you cannot go wrong with eating food that has not been processed and is fresh and if possible organic as that's when you get the most nutrients. Like you I don't drink alcohol and drink plenty of fresh water. I also get exercise from walking and keeping active around the house and garden. I wish you all the best for the future.

  • My eGFR started dropping after two years of Nexium. But I can't stop. I've tried and I just die of pain. I have Barrett's Esophagus.

  • Hi.. can I ask you please how your ckd reading is so high ? Mine is between 19& 20 . I really don't understand please advise me.

    Kind regards thank you

    Peggy ❤️❤️❤️

  • Hi Peggy - I think I'm just at eGRF of 40 because my kidney's were damaged by something but they don't know for sure what, but I don't have anything else wrong with them if that makes sense - I suppose it's like loosing some of your hearing function when you've been exposed to loud noises, you'll never get that back, but you can stop it getting any worse by avoiding places where there are loud noises or wear hearing protection. My kidney's still work but not as well as they did a year ago. It may get worse as I get older, because the nephrologist says they age the same as everything else, but I'm hoping they won't deteriorate too quickly. Everyone is different, so if you are worried about the level of kidney function you have, you need to talk to your GP and get referred to a Nephrologist if you haven't already done so, which I imagine you have. Try not to worry because, if you are being monitored and doing what the specialists tells you to do, you can do no more and a lot of good people on this web site seem to say that they still have a fulfilled life even with low kidney function. I wish you all the best X

  • Hello,Sunset.

    So kind of you to reply to me, yes I'm. Monitered by a cardiologist & nephrologist including my GP .im. Supposed one of the lucky. Ones & am grateful for that believe me I know how luck I am. &. Thank. God every day,im sending you my thanks &'love be happy keep well,.

    Kindle remembered , Peggyn🌹🌹🌹

  • I'm at 30 and also no diabetes, high blood pressure or anemia. Low protein and low phosphate has helped me stabilize (I was at 27) the last 3 months. It's hard and counterintuitive to cut out/down on "healthy" foods, like nuts, seeds, whole grains, fatty fish, and dairy, but it does make a difference. I eat a lot of popcorn, polenta, matzah, and cornflakes to fill me up. I call it my Wonder Bread (actually Wonder Woman) diet.

  • Thanks for the positive comments, yes I've spent my adult life trying to eat a 'healthy' diet and to convince my family to do the same and now I can't follow my own advice! How ironic!

  • I've been through the miscommunication with doctors my GFR has gone from 50 to 28 the diet drive you mad as you can't eat anything basically I've just decided what ever I'm doing isn't helping so why bother clinically there is nothing wrong with me I'm going to live my life normally and let's see what happens

  • I am 70 year old female and have also been diagnosed recently with CKD level 3, 39 during a routine physical. I feel fine. I have started to drink more water, added green tea, cut back on sugar substitute splenda, avoid salt, stopped taking Advil and Prilosec and my GFR has improved already by 3 points. No other health issues. I have not been referred to a dietician but did see a Nephrologist. She is running more blood and urine tests and wants to see me in 6 weeks. She feels strongly that the excessive use of Advil for the last 6 years due to a broken shoulder with shoulder implant, with the addition of heartburn pill Prilosec recently caused this issue. I also put myself on a diet which has resulted in a weight loss of 5 pounds so far with the addition of fruits and vegetables and less protein, and no red meat. Good luck to you Julesboz. I agree with you that preventative care is the way to go.

  • Omeprazole ,anti-inflamitories, and Metformin played a large part to my kidney failure and its also genetic.

  • Yes, I've heard that a lot. For me it's weird though. No-one in my family has ever had kidney problems and I've never taken anti inflammatories or other drugs for any period of time. I have absolutely no idea why this would have happened!

  • I use Stevia. It comes from a plant. It has been mentioned in several things I have read.

  • Hello. Mryta±123456______..thank you for your opinions so happy to read your comment,& views. Keep safe & well.

    Peggy 🌹🌹🌹

  • Exactly how I thought to do something before it got worse but I got consumed by it and it lead to more anxiety for me and weight loss and depression. I am 35 and have been stage 3 for 5 years. There really should be professionals out there working with us more around diet and counselling but I guess it all costs!

  • Missyclare, yes I can imagine you could get over anxious about what you eat. I was terrified a couple of weeks ago when I got diagnosed and was afraid to eat anything! I've now calmed down (I think it was the shock of being told I have a chronic disease) and am eating sensibly, but avoiding processed food, salt and the things I'm intolerant to. I am due to see an NHS renal dietician on Monday, so it will be interesting to see if she thinks I'm taking the right approach.

  • Oh wow that is great news you are getting to see a renal dietician at stage 3. May ask for myself. Hope all goes well :)

  • Definitely ask, that's what I did, I wouldn't have seen one unless I did. I've found that doctors have a routine script for certain conditions but if you question them they quite often will consider going off script. I explained that I already have food intolerances and want to make sure that my diet isn't going to make my kidneys worse. Just tell them you'd rather see a renal dietician now and prevent getting to level 4-5.

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