A vegetarian diet is favorable among many people, including renal disease patients. However, is it a good choice for FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis) kidney disease? The answer depends on which stage of FSGS you are in.
Vegetarian diet for early-stage FSGS
Early-stage FSGS usually refers to stage 1 to 3, which is marked by moderated decrease of kidney function, resulting in proteinuria(protein in urine) and swelling(edema). At this time, diet should be sodium and protein restricted. Vegetarian diet usually includes fresh vegetables and fruits. Therefore, patients in early-stage FSGS can not only control their intake of sodium and protein, but also ensure nutritions and vitamins supplement. On that point, vegetarian diet, including foods with high-quality protein are recommended. Egg white, cottage cheese, meat analogues and tofu are all good choices.
Vegetarian diet for end-stage FSGS
For end stage FSGS patients, they need to pay more attention to the foods containing potassium and phosphorus. Having lost more than 70% function, the damaged kidneys cannot keep the electrolyte balance. Though vegetarian diet is of low-protein, low-salt and low-fat, some foods contain high potassium or phosphorus.
Such vegetarian as milk, cheese, yogurt, dried cooked beans and nuts are high in phosphorus. Vegetables like carrot, pumpkin, potato, tomato, greens and fruits like banana, honey-dew melon, orange are of high potassium. Patients in end stage FSGS always have swelling, and many of them may use diuretics. At this time, intake of those foods should be limited.
What’s more, due to large amounts loss of protein in urine, high-quality protein supplement is needed. Generally, 0.8-1.0g/kg of body weight per day is OK.
Therefore it is very necessary to consult a renal dietitian to make a suitable diet plan according to your specific illness condition. Meanwhile, regular blood test and close monitoring of kidney function and electrolyte levels in the blood by your doctor, are also necessary.
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