Low-sodium diet aids in managing chronic kidney disease

Early detection was crucial and served as the best ‘weapon’ against CKD.

23 Mar 2024 06:00pm
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - A low-sodium diet can make a significant difference in managing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), a long-term condition characterised by the gradual loss of kidney function over time.

Consultant Nephrologist and Kidney Transplantation at Sunway Medical Centre, Bandar Sunway, Dr Rosnawati Yahya, said some diets, such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and a Mediterranean diet have been shown to be helpful in managing the disease.

She said DASH is a healthy eating plan designed to help prevent or treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and may help lower cholesterol levels, which is often associated with heart disease.

"Emphasising vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts, foods in this diet are rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

"The diet also encourages limiting foods that are high in salt (sodium), additional sugar and saturated fat, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products,” she said in a statement today.

Elaborating on CKD, Dr Rosnawati said it is usually asymptomatic in its early stages, and as a result, most patients remain unaware of any kidney-related problems.

Therefore, she said, early detection was crucial and served as the best ‘weapon’ against CKD.

"Early diagnosis can be done through indicators such as proteinuria (high levels of protein in the patient’s urine) or a reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Related Articles:

"This enables experts to implement strategies that decrease the risks associated with cardiovascular issues, kidney failure, and mortality,” she said.

In Malaysia, CKD is a growing epidemic, with cases escalating from 9.07 per cent in 2011 to 15.48 per cent in 2018. Major risk factors include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and advancing age.

CKD can be classified into five stages, with stage one being the mildest and stage five being kidney failure, where kidney function drops below 15 per cent, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. - BERNAMA