Q:

Are dairy products bad for those with kidney disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Dairy products, which contain high levels of calcium and phosphorous, are not the best choices for people with chronic kidney disease, according to DaVita. Unhealthy kidneys are unable to properly process and manage these minerals, leaving the excess to build up in the blood stream and causing calcification in other areas of the body. Without proper absorption from food sources, the body releases calcium and phosphorous from the bones which causes them to weaken over time.

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Full Answer

Kidney patients also need to manage protein, sodium and potassium levels on a renal diet, according to Drugs.com. Dairy foods, including cheese, milk and yogurt, are rich sources of protein and diseased kidneys are less efficient at processing protein waste in the blood.

Nondairy substitutes may be recommended by a dietitian; however, ingredients and formulas change frequently, states DaVita. Patients should read the ingredients labels of milk alternatives, including rice milk, soy milk, almond milk and nondairy creamer, and avoid products with phosphate additives or that have been fortified with calcium.

Kidney patients should follow a renal diet that limits foods such as nuts, beans, whole grains, soda and cocoa, according to Drugs.com. Beer is high in phosphorous, and meat, poultry, fish and eggs are high in protein. Sodium is limited to 1,500 milligrams per day on a renal diet, and a doctor may recommend reducing how much liquid a patient can consume.

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