Kidney disease and related ailments, like diabetes, high blood pressure and anemia, can be worsened by overindulgence over the holidays. Enjoy the celebration by planning ahead, discussing any concerns with your nephrologist or dietician, and knowing when to say “no.”
Practice portion control. The holidays don’t need to mean “indulgent.” Reduce your portions so your kidneys don’t struggle to digest and metabolize proteins.
Watch your fluids. Excessive fluids, even from hidden culprits like gravy and Jell-O, can be harmful, especially for those on dialysis. Alcoholic beverages can stimulate your appetite and reduce dietary self-control.
Know the menu. The holiday table will likely include delectable dishes certain to test your willpower and your renal system. These include protein-rich peas, lentils, carob, soybeans, peanuts, tamarind and beans, and sodium-, phosphorous- and potassium-rich salt, potatoes, yams, tomatoes, bananas, even guacamole, Brussel sprouts, citrus, dried fruit and orange juice. Don’t be bashful. Ask the host what’s for dinner. If needed, bring healthier foods or beverages.
Politely decline. Invitations to gatherings and dinner parties may test your self-control. It’s OK to politely declin/e. Your health comes first.
Be diligent with dialysis. End-stage renal disease requires diligence. Watch food and fluid intake, and note how your dialysis schedule coincides with your party schedule.
Be smart about your holiday habits to help ensure a healthy season. In fact, carry them into 2015 to have a healthier year ahead.