April 18, 2019
Experts agree that eating a healthy diet can be especially important for people who are managing a disease affecting the kidneys. When you or your loved one was initially diagnosed with C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), one of the first things your doctor may have recommended was a low-sodium or low-salt diet. But why?
To put it simply, while sodium is an important nutrient or mineral found in salt and one your body needs to help the nerves and muscles work properly, it can also make a kidney's job harder and can worsen symptoms such as swelling.
When dealing with C3G, the kidneys may already be having a tough time filtering the way they should, so any extra stress on the kidneys should be avoided. Too much salt can be a risk for people diagnosed with C3G.
Here are the most common signs of excessive salt intake:
A kidney's job is to remove waste from the blood. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids and nutrients in your system. Sodium has a domino effect on the body. If your body has too much, your kidneys can't get rid of it. This can lead to high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you can develop other health problems.
In C3G, the kidneys may already be working extra hard to find that healthy balance of salts, minerals, and other nutrients, so any extra intake can be problematic. That's why limiting salt can help the kidneys function to keep the body in balance. A dietitian or doctor can tell you the right amount you or your loved one should have each day.
Most of the sodium we consume doesn't actually come from a salt shaker. It is added to the prepared foods found at supermarkets or restaurants, including many canned, packaged, and "fast" foods. It is also found in many condiments, seasonings, and meats.
To monitor sodium or salt intake, consider making it a habit to read nutrition labels. Percent daily value (DV) in the United States, or reference intake (RI) in the European Union, helps you track the sodium in packaged foods. In the United States, food servings that fall at 5% or less of the DV are considered low sodium, and those that are 20% or more are considered high.
To help limit salt in your diet, the National Kidney Disease Education Program recommends the following:
Changing your diet and cooking style can be challenging, especially if you're cooking for family members with different needs. But when it is critical to your health or the health of a loved one, it's an obstacle that can be overcome.
WeC3G wants to support your healthy eating efforts. Check back for additional tips and tricks on how to fine tune your meal planning and preparation.
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