Why is a low-protein diet necessary for some patients with kidney disease?

Protein is needed for growth, upkeep and repair of all parts of your body. Protein comes from the food you eat. When your body digests it, a waste product called urea is produced. If the kidneys are not working well, urea can build up in the bloodstream and may cause loss of appetite and fatigue. In late stage kidney disease, it's important to limit dietary protein to reduce the workload of the kidneys. There are two main sources of protein, and you will need some of each type of protein each day:
  • Animal products (fish, poultry, eggs, meat and dairy products) are considered high-quality protein. You may need to limit dairy products because they are high in phosphorus; which can cause your blood phosphorus level to be too high.
  • Vegetable products (breads, cereals, rice, pasta and dried beans) are considered low-quality protein.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.