Why would I need to take supplements if I have kidney disease?

Your doctor will probably want you to take a variety of supplements if you have kidney disease.

B complex vitamins are grouped together, but each has a different job to do. One of the important functions of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid is to work together with iron to prevent anemia. Additional B vitamins, called thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin, can also be given as a supplement. These vitamins help to change the foods you eat into energy your body can use.

Vitamin C is used to keep many different types of tissue healthy. It also helps wounds and bruises heal faster and may help prevent infections.

Calcium along with vitamin D helps to keep your bones healthy. It is important to take only the amount of calcium prescribed by your doctor or dietitian. Too much calcium can clump together with phosphorus and deposit in places such as your heart, blood vessels, lungs and other body tissues.

In addition to maintaining healthy bones, newer research shows that vitamin D may also protect against heart disease. There are different types of vitamin D. Your doctor will be specific about the type and amount you should be taking.

Talk with your doctor or dietitian before taking any vitamins that are not ordered for you.
You need to take supplements if you have kidney disease because in kidney disease, you lose important electrolytes and nutrients. Your kidneys stop working, and part of the kidneys' job is to filter out toxins but save essential nutrients and electrolytes. When your kidneys stop working, they can't do their job effectively, and you need supplements to replace the lost electrolytes and nutrients.

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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.