A bundle of bananas against a blue background.
Bananas are high in potassium, and kidneys with decreased function may not be able to process it.

Top Foods Diabetics With Kidney Disease Shouldn't Eat

Navigating a kidney-friendly diet is crucial for those with kidney disease, as certain foods can play a vital role in managing and supporting kidney health. In this article, we talk about foods to avoid with kidney disease and diabetes, so you can better manage your symptoms. Some treatment options include Epoetin Alfa-Epbx; this medication is used to treat anemia (low red blood cell count) in people with long-term serious kidney disease (chronic kidney failure).

5 Worst Foods and Drinks

People with kidney disease or diabetes should talk with their doctor about the best diet for their condition. Individual dietary needs may vary depending on a person’s age, activity levels, and any other additional medical conditions. But some general foods to avoid if you have kidney disease and diabetes, include the following:

1. Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium, which you may need to avoid. A decrease in kidney function may cause potassium to build up in the body. If potassium levels become too high, it can interfere with your heart rhythm.

People with kidney disease may want to limit potassium-rich foods. Talk with your doctor about how much potassium you can have. Other foods high in potassium include tomatoes, oranges, and nuts.

2. Canned Soup

Usually, canned soup contains a lot of sodium, and too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and increased kidney disease. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, to help control blood pressure, sodium levels should not exceed 2,300 milligrams a day.

3. Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, contain phosphorus. Similar to potassium, phosphorus can build up in the blood if the kidneys are not functioning well. When phosphorus levels climb, it can pull calcium from the bones, which may leave you at risk for fractures.

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4. Sweets

Limit foods high in sugar, such as cakes, cookies, and candy. These high-sugar foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike and make diabetes worse. They also do not have any nutritional value and are high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain. If you have a sweet tooth, consider a small piece of fruit instead or limit dessert to a few bites.

5. Processed Meats

Processed meats, such as hot dogs, deli meats, and bacon, also often have a high amount of sodium. Deli meats can also contain phosphorus, which should be limited. Instead of processed meats, opt for fresh foods, and lean protein.

What's the Relationship?

Diabetes is associated with kidney disease. People with diabetes either do not make adequate insulin or do not use insulin properly to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The result may be high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar may damage various organs and blood vessels in the body.

If blood sugar levels are too high, it can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. When the kidneys become damaged, they do not function as well. Additionally, diabetes may also damage the nerves, which can make it difficult to empty the bladder. Pressure may build, and that may also damage the kidneys.

How Diet Can Affect Kidney Disease and Diabetes

The foods you eat can play a vital role in managing both diabetes and kidney disease. Choosing certain foods and avoiding others may help prevent worsening symptoms of both diseases.

The better you manage your diabetes, the better it is for preventing and treating kidney disease. Certain foods are better than others to manage blood sugar levels, and in turn, kidney disease.

The opposite is also true. Eating certain foods may cause blood sugar levels to spike and make managing diabetes more difficult. Out-of-control blood sugar levels may increase a person’s risk of developing kidney disease or make the existing disease worse.

Warning Signs of Kidney Disease

  • Swelling in the ankles, legs, or face (edema).
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Changes in urine frequency and color (foamy or dark urine).
  • Increased or decreased urine output.
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria).
  • Difficulty concentrating and mental fog.
  • Persistent high blood pressure.
  • Elevated levels of creatinine and urea in blood tests.
  • Frequent nighttime urination (nocturia).
  • Itchy skin and skin rashes.
  • Muscle cramps and twitches.
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss.
  • Swelling or puffiness around the eyes.
  • Shortness of breath due to fluid buildup in the lungs (in advanced stages).

Epoetin Alfa-Epbx for Low Red Blood Cells and Kidney Failure

Epoetin alfa-epbx injection helps the body make more red blood cells. It's used when people, especially those with chronic kidney failure, don't produce enough red blood cells. This can happen in patients on or off kidney dialysis. The injection is also given to reduce or avoid the need for blood transfusion in surgeries where a lot of blood loss is expected.

Healthy Diet Tips for People With Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Although everyone is different, below are some general tips for eating well with diabetes and kidney disease. Consider the following:

  • Eat small portions of lean protein. If you eat too much protein, it can make your kidneys work harder. But you do need some protein for your body to function properly. Good sources of protein include eggs, chicken, and fish.
  • Stay away from salt. Instead, season food with herbs and spices. Too much salt can increase blood pressure and potential kidney damage.
  • Read food labels. Check for the amount of sodium and sugar in foods to keep from overdoing it.

Switch to fruits and vegetables with lower levels of potassium. Your doctor may tell you to limit certain fruits and vegetables that contain a high amount of potassium. For example, berries and apples have lower potassium than oranges and bananas.

Avoid foods with empty calories. High-calorie foods that provide little nutritional value, such as soda, chips and ice cream, should be kept to a minimum.

Limit alcohol, as too much alcohol can damage the liver, heart, and kidneys. Certain alcoholic drinks are also high in sugar and can increase glucose levels in the body.

Poor kidney function can cause a variety of symptoms:

  • Swelling in the feet and legs.
  • Urinating less than normal.
  • Bone pain.
  • High blood pressure.

Several factors may play a role in the development of kidney disease, including other underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes.