Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients often either miss or over-consume critical vitamins in their diets due to waste buildup, medicine regimen, dialysis treatment, dietary restrictions or loss of appetite. In some cases the body of CKD patients can change and lose its ability to make vitamins such as vitamin D. Based upon your Nephrologist's recommendations, key vitamins which help your body convert the foods you eat into energy for growth and tissue repair should be supplemented. In other cases, you may consider limiting certain vitamins, based on the recommendation of your healthcare team, that are known to buildup toxins in your body. Often many people with CKD are completely unaware or confused about which vitamins and minerals they may be lacking and which they should avoid. Hence, the following should provide you with some insight.
Your Nephrologist may recommend supplementing or increasing vitamins such as B and C to help increase energy, improve immune system health as well as repair red blood cells and bones. In cases of high phosphorus levels, CKD patients may be recommended phosphorus binders which often contain calcium. As your kidneys fail they lose the ability to make vitamin D active so your Nephrologist may prescribe special active vitamin D supplements to better regulate your parathyroid hormones (PTH) and bone/teeth health. Dosing for such supplements are
dependent on calcium, phosphorus and PTH levels and must be individualized and monitored closely.
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While vitamin E helps protect those with CKD against heart disease it is not generally needed as a supplement. Also, CKD patients are typically not deficient in vitamin K which can cause blood clotting and interfere with other blood thinners. Of course if your Nephrologist recommends or has prescribed either of the vitamins you should follow their regimen. Vitamin A is specifically a concern for patients because levels are in most cases already elevated in people with CKD, and further supplementation may be toxic.
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Supplements such as popular multi-vitamins and super-strength vitamin products may contain vitamins or minerals that should be limited or avoided by those with CKD. KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to only take supplements as recommended by your primary Nephrologist. If your Nephrologist has not recommended any vitamin supplements then ask whether s/he would suggest any for your unique circumstances.
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"VITAMINS AND MINERALS IN KIDNEY DISEASE." Kidney.org. The National Kidney Foundation
"The ABCs of Vitamins for Kidney Patients." Davita.com. - DaVita