To take supplements, or not to take supplements. It may seem like a simple question. But if you or a loved one has kidney disease or is undergoing dialysis treatments, the answer might not be. The reason? Your body may need more of certain vitamins and minerals, but at the same time, there may be supplements you should avoid.
The scoop on vitamins and minerals
Humans need vitamins and minerals because our bodies cannot produce them on their own. Vitamins and minerals are substances that aid body function by using the foods you eat. They give you energy, help the body grow and repair tissue, and more.
Nearly all vitamins and minerals come from food. For people with healthy kidneys, it’s much easier to consume nutrients from a balanced diet. But if you have kidney disease or are on dialysis, you may have limits on the types of foods you can eat. In this case, you may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need each day.
Supplements for kidney health
Depending on your current health status, health history and blood test results, your doctor may recommend some of the following supplements:
- B complex – This group of vitamins consists of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.
- Additional B vitamins – Thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin help to change the foods you eat into usable energy.
- Iron – Taking medicine to treat anemia? You may also need to take an iron supplement orally or via injection. You should only take iron if your doctor prescribes it for you.
- Vitamin C – Works to keep different types of tissue healthy and to help wounds and bruises heal faster.
- Vitamin D – Can be given as a pill or to dialysis patients during dialysis treatment. Vitamin D supports healthy bones, and recent research suggests it may also guard against heart disease. There are different types of vitamin D, so your doctor will be very specific about the type and amount you should be taking.
- Calcium – Calcium supports bone health, but in excess, can adhere to phosphorus and deposit in the heart, blood vessels, lungs and other body tissues. Be sure to take only the prescribed amount of calcium.
Supplements that may not be kidney-friendly
For some people with kidney disease, certain vitamins and minerals should be avoided. Some of these include vitamins A, D, E and K, which can build up in the body and cause dizziness and nausea; even death. You should only take these vitamins under strict physician prescription and supervision.
For other people with kidney disease, there are concerns with vitamin C in large doses. Higher amounts of vitamin C may cause a buildup of oxalate, which can cause pain and other issues in the bones and tissues over time.
Expert, compassionate kidney care in San Antonio and South Texas
Living with and managing kidney disease can be much easier with leading-edge kidney care close to home. With 10 locations in San Antonio and throughout South Texas, South Texas Renal Care Group is here to support you in the bigger picture of living with kidney disease, down to the details of proper nutrition and supplements. Our board-certified kidney specialists are caring and dedicated, and remain at the forefront of kidney care through clinical research trials to contribute to the development of the newest, most effective therapies and treatments.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 210-212-8622 or click here to use our online form.