Weight loss is commonly seen in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, especially in advanced stages but the degree of losing weight varies from person to person. Several factors are associated with this condition like appetite loss, nausea, tiredness, dietary restrictions, muscle wasting, metabolic changes, underlying causes and subsequent stress associated with these.

Why do patients lose weight in chronic kidney disease?

It is quite common to see patients losing their weight in ckd but these are actually due to some major reasons and these health issues cause weight loss. The patients need not to stress much upon this as it is a natural phenomena and do not take a special medication for this. 

  • Major issue related to this is decreased calorie intake ,because there are some dietary restrictions and since you are not allowed to take fatty foods or processed foods, this then becomes very obvious to lose weight.
  • Another reason can be fatigue, tiredness, nausea and vomiting as this causes subsequent tiering of the body , it can impact weight loss.
  • In CKD , the body is under constant metabolic changes, so, sometimes it becomes difficult for the body to store excess fat and hence, causes weight loss.
  • Inflammation or inflammatory cytokines increases the energy expenditure of the body, contributing to weight loss.
  • Involving medicines like diuretics leads to fluid loss from the body and these cause appetite loss or gastrointestinal side effects .
  • Muscle atrophy is also a common symptom that leads to muscle wasting and decrease in overall body weight.

There are various reasons but losing weight should not be made a leading concern for kidney disease but the major emphasis  should be made on managing the weight which varies from person to person and also  the subsequent kidney disease stages. It is seen that advanced stages of kidney disease lead to more weight loss as compared to the lower stage of kidney disease. So, a consult should be made with the best nephrologist  if your weight is losing at a fast rate that is in less time. 

Let us see how to manage weight in chronic kidney disease.

The best ways to maintain the weight:

The health care professionals say that the 30 minute brisk walk is perfect for maintaining weight. It will also help in boosting your mood and maintaining cholesterol levels.

  • Keep in account of the water you intake, because taking too much water will make the situation of kidneys worse as it won’t be able to filter them so fast.
  • People who are on dialysis and those who are not must be aware of the protein amount as they vary among them. The normal weight people should take about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein in their diet for each kg of their body weight,which means around a handful of soy beans.you can also take eggs as one boiled egg contains 13 grams protein.
  • Choose fresh fruits over old and packaged foods.
  • Maintain salt content in the food.
  • Must include salad in your diet.
  • You can also perform yoga in your free time to relax your mind.

How much exercise is good for your health in CKD?

  • Start out slowly and increase the intensity and length as your fitness improves. Kidney sufferers should start out with low-intensity activities. This methodical approach reduces the risk of injury and overexertion.
  • Select the right activities: For kidney patients, low-impact workouts are frequently advised because they are easier on the joints and less likely to injure patients. Walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and yoga are among examples. To preserve muscular mass, strength training with small weights or resistance bands may be helpful.
  • If they have these symptoms, they should stop exercising and consult a doctor.
  • Avoid high-impact exercises: Some renal patients may find exercises like running or high-impact aerobics to be excessively stressful, therefore these exercises should be avoided or adjusted.
  • Personalize your exercise program: Depending on your goals, your perfect exercise regimen will differ from person to person.
  • Monitoring fluid intake is important because kidney patients need to stay properly hydrated at all times, especially when they are exercising. To find out how much fluid is safe for you to consume, speak with a healthcare professional.
  • Keep an eye out for strange symptoms: Kidney patients should be on the lookout for any symptoms, such as excessive exhaustion, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain, during or after activity. If they have these symptoms, they should stop exercising and consult a doctor.

What is the perfect nutrient balance for kidney patients?

The amount of nutrients a kidney patient needs to consume depends on the state of their kidney disease, their medical background, and any dietary restrictions they may have. Therefore, it is important that kidney patients work closely with their dietitian/healthcare provider to develop a personalized diet plan.

 Here are some general recommendations for a healthy diet for people with kidney disease, especially those with advanced CKD:

  • Excess protein: High-quality sources of protein should be avoided, such as processed and high sodium foods, packaged snacks and fast foods and need to be limited to as minimum as possible. Instead of using salt, herbs and spices can be used to season foods in order to compensate for the taste. 
  • Potassium: it is involved in the carrying of nerve impulse in the body .A high or a low potassium levels causes an abrupt cycle in the body .Maintain the potassium levels through diet and exercise.
  • Keeping an eye on your phosphorus intake is very important  , high levels can have an impact on bone health. Limit such foods that are high in phosphorus, like dairy products, nuts, and seeds, and take prescribed phosphate binders to help control your phosphorus levels.
  • Calcium as always important ,as it can affect calcium levels affecting bone strength, so taking calcium implements in the body is recommended ,while suffering from CKD , there is a great weight loss and some people even take supplements to increase calcium levels on their own which should be actually avoided, patients should more likely depend upon the natural resources. 
  • Fluid intake should be restricted in advanced stages, and fluid balance should be monitored to avoid fluid overloading and swelling. 
  • Also make sure that you’re eating enough calories to stay healthy cultivating your  body with enough cholesterol levels as well.
  • In certain cases, malnutrition can be a problem for kidney patients, so it’s important to work with your dietitian to help you optimize your nutritional supplementation.

Does losing weight decrease creatinine levels in the body?

Before learning about creatinine loss from the body, you must know the chronology and psychology about losing creatinine values. There are various factors that cause creatinine loss.

  • Decrease in muscle mass : Creatinine is a toxic product produced by muscle metabolism, and its levels are influenced by muscle density. If you see  weight reduction with reduction in muscle density, your creatinine levels may decrease due to less muscle tissue producing creatinine.
  • Rapid or excessive weight loss can lead to dehydration, which may increase creatinine levels. This decreases the blood flow to the kidneys, making it harder for the kidneys to penetrate waste products effectively, including creatinine that is the acidic content of the body.
  • Improve in Kidney Function: Losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle can lead to increase in kidney function, especially in individuals suffering with diabetes and obesity resulting in a decrease in creatinine levels over time.
  • Medications: Changes in the medications may affect creatinine levels. As we can see in certain medications like ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) that can effectively lower creatinine levels by dilating the blood vessels.
  • Variability: People with CKD have varying responses to the weight loss process. Some may see a decrease in the creatinine levels, while in some no significant change can be noticed.

A well-balanced, gradual, and individualized approach to weight loss under the proper guidance of a healthcare specialist needs to be done to achieve this target to attain optimum health.

Which age group is more likely to lose weight in ckd?

It is a popular misconception that higher aged citizens are more likely to suffer from CKD and lose weight but the research says that age is not a factor responsible for decreasing weight but certain symptoms and factors cause weight loss in CKD patients. Here are some popular factors that leads to lose weight in an individual with CKD are mentioned as below:-

  • Advancing stages of CKD: The severity of CKD is directly proportional to the rate of weight loss that is ,in the advanced stages (Stages 4 and 5), individuals experience more significant weight loss as kidney function declines, the Gfr decreases leading to reduced appetite, malnutrition, and muscle wasting. Alternatively ,early-staged CKD may not necessarily occur with rapid weight loss.
  • The Causes: The underlying  cause of CKD plays a very important role deciding the individual health of a person. We can take an example as CKD related to diabetes or obesity involves weight loss strategies managing these conditions leading to weight loss in younger individuals. On the other hand, when CKD is caused by other factors, such as autoimmune diseases or genetic conditions, these may not lead to rapid weight loss in the individual.
  • Symptoms and Complications: Symptoms and complications of CKD are noticed prior to its advancing stages, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and metabolic abnormalities, contributing to weight loss. These symptoms do not depend at any age, but on the progression of the disease.
  • Comorbidities: Individuals suffering with a condition known as comorbidities that is simultaneous presence of two diseases at a time can affect their weight. In the older adults who are likely having multiple comorbidities, can impact weight loss differently.
  • Nutrition Management: Weight loss is a part of nutrition management in the body and needs to maintain optimum levels of such nutrients and vitamins and the deficiency of any nutrient can lead to weight loss. The speed of weight loss depends upon such factors.

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