Useful Ideas for a Kidney-Friendly Holiday

Dr. Andrea Klemes, Chief Medical Officer MDVIP
By Dr. Andrea Klemes , MDVIP
November 17, 2014
Healthy Holiday Eating for Patients with Kidney Disease

Kidney disease and related ailments, like diabetes, high blood pressure and anemia, can be worsened by overindulgence over the holidays. Enjoy the celebration by planning ahead, discussing any concerns with your nephrologist or dietician, and knowing when to say “no.”

Practice portion control. The holidays don’t need to mean “indulgent.” Reduce your portions so your kidneys don’t struggle to digest and metabolize proteins.

Watch your fluids. Excessive fluids, even from hidden culprits like gravy and Jell-O, can be harmful, especially for those on dialysis. Alcoholic beverages can stimulate your appetite and reduce dietary self-control.

Know the menu. The holiday table will likely include delectable dishes certain to test your willpower and your renal system. These include protein-rich peas, lentils, carob, soybeans, peanuts, tamarind and beans, and sodium-, phosphorous- and potassium-rich salt, potatoes, yams, tomatoes, bananas, even guacamole, Brussel sprouts, citrus, dried fruit and orange juice. Don’t be bashful. Ask the host what’s for dinner. If needed, bring healthier foods or beverages.

Politely decline. Invitations to gatherings and dinner parties may test your self-control. It’s OK to politely declin/e. Your health comes first.

Be diligent with dialysis. End-stage renal disease requires diligence. Watch food and fluid intake, and note how your dialysis schedule coincides with your party schedule.

Be smart about your holiday habits to help ensure a healthy season. In fact, carry them into 2015 to have a healthier year ahead.

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About the Author
Dr. Andrea Klemes, Chief Medical Officer MDVIP
Dr. Andrea Klemes, MDVIP

Dr. Andrea Klemes is the Chief Medical Officer of MDVIP. She also serves as the executive and organizational leader of MDVIP’s Medical Advisory Board that supports quality and innovation in the delivery of the healthcare model drawing expertise from the affiliated physicians. Dr. Klemes oversees MDVIP’s impressive outcomes data and research including hospital utilization and readmission statistics, quality of disease management in the MDVIP network and the ability to identify high-risk patients and intervene early. She is instrumental in the adoption of the Electronic Health Record use in MDVIP-affiliated practices and the creation of the data warehouse. Dr. Klemes is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology and a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology. Dr. Klemes received her medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed an internal medicine residency at Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, New York and an Endocrine and Metabolism Fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Prior to joining MDVIP, Dr. Klemes worked at Procter & Gamble in the areas of personal healthcare, women’s health and digestive wellness and served as North American Medical Director for bone health. She spent 10 years in private practice specializing in endocrinology and metabolism in Tallahassee, Florida. In addition, Dr. Klemes held leadership roles with the American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association and as Medical Director of the Diabetes Center in Tallahassee and Panama City, Florida, as well as Chief of the Department of Medicine at Tallahassee Community Hospital. She has been a consultant and frequent lecturer and has completed broad clinical research in diabetes and osteoporosis and published extensively.

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