Dieting Can Prove Dangerous for Kidney Disease Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight or obese people with chronic kidney disease may suffer further kidney damage if they use certain weight-loss methods, a new study warns.

Cleveland Clinic researchers analyzed the eating and lifestyle habits of nearly 11,000 overweight or obese adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Of those with chronic kidney disease, 50 percent said they had tried to lose weight in the past year, and 8 percent said they used medications as part of their weight-loss program. Some also used weight-loss methods that promoted high-protein diets that called for up to 1.9 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, considerably more than the amount recommended by the National Kidney Foundation.

Patients with chronic kidney disease are advised to consume 0.6 grams to 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The typical American adult consumes about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. (To convert body weight into kilograms, divide weight in pounds by 2.2.)

Weight-loss medications and high-protein diets are not recommended for people with chronic kidney disease because these methods may lead to further kidney damage, the researchers said in the study, published online recently in the International Journal of Obesity.

"People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for chronic kidney disease, and there is a great need to define what the appropriate lifestyle changes and weight loss modalities are for protecting kidney function," lead author Dr. Sankar Navaneethan, a nephrologist in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, said in a clinic news release.

"Rather than using fad diets or diet pills, overweight and obese people with kidney disease may adopt a weight loss plan that incorporates a low-protein, low-calorie diet, regular physical activity and close follow-up by their physicians," Navaneethan added.

The researchers called for further studies to identify safe weight-loss strategies for overweight or obese adults with chronic kidney disease, a condition in which kidney function progressively worsens.

More than 10 percent of adults 20 and older in the United States have chronic kidney disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic kidney disease.

SOURCE: Cleveland Clinic, news release, Feb. 21, 2012

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