Eat less protein if you have kidney disease: physician

By Jenny Wang, Special to The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A local physician is recommending kidney disease patients adopt a low-protein diet to delay the need for dialysis treatment, after the recent death of a renowned toxicology expert raised public awareness about kidney health. According to National Health Insurance Administration statistics, the number of patients undergoing kidney dialysis has exceeded 70,000. After toxicology expert Lin Chieh-liang (林杰樑) passed away, the number of people worried about getting nephropathy has reportedly increased. Many patients suffering from late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) are also hoping to defer dialysis therapy. Guo Ke-lin (郭克林), attending physician at Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, said that adopting a low-protein diet supplemented with ketogenic amino acid under the guidance of doctors and dietitians can help postpone the need for dialysis therapy by an average of six to 12 months. There has recently been an uptick in the number of inquiries about foamy urine. Guo explained that there are many possible causes of such a problem, including proteinuria and ingesting excessive protein. Foamy urine may also arise due to insufficient water intake and is not necessarily a sign of CKD, but it can be seen as a warning sign of the disease, he added.

Clinical evidence suggests that there are almost no obvious early warning signs of CKD, so the disease is difficult to detect in its initial stage. Once the apparent symptoms appear the patient is likely to require dialysis treatment for the rest of his or her life.