melysologuren Asked November 23, 2017

Renal failure and protein shakes; Any advice about what can we give to her to improve her nutrition?

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Renal Failure and Protein shakes Hi!! My Grandmother in not eating well, she has been diagnosed with renal failure, so we can´t give her protein shakes or similar, she is also diabetic. Any advice about what can we give to her to improve her nutrition????. Thanks!!!!

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Shane1124 Nov 30, 2017
Dorianne: ESRD patient’s need protein, chronic kidney disease patients need to LIMIT their protein intake as the body excretes protein via the kidneys (BUN lab value). 

Very different needs.

Too much protein causes kidneys to work harder and that’s why it’s limited in chronic kidney disease. 

With ESRD, it flips. Patients lose protein by dialysis and need to supplement protein intake. 

Myelo, your mom needs protein restriction. Depending on your mom’s weight - for instance if she weighs about 190-200lbs her daily protein intake with CKD is about 90 grams.

For ESRD dialysis patients try whey protein powder. You can sprinkle this over your mom’s food- it’s supposed to be tasteless & a great source of protein.

Also a good thing is that when the patient needing dialysis for so long finally begins dialysis, appetite usually improves as they clear the toxins out of the blood, but it can take months.

Myelo, visit the National Kidney Foundation website for Diet guidelines for CKD,

Ditto Dorianne for ESRD dietary restrictions and guidelines.

It is worth the money to visit a nutritionist, myelo. They will know exactly what your mom needs to delay the kidney disease from progressing. 
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melysologuren Nov 30, 2017
@Dorianne Thank you so much for share your recipe!!!! I will ask the doctors!!! I really appreciate all your help!!!!
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Veronica91 Nov 25, 2017
The high calorie Ensure should be fine it is the protein to be avoided with kidney failure.
Medical facilities do tend to go to the extreme when it comes to diet. I was not eating in hospital and was put on a cardiac soft diet. I can not imagine anyone being able to eat the Cream of wheat made with water and no sugar I was served up. It reminded me of wallpaper paste.
You must know exactly the things Mom really likes so why not take in small portions when you visit. it sounds a though she is eating so little that following a strict diet is really no longer possible. I really fancied a sandwich made with smoked salmon and hubby brought that in and I was able to eat that.
At the end of life with no hope of recovery feeding tubes can do more harm than good. As long as the patient will leave it alone it should not bother her too muchand feeds can be run overnight which is not disturbing. Total Parental Nutrition can be given by IV. You do need a big IV into a big view in the chest but feeds are given at set intervals so patient can be up and walking around. Nash gastric tubes are often pulled out because it is very uncomfortable to have something stuck up your nose the whole time.
There comes a time in everyones life when the body begins to shut down and no longer wants or needs food. When this stage is reached it actually puts too much strain on the organs that are still trying to function and causes distress to the patient which is why tube feeding is often discouraged.
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Veronica91 Nov 25, 2017
There is a cholate Ensure which is fairly palatable
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Dorianne Nov 25, 2017
@Upsetsister49 - no.
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Becky04473 Nov 25, 2017
Dorianne, Is your mother also a diabetic?
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Dorianne Nov 24, 2017
@melysologuren - Today, the renal dietician sent some recipe notes home from dialysis with mom.  The protein powder is called Beneprotein, looks like it's made by Nestle. When we met yesterday, she said frozen fruits are great for these recipes, and you can switch fruits and yogurts around as you wish. (The dietician has written "Ensure" where the recipes originally called for milk or soy milk.  I assume these recipes are from the Beneprotein maker!!!)

Strawberry Smoothie (1 - 8oz. serving)
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup Ensure
2 scoops Beneprotein protein powder
1/ cup sliced strawberries

Peach Power Protein Smoothie (1 - 12oz. serving)
1/3 cup peach yogurt
1/2 cup Ensure
1 tbsp ground flax
3 scoops Beneprotein
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup diced peaches
1 tbsp honey

Both: Blend till smooth, store up to 24 hrs. in fridge

And the last page says to add 2 scoops Beneprotein to 1 cup prepared hot oatmeal. Also add favourite additions (raisins, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc.) as desired.

I am going to make these drinks for Mom.  Ensure is great for what's in it, but....it tastes kinda MEH!  Not really inspiring for those already without much appetite.

Edited to add:  There are about a dozen different types of Ensure (high calorie, high protein, etc.) on the market, so make sure you get the dietician to recommend the right one.  My mom is supposed to drink the high calorie one, but she is not diabetic. 
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Becky04473 Nov 24, 2017
Mely, Best wishes for getting a solution.
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melysologuren Nov 24, 2017
Thank you so much for all your comments I will definitely take her to a dietitian and talk again with her nephrologist!!! Thank you so much!!!!
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Dorianne Nov 23, 2017
There are other ways your grandma might be able to get more protein. Like, the dietician says if my mom takes these special calcium pills when she eats cottage cheese, the calcium binds to the excess phosporus in her blood and can be dialyzed out. Again, worth talking to a renal dietician because they know lots of little tweaks.
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