Motivation for the Very LowProtein Diet

This diet is very likely a radical departure from the diet you're accustomed to. Many favorite foods may become taboo. Furthermore, some patients never feel satisfied on this diet and are chronically hungry. It certainly takes some getting used to, particularly when you must keep track of every gram of protein that you eat. The best advice I have to offer is to experiment with it; keep track of recipes and meal planning so that ultimately you're eating meals that appeal to you. Patients often aren't sufficiently motivated to go on this diet until they experience the symp toms of kidney failure. Nevertheless, the diet may be beneficial before symptoms develop, especially for people who lose a lot of protein in their urine; dietary protein restriction reduces urinary protein excretion. (See Chapter 18.) It may also be beneficial in children with chronic renal failure.

Some patients won't consider following such a diet. Other patients are determined to try a supplemented very-low-protein diet even before they become symptomatic, in the hope that the progression of their kidney failure may slow. There is certainly no evidence that protein restriction accelerates the progression of kidney failure, and there is no reason to fear any adverse consequences, such as protein deficiency, provided that the diet is properly supplemented with essential amino acids and is prescribed by a dietitian.

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