Kidney Disease Diet in an Emergency
For the millions of people diagnosed with kidney disease, sticking to a food and healthcare routine is crucial to feeling their best physically and mentally. Unfortunately, life has a way of throwing in some twists and turns that can knock us off the regulated path. If you suffer from kidney disease, it’s important to have a backup plan for your diet in case of an emergency. If for some reason you’re unable to go to your regular dialysis treatment appointment, or travel plans are unexpectedly delayed or extended, it’s nice to be able to reference a plan that will keep you healthy, even in unusual circumstances.
Preparing for an Emergency with Kidney Disease
In events like a natural disaster, you may be without power, forcing you to find new ways to prepare your meals. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep extra non-perishable foods on hand. If you lose electricity, food in your refrigerator generally keeps for about 12 hours as long as you only open the door when quickly removing food. Food in the freezer should last roughly 24 to 48 hours.
In addition to needing foods with a longer shelf-life, you’ll also want to have up to two weeks of medicines and vitamins in your possession. If power is out at your pharmacy, they’ll be unable to fill the prescriptions you need.
What you Need in an Emergency
- Disposable plates and utensils
- Diabetics should have enough insulin and supplies, including extra batteries for the glucometer. Also, be prepared for low blood sugar with instant glucose tablets, sugar, hard candy, and low-potassium fruit juices.
- Emergency phone list with your doctor, dialysis treatment facility, and local healthcare provider
- Flashlight and batteries
- Hand-held can opener
- At least five gallons of distilled water (you can use this for mixing with powders or juices, but limit your fluid intake to no more than 16 ounces per day)
Foods you Need in an Emergency
Don’t wait until the emergency hits before you decide you need to go to the grocery store. Have a short list, enough food that would last at least three days, readily available in your cabinets. Keep the emergency items in a separate area and periodically check the dates to make sure all the food is still good. Because you may not have the ability to cook as you normally do, here are some grocery items to grab that will keep you healthy despite an emergency:
- White bread (one loaf)
- Dry cereal, unsalted, unsweetened (one box, or six single servings)
- Puffed wheat or rice, shredded wheat
- Vanilla wafers, graham crackers, or unsalted crackers
- Applesauce, pears, peaches, pineapple, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail (unsweetened in sealed containers)
- Apple or Cranberry Juice
- Sugar-free powdered drink mix fruit flavored, fruit punch or lemonade
- Sugar-free lemon lime or ginger ale soda
- Evaporated milk (three small cans)
- Dry milk solids
- Tuna, salmon, meat, turkey, chicken (six cans)
- Peanut butter, unsalted
- Salad or cooking oil
- Mayonnaise (Individual packets so it doesn’t go bad after opening)
The three day meal plan that calls for these items will be stricter than you normal diet as you may not have access to your dialysis center or your doctor for a few days. Be sure to limit your fluid intake to no more than 16 ounces per day, and if the emergency lasts longer than the three days, start the meal plan over and continue as normal.
As always, call our office if you have questions or are in need of advice. We are here to help you!