Kidneys are important blood-filtering system for producing urine and at the same time removing metabolic wastes and toxins. It also have endocrine functions to help regulate blood pressure and red blood cell production.
When kidneys lose the abilities to remove excessive water and wastes, regulating blood pressure and red blood cell count, renal failure develops and there are some diet restrictions for slowing down illness progression and reducing burdens to the kidneys. One diet restriction is coffee and it is better that renal failure patients should cut back coffee intake or eliminate it all together for the sake of their kidney health.
For those that have normal kidney functions, drinking moderate amount of coffee may not cause any damages to their kidneys and they will not develop renal failure even when they drink a lot of coffees occasionally. However for those that have already developed renal failure, drinking coffee does have certain impact on worsening their kidney functions.
Coffee contains rich potassium which should be limited to renal failure patients due to low GFR (glomerular filtration rate). Kidney failure often cause high blood potassium level which can cause arrhythmia or even threaten the patient’s life, therefore some high-potassium foods should be avoided or at least limited.
Coffee also contains rich caffeine. Too much caffeine intake may cause or worsen kidney problems. Drinking more than 1-2 cups of coffee can cause unpleasant side effects for renal failure patients.
Coffee has diuretic property and it can increase urine output and cause dehydration and further elevate already high creatinine levels.
Coffee can affect the patients’ sleep quality and this will worsen their fatigue and general sick feeling.
Coffee contains one essential oil which can cause the accumulation of toxic materials in the blood vessels and further damage the weak immune system.
For renal failure patients caused by polycystic kidney disease, coffee should especially be avoided because it can promote the secretion of more cyst fluid and cause the cysts to experience rapid growth and worsen renal functions.
In a word, it is better that renal failure patients should avoid coffee which can elevate creatinine level and worsen their kidney damages. Besides, other caffeine-containing foods and drinks such as chocolate, cola, strong tea should all be avoided or at least limited.
Drinking more water if patients do not have swelling and high blood pressure, cranberry juice, nettle leaf tea are all good substitutions for coffee.
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