24 May 2018Tips for Tracking with MyNetDiary When You Have Chronic Kidney Disease

A number of folks have asked MyNetDiary how to track when they have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Because so many people with diabetes also have CKD, I thought a post devoted to this subject would be helpful. This post is also helpful for folks with other chronic medical conditions which have altered nutrient requirements.

Use Maximum Membership

Folks with CKD typically have to track body weight, calories, water (or fluids), potassium, phosphorus, sodium, protein, and calcium. If they also have diabetes, then they are also tracking carbs. I recommend that folks purchase Maximum membership to get all features related to tracking and reporting that might be useful for CKD management:

  • Customization of nutrient targets
  • Access to all reporting features
  • Access to diabetes tracking in both web and free apps
  • Access to the "copy & customize" feature for both custom and system foods and recipes in web program
  • Step Bonus in iPhone (learn more in Step Bonus - Your Reward for Moving More)
  • Integration with Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone, or and Garmin fitness devices

Tip: Be sure to use nutrient targets recommended by your kidney care team rather than using MyNetDiary's default targets. Depending upon which stage you are in, or if you are on dialysis, your nutrient requirements could be very different than the default values. For instance, water (or fluids), potassium, phosphorus, sodium, protein, and calcium will often have lower targets while at the same time, a higher calories target.

Learn How to Find & Log Basic Foods

Food labels require only a limited number of nutrients to be displayed so many of the nutrients that folks with CKD need to track are missing from brand foods. Because of this missing data for so many brand food items, it is important that folks with CKD learn how to search and log basic foods so that their nutrient totals are accurate - especially for phosphorus and potassium. If only brand or barcode-scanned foods are logged, then daily totals for these nutrients will be underestimated. That is, your true intake will be much higher than what is displayed on daily reports.

MyNetDiary's basic foods with complete nutrient data come from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. To learn how to search and find these basic foods, read 4 Tips for Searching and Finding Basic Food Items.

In addition to finding basic food items already entered in the database, you have the option of entering a custom food item. If you want tips on how to log custom food items, read More Tips for Food Logging.

A particularly useful feature of Maximum membership is the ability to copy & customize system foods, not just your own custom foods. This will save you a lot of time if you want to update a brand food to include potassium or phosphorus content (using data from the USDA basic food item). This feature is accessible in the web program.

Learn How to Find & Log Basic Recipes

In addition to food items, MyNetDiary contains basic recipes from USDA that contain complete nutrient information. You can find these basic recipes if you include "from recipe" along with other keywords in your food item search. If that doesn't bring up the item you were looking for, then try including "home prepared" or "home recipe." MyNetDiary will be improving these USDA names so that "homemade" will bring up all of these basic recipes.

I was surprised to learn that there are a number of popular Chinese-American restaurant dishes with complete nutrition information already in MyNetDiary. You can find all 20 of these dishes by including "restaurant Chinese" in your food item search.

If you include "fast foods" in your food item search, you will bring up a large number of basic fast food items with more complete nutrient data than what you might find on the restaurant's website.

In addition to finding basic recipes already entered in the database, you have the option of entering a custom recipe. When you add a custom recipe, be sure to use basic food items to get the most complete nutrient content. You can learn more about how to enter custom recipes in the blog post Tips for Accurate Recipes.

If you dine at fast food or fast casual chain restaurants often, try contacting the restaurant chain for more nutrient information. The restaurant's website will typically have a contact number or email.

Tracking Water (Fluid) Intake

Water or fluid intake is tracked by tapping the water glass icons on your Dashboard. The default water glass size is 8 fl oz or 1 cup. Customize your water glass size by tapping "Set Water Glass Size" and enter the preferred fluid ounce value. Remember to save your changes.

Unlike other nutrients, you cannot track water in your food log nor set a daily limit or target value. But you can see a running total of your water intake on your Dashboard (just look for the little water glass icon). To make the water total intake as accurate as possible, please see your list of beverages and foods that count towards your fluid intake and tap the water glass icon when you consume them. For instance, if you drink a cup of tea, tap a water glass icon. DaVita's Food that Counts as Fluid on the Kidney Diet might be helpful to get a sense of what counts towards your daily fluid limit. Be sure to follow your kidney care team directions on what to count as fluid as well as know your personalized daily fluid limit.

With a little bit of planning and customization, MyNetDiary can support the management of your CKD.

Have questions or comments about this post? Please feel free to comment on MyNetDiary's Community Forum or Facebook page – We would love to hear from you. And consider visiting our new Pinterest page!

Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

Tags:

Diabetes/Health Tracking & MyNetDiary/Tracking Tips Other Health Issues/Chronic Kidney Disease

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