Planning an Emergency PKD Diet on World Kidney Day

Published on March 9, 2023 | Today is World Kidney Day. Each year, the World Kidney Day Joint Steering Committee selects a topic to highlight awareness of kidney health around the world. For 2023, they chose the topic, “preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable.” Their aim is to raise awareness of the impact disastrous events have on people living with kidney disease. So, where do you start in creating a plan should you find yourself in a crisis? An emergency PKD diet plan should be on your list.


Why is it important to have an emergency PKD diet plan?

When it comes to a crisis situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or a natural disaster, your access to dialysis treatments may be delayed. In some cases, the buildup of toxins, such as potassium, phosphorus, urea, and fluids, can be life-threatening, especially for patients who no longer urinate at all, says Beverly Whittet, R.N., a certified dialysis nurse with the national Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program. As an organization, KCER provides assistance to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, kidney organizations, and other groups to ensure timely and efficient disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for the kidney community.

The KCER Program website uses the “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan” that provides adequate nutrition in the event of an emergency, as well as limits the amount of fluid and waste accumulated. “It isn’t a substitute for dialysis or the renal diet. And it is only intended to be followed for three days or fewer in an emergency situation,” Whittet says.


Here’s what the first day of this emergency PKD diet plan looks like. 

Emergency Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup milk OR mix 1/4 cup evaporated milk with 1/4 cup distilled water, from sealed containers
  • 1 serving of cereal (No bran. No granola. No cereal with dried fruits and nuts.)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional 1/2 can (2 ounces) fruit, drained


Emergency Lunch

  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons jelly or sugar-free jelly
  • 1/2 cup canned fruit, drained
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water or other recommended beverage


Emergency Dinner

  • 2 slices of white bread

  • 1/2 can (2 ounces) chicken with 2 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup vegetables, drained

  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice

(Three optional snacks are not included with these recipes.)


Raising Awareness Beyond World Kidney Day

While World Kidney Day is just one day that spreads kidney health awareness, we’re spreading awareness all month long. As we celebrate National Kidney Month, there are countless ways our PKD community can raise awareness of PKD and kidney health. For instance, sharing your PKD journey with Voices of PKD can help others find comfort in knowing there are others who understand what they’re experiencing. Also, consider posting PKD and kidney facts or an “I Am” story on social media. The more people who learn about PKD, the larger our support and resources grow to find a cure.

*The PKD Foundation does not give medical advice. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your physician or other healthcare professionals.

Want to see more articles like this? Read the full issue of our magazine, PKD Life, and subscribe to future issues here.


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