How does a Renal Dietitian help?

Our renal dietitian explains the role of kidney’s in your body and what does your kidney do. Being a Registered Dietitian who works with many clients with kidney disease, I get asked the question what exactly do my kidneys do? This is a great question! And I love explaining the important role of the kidneys in our bodies.

Just to name a few the kidneys, maintain homeostatic balance, secrete renin, produce erythropoietin, activate vitamin D and remove waste. What does this mean? Check out this information below from our renal dietitian!  Learning about renal (kidney) nutrition and what our kidneys do in our body can be overwhelming at first, we do what we can to make this information less intimidating.

Our Renal Dietitian explains the role of your kidneys:

1. Kidneys maintain homeostatic balance:

What does this mean? Homeostasis means that your body is in balance… your blood pressure is about 120/80, your temperature is around 98.6, and the fluid levels in your blood and cells are normal. When these become “off,” your body works to get all these levels normal again. The kidneys help to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance within the body. In this photo below,  our renal dietitian demonstrates urine color and how it may look with different levels of hydration. Your renal dietitian will make sure that you are getting the right about of hydration, not too much and not too little. 

renal dietitian explains role of hydration using glasses of water

2. Secretion of Renin is done by your kidneys:

Renin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood pressure. The kidney is responsible for releasing renin to make sure the body’s blood pressure is just right. This is why there is a connection between high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

3. Your kidney’s produce erythropoietin (EPO):

Another fancy term!  This is another hormone produced by the kidneys and it is responsible for making red blood cells. It is important to monitor the red blood cell level in kidney disease because anemia can sometimes occur.

4. Vitamin D Activation occurs in your kidneys:

Without going into all the fancy details, the kidneys are also responsible for making sure the body turns vitamin D into its most absorbable form, which is D3. This in turn also helps with calcium absorption and protecting the bones.

milk kidney function

5. Lastly, your kidneys remove waste:

A huge job of the kidneys is to actually remove waste from our bodies. So, the kidney filters the blood through something called “nephrons” and then removes the waste by passing it through the urine. You know how people say that they want to “remove toxins” from the body? Well, the kidney does that naturally! It’s your job to stay hydrated and keep the kidneys healthy with a nutritious diet for them to continue to do this important job.

water kidney function

Once you start reading about what your kidney’s do, the next you question you will probably have is “what should I eat to help my kidneys?”

To find out more about how a renal dietitian can help you, read these popular kidney blogs on our website.

Renal Dietitian blogs about chronic kidney disease and diet:


As you can see, the kidneys play a very important role in our bodies. Kaitlin Williams  Eckstein specializes in kidney nutrition, and is here to support you in keeping your kidneys healthy! If you have more questions about what the kidneys do and how nutrition can help, give our office a call at 301-474-2499 or contact us to set up an appointment with Kaitlin.


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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.

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