Lemon is a common food ingredient that is consumed in the Indian diet. Lemon juice is full of vitamin C which improves the absorption of calcium that is important to maintain optimum bone density.
I often get asked by my renal patients “Is lemon good or bad for kidney disease?” because there is a lot of confusion about what to eat and what to avoid for kidney patients.
In this article, I will write not only about whether lemon is good or bad for kidney disease but also its effects on specific kidney diseases such as CKD.
Is lemon ok with chronic kidney disease?
Your kidneys are responsible for excreting out the toxins and wastes in the blood. Kidneys are also responsible for controlling your blood pressure, regulating bone health, and maintaining levels of chemicals such as uric acid, creatinine, etc.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition, where the kidneys are unable to filter your blood which means that all the toxins and built-up waste products in the blood, are not being excreted out the way they should, which could lead to dangerous health problems such as stroke and heart disease.
Circling back to “is lemon ok with chronic kidney disease?”. The answer is yes since lemon is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and citric acid, drinking lemon juice or lemon water does not have any risk to CKD patients and can be consumed.
Is lemon good to reduce creatinine?
For a person with high levels of creatinine, consuming lemon would have minimal impact on reducing creatinine levels but it also won’t increase the creatinine as well.
Creatinine is a waste chemical product that is a by-product of the wear and tear of our muscles. The more muscles a person has the more creatinine will be present in the blood.
The volume of creatinine cleared by the kidneys is known as creatinine clearance. In a person with a healthy kidney, creatinine clearance ranges from 95 ml per minute for females and about 120 ml for males.
It basically means that your kidneys are responsible for excreting out creatinine from 95 to 120 ml of blood so that it does not build up in excess in the blood.
The creatinine clearance can depend on age, size, and the condition of the kidneys.
Therefore, consuming lemon juice or lemon water for a person with high creatinine levels would have a neutral effect which means it’s neither good nor bad on creatinine levels.
Can lemon be bad for chronic kidney disease?
In general, drinking lemon water or lemon juice would not worsen the condition of a CKD patient. However, when lemon is consumed in excess it could cause some other health conditions.
Drinking too much lemon water or lemon juice might cause nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting due to too much vitamin C consumption.
Lemon water or lemon juice can also act as a diuretic which means it will increase the excretion of fluids in the body resulting in frequent urination.
When should you drink lemon water?
There is no specific time to drink lemon water. Though lemon creates an alkaline environment in the body, and therefore it is best suited to drink it the first thing in the morning after you wake up.
Because when you wake up from a restful night of sleep, that’s when the body does all the detoxifying, and providing it with some alkaline environment will help the body to maintain its pH balance.
Lemon water can also be drunk with a combination of ginger or honey. The antioxidant and antimicrobial contents in these foods support the healthy functioning of the kidneys.
Lemon can be part of a healthy kidney diet. Drinking lemon water has numerous health benefits and does not cause any harm to the kidneys.
Lemon can boost hydration, prevent the formation of kidney stones, create an alkaline atmosphere in the body, and is rich in antioxidants which are responsible to protect against cellular damage.
Overall lemon can be consumed by a kidney disease patient in reasonable quantity without any problems.