1. What do you do when:
  • A patient asks you if cinnamon can help lower their blood sugar?
  • If there is something they can take to help with all their itching (and phos is normal)
  • The doctor asks you for a reference and dose for using an omega 3 supplement in patients with a graft?
  • When the doctor tells the patient to take melatonin for sleep issues and the patient asks you for the dose?

You whip out this handy clinician guide of course!!

Herbs and dietary supplements can be potentially helpful or harmful to our patients.  As dietitians, we are often the ones who evaluate supplements or make recommendations.  Making a judgement we feel confident in can take lots of time, effort, or expertise we may not have.  Luckily, this clinician guide has done lots of work for you, and includes the latest research.

This 17 page resource includes 23 herbs, vitamins and dietary supplements. You will have a summary of:

  • The bio-active constituent or form used in clinical studies
  • Typical uses for the herb
  • The current level of evidence for those uses
  • Doses and form used in clinical studies (where possible, doses from CKD populations have been used, but this was not possible for many of the herbs or supplements)
  • Possible side effects, CKD considerations, other tips for using the supplement
  • Possible medication interactions
  • References for all the the information provided

It also includes 2 pages of questions/ considerations and resources to guide you in recommending brands to patients.

This is a guide for USING herbs and supplements, so it doesn’t provide information about herbs and supplements to avoid or use caution with.  For that there is a free resource you can check out: Tips for using herbs and supplements in kidney disease.

This is all presented in table form (see example below) to provide quick easy access to the information.  A list of references is also included to provide you with additional resources to help you better evaluate and recommend supplements for renal disease.  The supplements included are: astragalus, bilberry, chromium, cinnamon, CoQ10, cordycepts mushroom, cranberry, echinacea, omega 3, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, melationin, milk thistle, MSM, saw palmetto, senna, turmeric, vitamin C and vitamin E.

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