Being a kidney doctor is a special privilege. Since kidney disease is often a chronic condition, I may follow a patient from the time of diagnosis through its progression to endstage kidney failure when a patient requires kidney replacement therapy ( such as needing a kidney transplant or dialysis). After following many patients for over a decade, I realized how privileged I am that many of them share their hopes, dreams, laughter, tears, fears, anxieties with me – from the smallest to those of large proportion and meaning. This honour is not trivial and I have been moved to also share some part of me, beyond my doctor role.

Asian Apple Slaw - Not only does it look and taste good, it's also good for you!

So let me tell you a story of something I share with my patients - that I anxt with my patients. The love of food. My patients love salt. My patients love chocolate. We all love cheese. These foods are high in salt, potassium and phosphate. This could make them very sick and make my work really hard to keep them well.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates

How could I deprive them of divine power and comfort? But it dawned on me one day when I was haranging my dialysis patients about their diets, that amongst them were at least 3 chefs, a project manager and a salesperson… and all 2-300 dialysis patients in our dialysis unit who cook to eat every day! So my idea was sprung, which lead to Kidney CARE Network International’s first project – a cookbook that was “friendly” to individuals with chronic kidney disease. The success of this cookbook was truly due to a combined effort between patients, healthcare workers and Kidney CARE Network International volunteers.

Kidney CARE Network International Cookbook

Indeed, quality of life is very important to all of us, and enjoying food for many, is an important component. If you have any recipes that you especially like, and wish to share it with us...please email it to

Thank you!

Dr. Charmaine Lok