If your kidneys are not working well, you undergo dialysis to restore their normal function. However, dialysis doesn’t work as efficiently as healthy kidneys. With dialysis treatment, there’s some fluid and waste build-up. This waste and fluid present in your blood can further lead to bone, heart or other health conditions over time.
So, if you have dialysis, you need to monitor the number of nutrients and fluid you consume each day. The proper diet chart for kidney patients can prevent fluid and waste build-up within the blood and any other health issues.
How do the Food and Fluids I Consume Affect Dialysis?
What you eat and drink in a day while on dialysis can make a difference in how your treatment works and how you feel. Between the sessions of dialysis treatment, wastes and fluids can build up within the blood and cause health issues that make you sick. But by controlling what you eat and drink, you can minimise waste build-up.
Certain foods increase waste build-up in your system between dialysis sessions. If your blood has too much fluid and waste, the dialysis sessions won’t be able to remove it all.
How to Know What I Can Eat?
The professional dialysis centres have a renal dietitian that provides you with a proper meal plan. The renal dietitian specialises in recommending the right requirements of nutrition and food for a dialysis patient. You can consult your renal dietitian about the right foods and drinks to consume when on dialysis.
Dietary Guidelines for Dialysis Patients
Given below are the five major diet guidelines to help you maintain a proper diet during dialysis treatment.
1. Take only a Certain Amount of Protein
You have to limit protein intake to reduce waste build-up in your bloodstream while controlling uremia. However, loss of appetite with a low-protein diet can lead to malnutrition. So, you must have protein around 0.6 to 0.75 grams per kilogram body weight. Your renal dietitian will determine the exact amount of protein that you require during dialysis.
2. Eat the Right Amount of Calories for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Improper calorie intake can cause appetite issues, chronic inflammation, depression, gastrointestinal problems and other health issues like heart disease or diabetes. So, you need to maintain adequate calorie intake for maintaining a healthy weight, especially when on dialysis. Even when you’re overweight, you are recommended a low-calorie diet for the proper functioning of your system. The right amount of calories helps preserve the body’s muscle stores. You must consult your dietitian or doctor about the right nutritional supplements you need when undergoing dialysis treatment.
3. Phosphorus Levels Maintain Naturally When you Control High-Protein Foods
The imbalance of phosphorus-calcium can cause issues during dialysis treatment. But when on a low-protein diet, your body naturally reduces the amount of phosphorus intake, as phosphorus and protein go together. Some extra sources of phosphorous can be taken from phosphate additives found in processed foods.
Foods that are rich in phosphorous include chocolate, cheese, legumes, ice cream, yoghurt, milk, nuts and seeds.
4. Control Potassium Levels that can Increase Due to Medications and Low Urine Output
When kidney function reduces, potassium begins to build up in the body. So, avoid high potassium foods. You also need to undergo regular blood tests to check proper potassium levels.
You need to avoid high-potassium foods like bananas, avocado, tomato products (sauces, juices, etc.), dried fruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, milk, yoghurt, legumes, oranges, orange juice, potatoes, nuts and seeds, pumpkin, etc. Even low-sodium foods and salt substitutes containing potassium additives must be avoided.
Your dietitian will provide you with proper information on potassium levels and what foods to eat or what to avoid when on dialysis. So, strictly follow your dietitian’s instructions for healthy body function after dialysis.
5. Control Blood Pressure and Fluid Retention with Lower Sodium and Fluid Diet
Sodium and fluid restrictions vary greatly when people are in their stage 5 CKD (chronic kidney disease). So, the dietitian and doctor will assess a patient’s needs. Since fluid gains occur quickly and cause breathlessness and swelling, it’s recommended to limit it to some extent. Even a high-sodium diet can retain fluid while impacting one’s blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to consult your dietitian or doctor regarding the right amount of sodium you require for your body each day.
Your choice about things you eat and drink during dialysis treatment can make a clear difference in how your treatments work. In-between your dialysis treatment sessions, fluid and wastes are likely to build up within blood and make you ill. So, you must follow the renal dietitian’s diet chart for kidney patients for improving your condition during dialysis.