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PATIENTS & FAMILIES

NUTRITION

Nutrition should be an integral part of your treatment along with dialysis and medication. The recommended nutrition depends on the stage of kidney failure and type of treatment.

Most patients on dialysis need to limit the amount of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in their diets. Moreover, as a dialysis patient, you have a higher need for protein because part of it is lost during dialysis.

 

To summarize, you will need to:

• Eat more high protein foods.

• Eat less high salt, high potassium, and high phosphorus foods.

• Learn how much fluid you can safely drink.

Nonetheless, it’s still possible to still enjoy a meal out. Your dietitian can help you when selecting from restaurant menus. Additionally, it is very useful if you learn about the nutrients and food that you should eat.

Please, follow the recommendations of your physician and dietician. Nevertheless, find here a brief nutrition introduction and tips on some of the key nutrients:

 

Salt / Sodium

Use less salt and eat fewer salty foods to control blood pressure and reduce weight gains.

Use herbs, spices, and low-salt flavor enhancers instead of salt.

Avoid salt substitutes made with potassium.

 

Protein

To repair and maintain body tissue, growth.

To fight infections.

A vital component of body fluids, including blood.

Your dietitian will teach you how to calculate the recommended amount of protein intake.

Potassium

A mineral that supports nerve and muscle function.

Supports your muscles and heart to work properly.

If your potassium level is too high (hyperkalemia) and if it is too low (hypokalemia) affect your organs. Therefore, you will have to limit your intake of potassium foods. Your blood level of potassium will be checked regularly.


Phosphate

A mineral for the maintenance of healthy bones.

Nonetheless, the body only needs a certain amount of phosphate. Therefore, you have to follow a low phosphate diet and take phosphate binders.

Calcium

A mineral for strong bones.

Required for healthy muscles and skeletal system, in combination with potassium.

However, rich sources of calcium are often high in phosphorus. To keep your calcium and phosphorus balanced and to prevent bone disease, your doctor can prescribe you a form of vitamin D.