The right diet is an integral part of your treatment along with dialysis and medication. The recommended nutrition depends on the stage of kidney failure and the 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 is still possible to 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 foods that you should eat.
Please follow the recommendations of your physician and dietician. Here is a short introduction to nutrition and key nutrients in renal disease:
Salt / Sodium:
Use less salt and eat fewer salty foods to control blood pressure and reduce weight gain.
Use herbs, spices, and low-salt flavor enhancers instead of salt.
Avoid salt substitutes made with potassium.
Proteins are required by your body to repair and maintain body tissue, growth and to fight infections. They are a vital component of body fluids and blood.
Your dietitian will teach you how to calculate the recommended amount of protein intake.
A mineral that supports nerve and muscle function.
Supports your muscles and heart to work properly.
If your potassium level is too high (hyperkalemia) or too low (hypokalemia), it may affect the function of your heart. Therefore, you need to limit your intake of high-potassium foods. The level of potassium in your blood will be checked regularly.
A mineral to maintain healthy bones.
Nonetheless, the body only needs a certain amount of phosphate. Therefore, you have to follow a low phosphate diet and take what are known as phosphate binders before meals.
A mineral for strong bones.
Required for healthy muscles and the skeletal system.
However, rich sources of calcium are often also 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.