Dialysis patients should have a healthy and balanced diet to stay a good life. Patients’ kidneys cannot get rid of enough waste products and fluids from their blood and your body now has special needs. Therefore, the right amounts of energy, fluids (water), proteins, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements need to be consumed each day. It is vital that the patient’s nutrition is to evaluating and followed up by a trained dietitian or doctor. Requirements and priorities may vary depending on the type of dialysis treatment received. The way your body uses certain nutrients can change, to waste products the body, certain medicine is taken in your body, or when you don’t feel well enough to eat regularly.

Important Notes for Dialysis Patients

In general, attention should be to the following items;

  • Getting the correct amount of energy
  • Staying at a healthy body
  • Intaking important nutrients in the diet (sodium, fluids, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins, and minerals)
    • Learn out how much fluid you can drink daily (including tea, water, and any food that is liquid)
    • Eat more high protein foods
    • Eat less high salt, high potassium, and high phosphorus foods
  • Consideration of special dietary needs (diabetes, high cholesterol, vegetarian diets) 

Dialysis patients may not be aware of the recommended nutrient intake unless they receive nutritional counseling from a health professional. Instead of following a diet that restricts the intake of certain foods, the importance of diversity of different foods and types of nutrients should be emphasized. 

What Foods Should Dialysis Patients Eat?

Protein intake can be increased or restricted as recommended by your doctor. Protein intake may be restricted because a higher intake of protein requires higher doses of dialysis. Note lower intake of protein with sufficient energy intake requires lower doses of dialysis.  You will eat more protein to replace the protein that is lost during the dialysis treatment. Protein sources include legumes, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. 

Some salt or sodium is needed for body water balance. But when you have kidney diseases you may experience thirst, high blood pressure, and trouble during dialysis. Certain foods have more sodium than others. Some examples; salt, salt seasonings, salty foods, and processed foods. You can control these problems by consuming less sodium.

Phosphorus is a mineral found in bones.  A normal phosphorus level is 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dL. Get your phosphorus level measured and adjust your diet accordingly. The following lists foods high in potassium; apricot, avocado, banana, melon, ice cream, chocolate, etc.

The daily amount of potassium a healthy person should take is about 3500 to 4500 milligrams per day. Your doctor will advise you on the specific level of restraint you need based on your health. 

Vitamins are responsible for the functioning of vital processes. The body uses them to grow and develop. Each vitamin has a separate task in your body, and some of them work together in certain processes to support each other. Minerals are also very important for both the physical and mental health of your body. If you have kidney disease, you may need to avoid certain vitamins. Some of these include vitamins A, E, and K. These vitamins are more likely to build up in your body, and too much can cause harm. Over time, they can cause dizziness and nausea. Food labels should always be checked to see information on the vitamins and minerals they contain. Additionally, most fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins.