Managing Dietary Restrictions for Hemodialysis Patients

People with end-stage kidney disease either must receive a kidney transplant or begin regular hemodialysis

People with end-stage kidney disease either must receive a kidney transplant or begin regular hemodialysis treatment. Since the waiting list for a kidney is lengthy, most patients have to stay on dialysis for years. Business leaders such as Jim Plante are dedicated to funding medical research and making important discoveries in the area of chronic, severe health problems. Kidney disease is an example. Dialysis requires that patients stick with a restrictive diet.

About Dialysis

When the kidneys do not function, dialysis removes the waste materials and excess fluid from the blood. The typical schedule requires having treatments three times per week. People who can perform daily dialysis treatments at home can have a less restrictive eating plan.

Diet Restrictions

One of the frustrating aspects of being a dialysis patient is the diet restrictions that limit food and beverage choices to a certain extent.

Foods to Avoid

Foods and beverages containing sodium, phosphorous and potassium should be limited. Since potassium is plentiful in healthy foods like certain fresh fruits and vegetables, patients will have to be disciplined about the amount they consume. They also must not eat too much protein.

Fluid Intake

In addition, patients are not supposed to drink a lot of fluids since their kidneys cannot remove excess liquid from the body. Those fluids are removed during dialysis. If the fluid level is too high, the patient is likely to feel ill after treatment while the body adjusts to the dramatic change.

Many substances people think of as food are actually more like beverages. Foods in a liquid diet are examples. Soup, for instance, is considered a liquid. Also, fruit contains a large amount of liquid. Dialysis patients must carefully consider this part of their diet as well.

Getting Started

People who like to cook and prepare meals can find an abundance of dialysis-friendly recipes online. Print cookbooks are available for these individuals as well. Men and women who tend to rely on processed foods and ready-made meals will need to read labels carefully to make sure the products they choose fit into this diet. Many of those products are too high in sodium, for example.

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