Diet While on Dialysis

Healthy eating can make a difference in your treatments and also, the way you feel. However, dietary requirements of those with early stages of kidney disease will be different from those with kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If you suffer from any kind of kidney disease, your doctor will determine the best diet for your individual needs, which will help minimize waste content in the blood. The diet is known as a renal diet and helps maintain kidney functioning while preventing further damage.

While all dietary restrictions vary, certain aspects are common to all patients. This includes avoiding sodium, potassium, and phosphorus as the damaged kidneys are not able to filter it.
Some people with kidney disease are asked to avoid protein, however, those with ESRD, undergoing dialysis, have greater protein needs than other kidney disease patients.

The following foods are said to be beneficial for people suffering from kidney diseases;

Cauliflower: It provides vitamins C, K and also anti-inflammatory compounds like insoles.
Blueberries: They are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin, which protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and cognitive decline.
Sea Bass: It has lower phosphorus content than other seafood options, and is high in omega-3s, which helps reduce the possibilities of metabolic issues, hence, facilitating kidney functions.
Red Grapes: They contain the antioxidant flavonoids and Resveratrol, which helps protect your body from harmful free radicals which can also affect kidney functions.
Egg-whites: They are high in kidney-friendly protein, and do not contain the amount of phosphorous that yolks do.
Garlic: It is a good alternative to salt, which is high in sodium and can provide manganese and vitamin B6.

There are also numerous food items that patients with kidney disease are told to avoid for good health;
Bananas: They are excessively high in potassium content, and should be avoided, as should many other tropical fruits.
Dairy: For those with kidney disease, dairy products, which are rich in phosphorus and potassium, can be detrimental to bone health, as a phosphorus build-up can cause thinning and weakening of bones over time.
Processed Meats: In addition to being unhealthy for their high preservative content, processed meats also contain excess salt to preserve their taste and flavor, which cannot be processed by damaged kidneys.
Dates, Raisins, and Prunes: When fruits are dried, their nutrition content is concentrated with potassium, which is harmful to good renal health.

Managing potassium, phosphorus and sodium intake is the most crucial part of a renal diet. While this may feel restrictive at times, working on developing a schedule with your doctor can help design a diet that works for your individual needs and preferences.

How can one avoid kidney diseases?

To avoid kidney diseases, it is mandatory that you follow a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney damage? Therefore, it is important that you keep them under control. And, if you are someone who is already diagnosed with diabetes and/or high blood pressure, talk your doctor about how you can manage it and avoid kidney problems. Other tips include;

  • Follow a low-fat diet and don’t use too much salt.
  • In fact, if you can follow a low-salt diet, it is immensely beneficial.
  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes.
  • Opt for regular medical checkups.
  • Don’t drink excess alcohol or smoke.