Kidney Dialysis Diet
What is Kidney Dialysis?
Kidney Dialysis is a procedure whereby which the blood is purified of toxins via an external machine – the actual job of the kidney. A healthy kidney plays an essential role in our body; it is responsible for regulating the water levels and minerals in our body. The kidney gets rid of waste and excess water from the body. When the kidney is damaged it cannot perform these functions efficiently. Hence, patients who have damaged kidneys go through a medical procedure called ‘dialysis’ which involves getting rid of waste and excess water from the body. The main reason for carrying out kidney dialysis is performing the function that a damaged function cannot perform.
There are two different types of dialysis; Hemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis. The type of dialysis that a person goes through depends on the medical condition of the patient. Dialysis treatment saves lives; this is because excess amount of wastes in the blood can cause death and coma.
Kidney Dialysis Diet
While going through dialysis, a patient has to maintain a proper dialysis diet. This diet helps maintain the balance of minerals, fluids and electrolytes in patients who are suffering from kidney related diseases and complications. A proper dialysis diet reduces the buildup of waste in our body. Hence, we will tell you about foods that should be avoided and foods that should be included in kidney dialysis diet.
This mineral is found in a variety of foods especially fruits and vegetables. A healthy kidney has ample amount of potassium which controls and regulates the heartbeat. During a dialysis treatment, the amount of potassium in the kidneys can be very high, which can affect the heartbeat. This may pose a problem for cardiac health. Hence, it is important that a dialysis diet should not have foods which have high amounts of potassium. You can eat fruits such as grapes, pears, apples and pineapple. You can also eat vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, cucumber and eggplant. Try avoiding fruits and vegetables which have high amount of potassium such as oranges, bananas, pumpkin and avocado.
Phosphorous is another mineral that you should watch out for. High amount of phosphorous can lower the calcium in the body, which can be harmful for the bone health of an individual since it can cause the bones to become weaker. Hence, you should include food items in your dialysis diet that are low in phosphorous. Dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt are usually rich in phosphorous hence you should avoid them. Some dairy products like heavy cream and cream cheese have low amount of phosphorous and can be included in the diet.
Before undergoing a dialysis treatment, patients are usually advised to follow a low protein diet. But during dialysis treatment patients are asked to shift to high quality protein foods. This is because proteins help repair and build tissues. Increasing the amount of protein consumption can help recover from the surgery faster. Foods such as egg white, meat, fish and poultry are rich in proteins and should be included in the dialysis diet.
The consumption of calories is something you should talk to your doctor or dietitian about. Calories provide the body with energy. A doctor may advise you to cut down on calories. However, some dialysis patients need to gain weight, for which foods rich in calories are added in the dialysis diet. Foods that are rich in calories include olive oil and canola oil. However make sure you first consult your doctor regarding the consumption of calorie rich foods since some calorie rich foods such as sugar and jam can be harmful for a diabetes patient.
Another nutrient that needs to be controlled is sodium. Reducing sodium consumption can help control blood pressure levels, keep you from being thirsty and prevent the body from holding excess fluids. You should consume foods that are rich in sodium and do not consume salt substitutes since they are rich in potassium. Potassium can be harmful for an individual with kidney disease.
For patients who are on a low protein diet; you can switch to carbohydrate rich foods. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy for the body and an excellent substitute for proteins. However you must seek your doctor’s advice before consuming carbohydrates. An individual who has diabetes should avoid consuming carbohydrates. Carbohydrate rich foods include fruits, breads and vegetables.
Patients whose kidney is severely damaged usually need extra Iron. Foods that are rich in Iron are liver, beef, pork and chicken. You should only consume Iron rich foods if your doctor advises you to have them.
One thing that every individual suffering from kidney disease should take care of is the amount of fluids he/she consumes. In the early stages of kidney disease, there is no restriction on the amount of fluids you consume. However as the disease progress you should control the amount of fluids that you consume. Consuming excess fluids in between dialysis treatment can cause swelling, weight gain and it can even affect the blood pressure levels. Too much fluid can pose a serious threat to the cardiac health of an individual.