Haemodialysis

Nutrition and haemodialysis

Nutrition is an important part during dialysis treatment. Even if haemodialysis sessions remove wastes from your blood, it is of importance to reduce wastes and fluid that can build up in your blood between the sessions.

You will be asked to change some things about your diet once you start dialysis. For example, you will have to limit the amount of fluid you drink each day. You will also be asked to limit your intake of certain minerals (e.g., sodium, phosphate and potassium). It might be possible that you may not need to follow each of these nutrition components. Please be sure to check with your dietician or doctor before making any nutritional changes.1,2

One main change compared to earlier stages of chronic kidney disease is the higher need for proteins. During each dialysis session a certain amount of amino acids gets lost through the filter membrane of the dialyser. To prevent malnutrition, it is important to eat sufficient amounts of protein now.1,2

Read more about proteins

Many haemodialysis patients suffer from protein-energy-malnutrition. Additionally to the treatment-associated protein losses, other factors contribute to this condition, e.g. less appetite due to the symptoms of chronic kidney disease and catabolism secondary to haemodialysis. Thus, it is important that you eat enough! Sometimes it is necessary to take supplements, which provide you with vital food ingredients. Please contact your doctor to discuss with her/him whether supplementing energy or vitamins are necessary.1,2

Read more about energy

How to implement nutritional management in every-day life

As you have to pay attention to several ingredients when adjusting your nutrition to your individual needs, it is advisable that you get information from a specialised dietician. Please ask your doctor about your individual nutrition requirements and if instructions from a dietician might be necessary.

To support you in planning your cooking, we provide a Food Ingredient Calculator (a database where you can check, which amounts of different ingredients your meal contains).

Nutrition in haemodialysis

Sources

  1. National Kidney Foundation www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nutrihemo (14.2.19)
  2. Cano NJ, Fiaccadori E et al. ESPEN Guidelines on Enteral Nutrition: Adult Renal Failure. Clin Nutr 2006; 25(2): 295–310