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Dialysis Diet

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is a dialysis diet?

Dialysis is a treatment that removes waste from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do this. A dialysis diet also helps to decrease the amount of waste that builds up in your blood. Your dietitian will help you create a meal plan with the right amount of nutrients. Your diet may change over time based on your weight, blood test results, and other reasons. You may also need to make changes if you have other health problems, such as diabetes.

What changes do I need to make if I receive hemodialysis?

You will need to limit potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and liquid in your diet. You may be able to have more protein than you did before you started dialysis. It may be hard to eat enough food. Your dietitian may suggest that you add extra calories if you lose weight. You can get extra calories by adding sugar, jelly, jam, honey, or syrup to foods. You can also add healthy fats, such as canola oil, olive oil, or soft margarine. If you have diabetes, ask your dietitian how to add calories.

What changes do I need to make if I receive peritoneal dialysis?

You will need to limit phosphorus and sodium . You may also need to limit liquid if your body is retaining fluid. You may need to decrease or increase potassium, depending on your blood levels. You will also need extra protein because protein is lost through your treatments.

What foods can I include?

Your dietitian will tell you how many servings you can have from each of the food groups below. The approximate amount of these nutrients is listed next to each food group. Read the food label to find the exact amount.

What foods should I limit or avoid?

The foods you need to limit depend on whether you are on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Ask your healthcare provider which of the following foods you should limit.

What other guidelines should I follow?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.