Nutrition For People Who Are Being Treated With Hemodialysis

The kidney excretes various substances from the body, making it a key organ for keeping the balance of fluids and other substances in the body. It is interesting that in Chinese medicine, the kidney is the ‘most important’ human organ that the Chinese call other heart.

Except that kidney filters the blood and excreted the waste products from the body, has a number of other metabolic functions. In the kidney are synthesized (erythropoietin, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, renin), and decompose and various hormones (insulin, glucagon, parathyroid hormone ..). Healthy kidneys perform a multitude of functions in the body, so its functionality, as far as we can, to be preserved as long as possible.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is kidney damage, which can lead to a reduced ability of the kidneys to secrete waste products from the body. People with chronic kidney disease may at some point need to aid treatment in the form of hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is a method of removing waste products from the body, such as potassium, uric acid and other substances normally excreted by the kidney. Hemodialysis is the most common of the three therapies which are used to replace kidney function.

Nutrition and Hemodialysis

The nutritional needs of people with chronic kidney failure correspond to those of healthy men. However, the progression of kidney disease, a person generally reduce energy intake, which can lead to malnutrition or anorexia. Malnutrition is a common outcome in patients with chronic progressive kidney disease, especially in those who are treated with hemodialysis. Malnutrition is a fact so common, that 40% of people who were treated with hemodialysis have some level of malnutrition. Hemodialysis is a relatively strong and effective method of replacement of kidney function, which aims to remove waste products from the body, primarily proteins and minerals.

In people who had dialysis treatment, can come to reduced appetite. Persons who are treated by hemodialysis often lack minerals (including trace minerals) ( Iron, calcium, zinc) and vitamins (especially vitamin C , D, B6).

General dietary recommendations for people who are being treated with hemodialysis

  • Reduce intake of saturated fat – include more fat from vegetable origin
  • Reduce intake of simple sugars
  • Eat more fiber (vegetables, whole grains)
  • Eat more solid food, less soups, sauces, juices
  • Reduce salt intake and instant sauces, soups, canned products

Proteins and nutrition in hemodialysis

Nutrition in patients who are treated with hemodialysis should contain a lot of proteins! If people do not get enough proteins in the body, and hemodialysis are rapidly losing them, the body starts to exploit the proteins of muscle tissue which eventually leads to the loss of body weight and malnutrition. The recommendation for protein intake in people who are treated by hemodialysis is at least 1.2g of proteins per kilogram of body weight per day.

Liquid on hemodialysis

Damaged kidney has difficulty to filter liquid and for that  it accumulates in the body. When a chronic disease is so far advanced and reaches the final stage, there is an accumulation of fluid and then needs to reduce fluid intake through food and drink. This includes water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, milk, tea, soups, stews and caffeine drinks.

The recommendation is to limit the intake of salt and manufactured foods that contain higher amounts of salt, because it can increase the thirst of people who are treated by hemodialysis.