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The Dialysis Diet

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“You are what you eat” may seem like a very clichéd statement but fact of the matter is that it is quite true. Eating habits more often than not define our health and in one way or another, it can make or break you. Especially if you are undergoing dialysis, your eating habit can greatly aid in your overall recovery and progress.

The key here is to reduce the amount of waste in your body so your kidneys do not have to work so hard in filtering your blood. Here’s how:

Reduce sodium intake

Sodium plays an important role in our regular bodily functions but for people with kidney diseases and undergoing dialysis, it is vital to reduce sodium intake. Not only will this decrease the stress on your kidneys’ functions, but it will prevent your body from sodium build-up. Gradually, replace salt with some herbs or spices and opt for food with low salt content. This will definitely aid in controlling your body’s blood pressure as well as reducing weight gains. Some foods you should avoid are processed cheese, processed meats like sausages and bacon, condiments, frozen dinners and broths.

Reduce potassium intake

Potassium is a mineral found mostly in fruits and vegetables with the purpose of controlling the functions of your nerves and muscles. Because potassium will require the kidneys to filter out, it can pose a threat to your health especially your heart if potassium is not regulated from your body properly; therefore, it is crucial to reduce potassium intake while going through dialysis. Some foods you should avoid are bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes as they are particularly high in potassium.

Reduce phosphorous intake

Found in almost all our foods, phosphorous is the leading lady in the production and storage of energy in our body as well as the formation of bones and teeth. But for someone under dialysis, it is difficult for your body to regulate and balance the right amount of phosphorous in your body; hence, this could cause renal bone disease as well as itchy skin. So, it is best to reduce the amount of phosphorous in your diet by gradually avoiding dairy, cheese, bran, pine nuts and roasted soybeans (edamame).

Reduce fluid intake

For the most part, increase in fluid intake is always a good way to flush out toxins in your body – it is a common fact that drinking plenty of water is good for you. However, in this case, because your kidneys are already weak, it is not advisable to increase water intake as it would mean more work for your kidneys to remove excess water from your body. If not removed, water build-up can cause swelling in the legs (edema) and fluid could enter your cells and tissues. Instead of taking large gulps of water, try sipping it slowly throughout the day and avoid eating high sodium foods because sodium causes thirst. Alternatively, try to substitute it with a cold or hot drink to avoid excessive drinking.

Whilst dialysis is an aid to your kidneys, there are other steps you can do for yourself towards a better health. In conjunction with Touch A Life campaign, let’s keep these simple facts in mind during your dialysis and share this burden with your kidneys.

 

Image: http://www.shapeshifters.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/salt.jpg

 

 

 

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