Diet and Nutrition for Dialysis patients

Diet and Nutrition for Dialysis patients

Hemodialysis is the most common way to treat advanced kidney failure. In hemodialysis, a machine filters wastes, salts and fluids from your blood when your kidneys are no longer healthy enough to carry out this work adequately. The procedure can help you carry on an active life despite failing kidneys.

In this process, you are connected to a filter (dialyzer) by tubes attached to your blood vessels. Your blood is slowly pumped from your body into the dialyzer, where waste products and extra fluids will be removed. The filtered blood is then pumped back into your body. Hemodialysis requires you to follow a strict treatment schedule, take medications regularly, and make changes in your diet.


When your kidneys were healthy, they worked round the clock to remove wastes from your blood. These wastes left your body when you urinated. Now that your kidneys have stopped working, hemodialysis is used to remove wastes from your blood. But, between dialysis sessions, wastes can build up in your blood and can make you sick. You can reduce the amount of wastes by watching what you eat and drink. A good diet can improve your dialysis and health.

You can now consult a nephrologist online! Apollo Hospitals for comprehensive hemodialysis diet


When you are under hemodialysis, you have to restrict the intake of fluids. Apart from water, some fruits and vegetables too have high water content. These include melons, grapes, apples, oranges etc. Fluids can build up between dialysis sessions, causing swelling and weight gain. The extra fluids affect your blood pressure and can lead to serious heart troubles.

The best way to reduce fluid intake is to reduce thirst caused by the salt you eat. Avoid salty food like chips and take low-sodium products. You can also keep your fluids down by drinking from small cups. Talk to a dietician about how much fluids you can have daily and strictly follow it.


Potassium affects how healthy your heart beats. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of potassium in the blood to keep heart beating at a steady pace. Potassium levels can rise between dialysis sessions and can affect your heartbeat. Eating too much potassium can be very dangerous to your heart. It may even cause death.

To control potassium levels in your blood, avoid food which are rich in potassium like milk and dairy products, bananas, dry fruits etc. Also eat smaller portions of other potassium food. For example, eat only smaller portions of oranges and melons. You can remove some of the potassium from potatoes by dicing or shredding them and then boiling them in water.

Potassium Diet for Adults on Hemodialysis


If you have too much phosphorus in your blood, it pulls calcium from your bones. This will make your bones weak and are likely to break. It also makes your skin itchy. Foods like milk and cheese, dried beans, peas, nuts, and peanut butter are rich in phosphorus. It is recommended to avoid these foods or take in less quantity.

Depending on your situation, you may be advised to take phosphate binding medications to control the phosphorus in your blood between dialysis sessions. These medications act like sponges soaking up phosphorus and restricting it from entering into blood.


Sodium is found in salt and other foods. Most canned and frozen foods contain high amounts of sodium. Too much sodium makes you thirsty. This will make your heart to work extra harder to pump the fluid throughout the body. Over time, this can cause high blood pressure and heart failure.

Try to eat fresh food that are naturally low in sodium salts. Avoid eating salty food like chips.


Before being on dialysis, you are advised to follow a low-protein diet. Being on dialysis changes that. Most people on dialysis are encouraged to eat as much high quality protein food as possible. Protein helps you keep muscle and repair tissue. You will also have greater resistance to infections and recover from surgery quickly.

High quality proteins come from meat, fish, poultry, and eggs (especially egg whites).

Protein Diet for Adults on Hemodialysis

By following the above mentioned diet instructions improves your hemodialysis results and your overall health.

Consult a nephrologist from Apollo Hospitals online for renal issues. Book appointment here.

Authored by: Team Apollo

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